Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What a Difference You Made



 
by Regional Executive, Joel Sullivan

From ice storms to polar air to multiple inches of snow, communities across the state have endured a relentless series of extreme weather conditions.  The areas on the northern Cumberland Plateau were hardest hit. Many looked like a tornado had come through. 
Volunteers at a shelter in Sevier county.
You were there!  Across Tennessee, the Red Cross opened 31 shelters, provided overnight stays for 1,572 individuals and served more than 24,000 meals and snacks for those seeking warmth and shelter following winter storms in the last month. Many of our shelter residents had medical needs which made sheltering a bit more difficult. We ensured those needs were met. 
While we were responding to the storms that were occurring, home fires did not stop. Winter is the worst time of year for home fires.  As our volunteers were serving those in the storms, we continued to serve those who suffered a home fire.  At the most heartbreaking point in a person’s life, when they have lost everything, you were there!
Each year, the Red Cross responds to an average of nearly 70,000 disasters, from single-family and apartment home fires to severe storms, floods and wildfires. People in need turn to us in their darkest hours because they know they can depend on us for immediate relief and help through their recovery.
You were there with your time, talent and treasure.  Your donation of those three essential resources made it possible for our teams to brave the harsh winter elements to ensure those in need were served.  I encourage you and your family to take steps now to prepare for any disaster you may face. You can visit the Red Cross website at redcross.org/prepare/disaster to learn more about what your family can do to be prepared.
Thanks to YOU, we were there!


Regional Executive Corner with Joel Sullivan - March 2015




What a Difference You Made

From ice storms to polar air to multiple inches of snow, communities across the state have endured a relentless series of extreme weather conditions.  The areas on the northern Cumberland Plateau were hardest hit. Many looked like a tornado had come through. 
You were there!  Across Tennessee, the Red Cross opened 31 shelters, provided overnight stays for 1,572 individuals and served more than 24,000 meals and snacks for those seeking warmth and shelter following winter storms in the last month. Many of our shelter residents had medical needs which made sheltering a bit more difficult. We ensured those needs were met. 
While we were responding to the storms that were occurring, home fires did not stop. Winter is the worst time of year for home fires.  As our volunteers were serving those in the storms, we continued to serve those who suffered a home fire.  At the most heartbreaking point in a person’s life, when they have lost everything, you were there!
Each year, the Red Cross responds to an average of nearly 70,000 disasters, from single-family and apartment home fires to severe storms, floods and wildfires. People in need turn to us in their darkest hours because they know they can depend on us for immediate relief and help through their recovery.
You were there with your time, talent and treasure.  Your donation of those three essential resources made it possible for our teams to brave the harsh winter elements to ensure those in need were served.  I encourage you and your family to take steps now to prepare for any disaster you may face. You can visit the Red Cross website at redcross.org/prepare/disaster to learn more about what your family can do to be prepared.
Thanks to YOU, we were there!



Monday, March 16, 2015

Letter from Heart of Tennessee Executive Director, Mike Cowles - March 2015

March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month over 70 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Since 1943 every president has designated this month to commemorate our service.  When you think of the Red Cross you think of volunteers who are willing to sacrifice so much of their time and energy to help others.

The Heart of Tennessee Chapter has been helping our community since 1917.  Even though the world has changed the Red Cross still is charged to carry out the duties of helping others in times of need.

Spring is near and you know what that means…. The chance of storms becomes greater.  Are you prepared?  Since it is “Red Cross Month” and while it is fresh on your mind, make sure you are prepared in the event of an emergency.  Does your flashlight work?  Do you have enough food and water stocked up?  Are your plans up to date in case you have to evacuate your home?  These are just a few of the steps you need to take to be ready.  Stop by and see us and we can help you put a  plan together

On another note, we are very blessed to live in a state that is so giving.  The citizens of the state of Tennessee are so giving financially and even more important, giving of their time.  This last month we honored a person who fits this mold very well, Gordon Ferguson was chosen as the Heart of Tennessee Chapter’s “Hero of the Year 2015”.  Over 320 guests were in attendance and we raised $85,000 to support the many services we provide to the public at no charge.  Thank you to all of those in attendance and for the many sponsors who made this event possible.

Gordon is just one of thousands who make a difference in the lives of others every day.  If you are willing to keep a smile on your face and have a giving spirit, I urge you at some point to stop by our office and find out where you fit in among the best volunteers in Tennessee.  Thanks for all you do!

Mike

Letter from East Tennessee Executive Director, Michelle Hankes - March 2015

March may be Red Cross Month, but last month the Red Cross volunteers truly stepped up to challenges after ice storm after ice storm battered East Tennessee. 

