Friday, July 11, 2014

Red Cross Helps Family of 8 After Apartment Fire

 Red Cross Disaster Action Team members, Dan Hedrick and Bobby Young, met with the Manning family to determine what their emergency needs were after the fire.

When 24-year-old Rayshonda Manning awoke frightened to discover a smoke-filled apartment on the morning of Friday, July 11th, her first instinct was to get herself and her young children out safely.  Thankfully, she was able to escape the upstairs South Nashville apartment she had lived in for two years along with her seven children.  Her oldest child, a son, is nearly eight years old and her youngest, a baby daughter named Miracle, is only three months old.

“I didn’t know what was happening, but I just knew I had to get my children out of there immediately,” Manning recalled.  “It’s times like this that you realize who is there for you.  We appreciate the Red Cross for helping us.” 

The Red Cross Disaster Action Team answered the call for help and met with Manning after the fire to help provide for her family’s immediate emergency needs.  Another family member agreed to provide them with a place to stay overnight and Red Cross caseworkers were able to provide financial assistance for food, clothing and diapers for the youngest survivors. 

Manning also received eight comfort kits with basic hygiene items and toiletries such as shampoo, washcloths, soap, a toothbrush etc.  The children were each given a stuffed toy animal to help provide a small source of comfort after what was likely a terrifying day.

“She did exactly the right thing by ensuring that she and the children escaped the fire,” said Disaster Action Team volunteer, Dan Hedrick.  “Many times, people will try and fight the fire rather than directing family members outside, getting away from danger and contacting the fire department.”

All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from people in our community.

Rayshonda Manning and her 3-month old daughter, Miracle, are glad to be getting help from the Red Cross after a fire in their apartment.

 The Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle helps the Disaster Action Team respond to fires and other disasters.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Volunteer Voice: Gene Williams

Gene Williams accepts the Governor’s Volunteer Stars award from Miss Tennessee for 2013.
Heart of Tennessee Chapter volunteer, Gene Williams, was recently selected to receive the Governor's Volunteer Stars award for Bedford County.  The Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards is an initiative from Volunteer Tennessee that seeks to recognize one outstanding youth and one outstanding adult volunteer from each of Tennessee's 95 counties.

Williams has been a member of the volunteer disaster action team for Bedford County since 2004 and currently serves as the Disaster Action Team Captain.

As the Bedford County Disaster Action Team Captain, Gene helps the local community to prepare, respond and recover from disasters of all sizes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through its Disaster Action Teams (DAT). Always on call, DAT volunteers provide disaster relief aid to meet the emergency needs of people affected by house fires, storms, tornadoes, floods, transportation accidents, and man-made disasters. Assistance needed by clients is evaluated by case workers and may include shelter, food, clothing, emotional support, household items, prescription medication, and other critically needed items.

Williams has worked on several large national disaster relief operations and is also a certified emergency response vehicle driver. In addition to his service to the Red Cross, Williams also volunteers with Meals on Wheels, the Fly Cultural Arts Museum and Bedford County Amateur Radio Society. He is also a board member of the Bedford County Historical Society.

“I volunteer because I love serving my community and serving people,” said Williams.  “It’s not about me, it’s about helping others.”

Gene Williams surveys the damage in a rural community after the Estill Springs tornado in 2011.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Shop Ebay This Week to Support Red Cross Service to Armed Forces

Support military service members and their families when shopping on eBay this week.  From July 7, 2014 through July 14, 2014, eBay customers will be invited to give as little as $1 at checkout to benefit American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.  Shoppers may also save the Red Cross as their favorite cause, so they can consider a donation to the Red Cross at checkout at any time of year.

For more than 130 years, the American Red Cross has provided comfort and support to members of the United States military. In the past year, the Red Cross has briefed more than 1.1 million people through the Get to Know Us Before You Need Us program, delivered 344,000 emergency communications services and distributed 140,000 comfort, care and therapy items in military hospitals and other facilities. Locally, the Tennessee Volunteer Region has provided 4,970 services to military families, services members and veterans over the past year.

The Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces programs are a cornerstone of who we are and what we do at the Red Cross. We have supported the military and their families for more than a century, from the Civil War in the 1860s to today’s deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Every donation counts to make sure we are able to provide this support each year. The Red Cross Tennessee Volunteer Region thanks eBay for their generous support.