RED CROSS SPEARHEADS OPENING MULTI-AGENCY RESOURCE CENTER FOR FLOOD VICTIMS

“One-Stop Shop” Offering Relief and Recovery Resources Tuesday & Wednesday

 The American Red Cross is partnering with the Bad River Band Reservation, governmental agencies, community programs and non-profits to open a “one-stop shop” for area residents affected by flooding. The Multi-Agency Relief Center (MARC) will be open Tuesday 1:00 – 8:00p.m.and Wednesday 9:00a.m. – 1:00p.m.at the Bad River Band Tribal Community Center at 72772 Elm Street in Odanah.

Anyone affected by flooding in Northern Wisconsin is encouraged to attend.

Trained Red Cross caseworkers will be available at the MARC to help people create personal recovery plans, navigate paperwork, and locate assistance for their specific disaster-caused needs. Representatives from several government, nonprofit, religious and/or disaster relief organizations will also be on hand to assist residents including:

  • American Red Cross
  • Bad River Department of Social Services
  • Brick Ministries
  • Northlakes Clinic
  • NWCSA
  • Salvation Army
  • Additional partners are yet to confirm

Since the flooding, the Red Cross has provided residents with financial support for emergency needs like food, shelter and clothing along with personal hygiene kits and blankets. In addition, they are supporting health needs along with being a compassionate shoulder to lean on. Red Cross workers have:

  • Served 614 meals & snacks so far
  • Provided 341 cases/gallons of  bottled water
  • Distributed more than 400 Clean-up Kits plus 1618 additional relief supplies
  • Deployed 59 trained responders

“On behalf of the Bad River Band, we’d like to extend our sincere gratitude for everything the Red Cross and other partnering agencies have done in light of the flood situation. Every donation, volunteer, good thoughts and prayers matter.” shared Dylan Jennings, Public Information Officer for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior.

 

Wisconsin Floods — Red Cross Responds

Heavy rains caused flooding throughout Northern Wisconsin earlier this week. Since then, it’s been a flurry of flood relief activities with the Northwest Wisconsin Chapter leading the charge. Red Cross services have included providing clean up supplies, bottled water and connecting one-on-one with affected families who need shelter, health or other immediate disaster relief. An Incident Integrated Care & Condolence Team is also working with the families of the three fatalities.

Today, Red Cross workers are delivering clean-up kits (bucket, mop, broom, squeegee, gloves, bleach, brush, etc.) to the following locations:

  • Methodist Church, Hayward – 35 kits and Flood Recovery  Booklets
  • Minong, Town Hall, Washburn – 50 clean-up kits and Flood Recovery Booklets
  • County Health & Human Services, Ashland – 40 additional Clean-up kits, 60 cases of water, flathead shovels, garbage bags, gloves (Yesterday, 37 Clean-up kits, bleach, bottled water, perishable food and Flood Recovery Booklets.)

All locations listed above are coordinating distribution to the public.

As of Thursday evening, our Client Casework team met one-on-one with individuals/families affected by flooding and had opened 24 cases, with the majority being on the Bad River Reservation in Ashland County. Case work will continue through this weekend and by appointment should contact the Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 800-236-8680.

The Red Cross encourages residents to stay safe by following safety tips:

  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Dry-out the building quickly (within 24 to 48 hours). Open doors and windows. Use fans to dry out the building.
  • When in doubt, take it out! Remove all porous items that have been wet for more than 48 hours and that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. These items can remain a source of mold growth and should be removed from the home. Removal and cleaning are important because even dead mold may cause allergic reactions in some people.
  • To prevent mold growth, clean wet items and surfaces with detergent/bleach and water.
  • Homeowners may want to temporarily store items outside of the home until insurance claims can be filed.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

We are greatly appreciative of Premium Waters and Kwik Trip who both donated pallets of water.