As the Executive Director of the East Tennessee Chapter, I am so proud of the American Red Cross volunteers and staff who have given so much time and effort over the past month, helping those who needed shelter or lost their homes during the Tennessee Winter Storms of 2015.   Snow and bitter temperatures took hold of the Southern regions of the United States this winter. In Tennessee alone, the Red Cross  opened over 30 shelters, provided overnight stays for more than 1,500 individuals and served nearly 19,000 meals and snacks for those seeking warmth and shelter following winter storms in February. From ice storms to polar air to multiple inches of snow, communities across the state have endured a relentless series of extreme weather conditions.
 
Hundreds of volunteers and community partners worked together to serve these communities, from Maryville to Crossville, from Jellico to Sweetwater.  The past few weeks have served to remind us the importance of training, relationships and our mission.

March is a month to thank those who have served others. It’s a time to educate the community on Red Cross programs. It’s a time to think about the future.

Thank you for all you do.

Michelle Hankes
Executive Director

Letter from Northeast Tennessee Executive Director, Glenda Bobalik - March 2015

March is Red Cross month. This is a time to recognize our everyday heroes- the special people that give their time and talent to make lives better.

Everyday heroes help those in need throughout Northeast Tennessee. These heroes are our volunteers, our blood donors, people who take our classes or those who make a financial contribution to help us help others. You are our heroes. Thank you.

March has been recognized as Red Cross Month for more than 70 years. All of our presidents, including President Barack Obama, have designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the American Red Cross helps people across the country and around the world.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters big and small in this country every year. We provide 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families at home and around the world, collect and distribute about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, and train millions of people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills.

Here in the Northeast Tennessee area, volunteers responded to 319 local emergencies providing help to  821 families, assisted 288 military families, facilitated preparedness presentations to 25,814 individuals and trained 12,346 people in lifesaving skills such as CPR and First Aid. Our volunteers and donors who make this service possible are truly amazing.

This month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross.  They can become a Red Cross volunteer, work on a preparedness plan for their household, give blood, or take a Red Cross class. Take the time this month to talk to your friends and neighbors about what you do for the Red Cross and invite them to join our team.

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. We are able to provide that level of value due to the dedication of our volunteers.  Everyday heroes serving our community.  You.

Thank you for all that you do for the American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee and the communities we serve.

Letter from Southeast Tennessee Executive Director, Julia Wright - March 2015

In Southeast Tennessee, fire impacts on average over 337 families every year.  Fire displaces families, creates stress and puts lives at risk.  However, Red Cross workers are there to offer support, comfort, and hope.  These scenes are repeated again and again, every day, sometimes with dire consequences.  Across America, every eight minutes, fire takes something. Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a home fire.

This March, the American Red Cross encourages you to take steps to make sure yourr household is prepared for emergencies.  As part of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, The American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee in coordination with the City of Chattanooga Fire Department visited the Avondale Community to teach people how to be prepared for home fires and install smoke alarms where needed.
To support home fire survivors across the country, the Red Cross has launched a new social media campaign this month called #GIVEWHATFIRETAKES in conjunction with the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. You can help by taking part in the #GIVEWHATFIRETAKES campaign and make a donation that could support families after a home fire and other disasters.

You can purchase symbolic items like these and help the thousands of people affected by disasters like home fires every year:

·         Help provide two blankets for $10

·         Help install 2 smoke alarms for those who need them for as little as $30

·         Help provide clothing and shoes for a family for $100

·         Help provide financial assistance to a family after a fire destroys their home for $550

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. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Letter from Mid-West Tennessee Executive Director, Debra Roberson - March 2015

March Is Red Cross Month. Our canister drive is taking place at this time and we’d love your support! If you have space for a canister and would like to take donations, stop by the chapter office or give us a call at 731-427-5543. Also, please save the date, April 23rd, and plan to attend our Heroes Luncheon as we honor four local heroes for their exceptional community service.

We are now hosting regular monthly volunteer meetings.  Please come and join us for fun and fellowship, and get involved in our plans to grow together.   We greatly appreciate all of our volunteers and the hard work you do for the Red Cross. 

Last month we dealt with winter storms, snow, ice and many complications across the state.  I want to thank every volunteer who stepped up to assist during this difficult time.  In addition to the winter storms there was an increase in the number of residential fires.  During these disasters assistance was given in several ways to the victims.  Special thanks go to everyone who assisted us in fulfilling the mission of the Red Cross.
Debra Roberson
Executive Director
Mid-West TN Chapter