The best ways for you to help is by supporting our efforts with a financial gift or volunteering your time. We rely on volunteers to provide humanitarian relief during times of disaster and we’ll get you trained before the next disaster strikes.   To learn more, visit http://www.redcross.org/volunteer.

Throughout Wisconsin, we respond to nearly 900 disasters every year. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Click http://www.redcross.org/Wisconsin or call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

 

 

Volunteer of the Month – Floyd Duranceau

Congratulations Floyd Duranceau, the July 2016 Volunteer of the Month!

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When July volunteer of the month, Floyd Duranceau looks back on his Red Cross service, he’s reminded of the great gifts he has been able to offer others; first through the teaching of lifesaving skills and now through the distribution of lifesaving blood.  After working as a Red Cross Health & Safety CPR Instructor for more than twenty-six years, in 2015 Floyd decided to volunteer in a new position for the Red Cross with the BioMed Transportation Program. Volunteering as a Transportation Specialist, Floyd delivers blood product to hospitals providing the vital link between donor and patient, making sure that critical blood products get delivered quickly and effectively to those in need.

In the past six months of volunteering Floyd has accumulated over eight-hundred hours of volunteer service. This level of commitment speaks to the special qualities that make Floyd an outstanding leader in this program. “Floyd has become a real asset to the transportation program. In addition to driving almost every day of the week to places as far away as Chicago Illinois, he routinely recruits new volunteers to become drivers by informing them of the need for this important service,” shares Joshua McDonnell, Blood Services Manager of Volunteer Services.

“Volunteering to me just means getting to know people, after that I feel impassioned to make their day a better one.” When asked about his favorite volunteer moments, Floyd recalls, “I’ve had a number of great moments working in the Red Cross mission. The most memorable though happened in one of the last CPR classes I taught. A gentleman near the end of the class said that he had taken many CPR classes over the years and could never wait to have them end but with my class he did not want it to end.” This clearly shows how well Floyd shares his dedication to the American Red Cross mission with others.

As a Red Cross volunteer, Floyd said he is determined to do whatever he can for others for as long as he can. Every week he commits to working an average of thirty hours with the Bloods Services transportation program all while he continues learning, training and mentoring others. To encourage others to become a volunteer with the Red Cross, Floyd emphasizes, “We just need to show people that someone cares. This may sound simple but it can change both the lives of others’ and the volunteer’s own life tremendously. You don’t need a special talent to help others; the Red Cross will train and prepare you.”

Thank you, Floyd for proudly representing the Red Cross in your community and for giving back to others in so many remarkable ways!

This month, consider giving someone a chance to share more joy, laughter and time with family and friends. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Blood transfusions are a very common medical procedure. A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the United States alone. Although 38 percent of people in the U.S. are eligible to donate blood, only 3 percent actually do. Be the change in someone’s life by donating today. For more information visit http://www.redcrossblood.org

If you are interested in joining Floyd as a Blood Services transporter of blood and blood products throughout the region in a safe and timely manner please contact us. Right now, the American Red Cross has many volunteer opportunities, including becoming a disaster responder, supporting military troops, and many more. Red Cross volunteers are united by their service and the feeling that in changing others’ lives, their lives are also changed. To learn more, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer or contact the office of Volunteer Resources at volunteerwisconsin@redcross.org.

One small gesture…

By Julie Holly, DMH Volunteer
We sat side by side, a newly-trained female client caseworker and I, a disaster mental health volunteer, in a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. Next in line was a young survivor in his early 20’s living in a local drug recovery center, who had lost his home, his girlfriend, his vehicle, and his job, in one of California’s most devastating fires ever recorded.

I closed the door behind him as he took a seat. Shortly after he began, I reached for a bottle of water behind me, twisted off the cap, and handed it to him.  He talked and drank, cried and talked, and drank some more. For an hour, he related details of wrong turns, the long road back to sanity and sobriety, and finally the fire. We listened hard. Afterward, I asked about a sponsor, 12-step meetings, his support system.  The caseworker asked about housing plans and gave him information about government and community resources.

At the end, I gave him a blanket. I asked if he was hungry. “A little,” he admitted. I gave him a granola bar. I gave him a Disaster Distress Helpline brochure and the local crisis line number. He hugged me. He hugged her too.

“I noticed you take the cap off the water bottle” the caseworker said, after he left. “Why did you do that?”  “You saw that?” I replied, surprised. “Well, survivors under great stress easily dehydrate. When you open the bottle, it gives them ‘permission’ to drink it now rather than later.”

“Ah, good one”, she said, nodding and jotting notes. “Your eyes never left his as you took off the cap. And you sat forward when he started talking.”  I grinned. “Were you observing me the whole time?”  “Of course I was!” she laughed. “I’ve never seen anyone work in the field before. I could never do what you did.”

I looked puzzled. “But you were doing it.”  Now she looked puzzled. “What do you think he’ll remember from our interaction?” I asked. A few beats later, she responded. “I think he’ll remember how you knew so much about what he was going through.”  “I’ll bet you’re wrong,” I replied.  “I’ll bet he’ll remember next to nothing of what I said. What he’ll remember is how we both made him feel.  The water, the blanket, the snacks– there’s a good chance he’ll remember those also. But he won’t forget your calm voice, the genuine smiles, the way he was deeply listened to, the way he was treated with dignity and respect. Never underestimate the power of those simple gestures. I promise you, those things are what people remember most about the Red Cross, in the end.”

“Maybe it’s because those things look like hope.” She wrote that down, too.

I don’t know what happened to him, of course. But I know that she’s a compassionate, caring, client caseworker, yet another Red Cross hope-giver, who now twists the cap off the water bottle as she hands it to the next survivor.

Julie Holly, MSE, LPC, CCTP, is a licensed mental health professional by trade and she, serves her community and those across the country such as the South Carolina floods and California wildfires. In addition, she served on an Integrated Care Team which provides a team approach to physical, spiritual and emotional recovery after a disaster.

“You are a part of the permanent narrative of the worst day of their lives.”   Julie Holly

Volunteer of the Month – Sanya Baillie

Congratulations, Sanya Baillie the June 2016 Volunteer of the Month!
Sanya joined the Red Cross in July of 2013, seeking to find an organization that would support her efforts to directly help people affected by disaster. Previously, Sanya and her husband had been Foster Parents for fourteen years and had helped many children even adopting three wonderful children of their own.  So, when they decided not to renew their Foster Care License, Sanya began to feel a void in her life, “I have always had the desire to help others,” she explained. Looking for a new way to reach others in need, she traveled on two separate occasions on tornado relief trips under no organization affiliation. Sanya explained, “We just packed our car with donations from friends and family and headed out. It was such a moving and humbling experience.” During her time in Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma for those relief trips Sanya befriended many Red Cross volunteers, learned more about the Red Cross mission and knew she needed to become a Red Cross volunteer.
Sanya currently volunteers in the Disaster Services department of the Red Cross as a Disaster Action Team (DAT) leader. Nick Cluppert, the Disaster Program Manager shared, “Sanya is an extremely supportive, warm person who works well with all clients. She has an approachable and calming demeanor that is greatly admired and considered a huge asset to the team during big and small responses alike”.  Sanya is an exceptional volunteer and has become someone that can be relied on to respond in any number of situations. She has provided canteening services to area response workers including firefighters, assisted families displaced from fire and managed Direct Client casework, a process used to give supportive resources to people who need them after a disaster.  “My favorite part of volunteering is all the different people I meet and the moments when I can help them. When someone is affected by a home fire or larger disaster we often meet them at such a scary and vulnerable moment in their life, if I can be there for them and help to brighten their day, even if it’s just a little I know I’ve helped,” Sanya explains.

Her most memorable Red Cross moment was one marked by unrealized community connections. Sanya responded to a single family home fire just down the road from her own house. The house was a total loss and although everyone escaped the fire safely, they were all very shaken up. The family set up in a neighbor’s house who turned out to be a friend of Sanya’s husband from work. When talking to the family of the house fire she realized their daughters were friends with her own and went to the same Church Youth Group together. And later, when she went out to feed the Firefighters that were working the fire she realized her Uncle, who is a Volunteer Firefighter in that area, was there working the fire. Sanya emphasized, “What was a really great moment, amidst such a tragedy was realizing that we have so many wonderful people all around us who we a connection with in our community to lean on and to get through it”.

Sanya encourages others to join the Red Cross mission, “Volunteering for Red Cross has been one of the most rewarding things I have done. I never imagined how much fun volunteering would be. The relationships I have made and memories I have experienced are the best rewards I could ever receive. It’s a special thing to be there for someone who is at one of their most vulnerable and most frightening times in their life. Putting a smile on someone’s face, just to listen to them or to lend a shoulder to cry on is an amazing thing to experience. At some point in life everyone needs help, I hope we can be there for each other and continue to lend a hand to those in need.”

Thank you, Sanya for proudly representing the Red Cross in your community, we are so grateful for your continued support and work within Disaster Services!
To learn more, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer

Heroes 2016 Musicales: Another Resounding Success!

By Vicki Jenks, Volunteer of the American Red Cross

On a picture-perfect Saturday, April 30th in “wild” Wild Rose the 9 th annual HEROES 2016 Musicales were “over the top” in every conceivable way. Well over 200 guests experienced world-class music, dined on delectable hors d’ oeuvres and refreshments and bid high on 300 silent auction treasures.

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Art Stevenson & High Water

Art Stevenson & High Water Wisconsin’s Best Bluegrass Band, Harmonious Wail the Midwest’s Finest Gypsy Jazz Trio and Jodie DeSalvo Carnegie Hall piano virtuoso & Faye Seeman well-known Chicago harpist, graced the musical stage. The day began with the Wild Rose American Legion Post #370 posting all five service branch flags and the US colors. Additionally, all three Musicales began with the Pledge of Allegiance and ended with the everyone singing “Amazing Grace” and “America, the Beautiful.”

Begun in 2008 as a small concert presented by co-founders John and Vicki Jenks, a grand total of $3,308.39 was raised. Now the year-round activities, sponsorships, Musicale tickets sales and silent auction raises around $60,000! HEROES Musicales gifts will be utilized for Local Disaster Relief & Preparedness and Service to the Armed Forces in the counties of Waushara, Green Lake, Marquette and Waupaca.

SAVE THE DATE: HEROES 2017—Saturday, April 29th !!
Musicians to be announced later this summer.

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THE HEROES MUSICALE

Vickie L. Detert (4/30/16)

A worthy cause; a glorious day;

a caring crowd, willing to pay

to just sit back, relax and share

as wondrous music fills the air.

And from the gifts gathered here

help goes out both far and near

to those in need, who’ve suffered loss

of health, of friends, families or homes.

That is what life is meant to be.

Let all mankind show charity,

to help when needed and lend a hand,

from heart to heart, throughout all lands.

See more photos here: 9th Annual Heroes Musicales

Partnerships & Volunteers Save Lives In Brown County!

Brown County Fire Rally Brought Volunteers and Partners Together to Save Lives

By Dawn Miller, American Red Cross Volunteer

 

Excitement was brewing at the Ashwaubenon High School as American Red Cross members and more than 150 volunteers from across Wisconsin came together on April 23, 2016 for the Brown County Fire Rally. All with one large goal in mind, to make Brown County families safer by installing up to 1000 smoke alarms.

 

“I was feeling excited and anxious as everyone gathered in the gymnasium because of all the work the team put into making this event happen,” said Nick Cluppert, Disaster Program Manager and the event coordinator. “It was great to finally see the event happen after months of planning. We had people from different Red Cross departments help pull together specifics, and we couldn’t have done it without lots of community partners including the Salvation Army, Public Health, Human Services, food pantries, multiple Fire Departments, local businesses and more,” said Nick.  Sponsors of the event included: State Farm, Festival Foods, Nature’s Way, United Way 2-1-1 and the American Red Cross – Tiffany Circle

 

Volunteers registered and received supplies, including stepladders, 10-year lithium battery smoke alarms and Snap-on tool bags with a drill, bits, screwdrivers and safety goggles. Volunteers also watched the ‘how to install an alarm’ video and now had an opportunity to practice on the installation wall.

 
Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive, and Nick spoke to the group on what to expect and the importance of the smoke alarm rally. The effort is part of an ongoing, five-year campaign by the American Red Cross to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent. A working smoke alarm can increase chances of survival by 50%.

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Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive, speaks to excited volunteers and partners to kick off Brown County Fire Rally

Paul Hajny, a fire survivor, spoke to the group about a fire he and his wife, Jenna, were in five years ago. Paul who is now very conscious smoke alarms and fire safety, he shared how important it was that they reach residents who might not be thinking about fire safety. “I never thought it would happen, but it happened,” says Paul.

 

Four person teams received maps of pre-canvassed areas that were identified by local fire departments as higher risk areas. Paul and Jenna were part of a team that went door-to-door to install smoke alarms in an effort to save lives. After a few unanswered doors, Karen flagged them down to install alarms in her home. They checked alarms for Darla whose small stature and age made it unwise for her to climb on a stepladder to check them. The team assured her that all alarms were in working order. They installed brand new alarms for James, a veteran, whose alarms were well over 10-years-old and had yellowed with age.

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Jenna, American Red Cross Volunteer, talks with Karen about her new smoke alarm and fire safety while Kathleen, American Red Cross Volunteer, documents the alarms installed.

At every house, they shared information on fire safety, checked smoke alarms and, if they weren’t working, installed batteries or new alarms. “People were very appreciative,” said Jenna Hajny. “These days it’s hard to let people in your home but they were very welcoming.”

 
They were also welcomed in by Judy whose family was getting ready for a birthday party for her young daughter.  After installing alarms the volunteers were invited back to join the party when they finished their route but they had much ground to cover.

 
After finishing their designated route, the volunteers were flagged down by a Grandma to install alarms in the home of her daughter’s family, setting them in the direction of another area that needed smoke alarms.

 
“I was surprised at how many homes didn’t have working smoke alarms,” said Paul. Some homes had no alarms, some were pulled off the walls, missing batteries or not working.

 
“There was one house with four alarms and none of them were plugged in,” said Paul. After installing four new alarms, they shared fire safety and escape plan information with the family which included young children.

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American Red Cross Members, Volunteers and Partners hit the streets in precanvassed areas to install alarms.

This one team installed 18 alarms and restored others to working order by installing batteries. Together, all teams installed 857 smoke alarms and 61 batteries so now there are now 918 more working smoke alarms just in Brown County. They also raised much awareness across the community to make sure residents know about fire safety.

 
Paul and Jenna were both happy to give back after the American Red Cross had helped them after their fire and were thankful to be part of such a great group of volunteers. “It’s good to know there are good resources in the community and people who want to help,” said Paul.

 
“I think we can all rest well tonight. We walked a lot, did what we could,” said Jenna. “I hope it (a fire) never happens but if it does they have working alarms.”

 
“Having a working smoke alarm can save a life,” says Barbara Behling, American Red Cross Spokesperson. “Statistically, having installed more than 1,000 alarms in April, we saved a life.” Neighbors, and anyone in Wisconsin, who needs a smoke alarm, can visit getasmokealarm.org to request them.

 

To see more photos from this event visit albums on flickr and facebook. 

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