Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nashville Area Chapter Annual Meeting 2014

You are cordially invited to attend the 2014 Annual Meeting, celebrating the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross. The purpose of this public meeting is to share information and highlight the critical activities and impact of your Red Cross. Join us!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

American Red Cross Auditorium 2201 Charlotte Avenue Nashville, TN 37203

Jitka Pilar at jitka.hrbkova@redcross.org / 615.250.4288

Friday, May 23, 2014

“100 Days of Summer; 100 Days of Hope”

Give blood through the American Red Cross this summer and help those in need 

The new Red Cross campaign called “100 Days of Summer. 100 Days of Hope.” seeks to increase blood donations during the summer months, a time when donations typically drop. Patients need blood throughout the summer, but the Red Cross sees about two fewer donors at each blood drive between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays. The “100 Days of Summer. 100 Days of Hope.” campaign will continue through September 1.

“This summer, there are 100 days for blood and platelet donors to roll up a sleeve and help a patient in need,” said Regina Conway, Communications Manager, Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. “It’s difficult to collect enough blood for patients during the summer because so many people are busy with seasonal activities and schools are out of session. But the need for blood is constant and patients are still relying on lifesaving blood products. ”

To highlight the need for blood around the Memorial Day weekend, all blood and platelet donors who come in to give from May 24 through May 26 will receive a commemorative Red Cross cooling towel while supplies last.

Donors are encouraged to participate in the campaign by making and keeping appointments to give and by asking family and friends to join them in their effort to help save lives. Visit the Red Cross at redcrossblood.org, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social networks; and use the #chooseyourday hashtag throughout the summer to read and share inspiring stories of hope.

HOW TO HELP The Red Cross needs to collect 15,000 blood donations every day - even during the summer - to have enough blood to help the patients in 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. People can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information or to make a donation appointment.

All blood types are needed. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

American Red Cross Swim App

Red Cross Launches Anti-Drowning Campaign and Swim App To Urge Adults and Children to Learn how to Swim Safely

New National Survey Finds More than Half of All Americans Can’t Swim or Perform Basic Swim Safety Skills

Memorial Day weekend is here and the American Red Cross wants to help people gear up for summer with a new national campaign to reduce drowning. The Red Cross is urging people across the country to make sure they and their families can swim safely. This year marks 100 years of Red Cross swimming safety education, and the Red Cross is making a new sustained multi-year push to teach more people to swim safely.

“As we all gear up for trips to the pool, beach, rivers and lakes, we're asking that adults here in Middle Tennessee make water safety a priority this summer,” said Joel Sullivan, Regional CEO for the Tennessee Volunteer Region. “Families need to make sure that both adults and children have the knowledge and skills they need to be safe in and around the water.”

The new Red Cross drowning prevention campaign comes at a time when a new national survey shows that people believe they are better swimmers than they actually are. The survey, conducted for the Red Cross, found that while 80 percent of Americans said they could swim, only 56 percent of the self-described swimmers can perform all five of the basic skills that could save their life in the water.

These critical water safety skills, also known as “water competency,” are the ability to: Step or jump into the water over your head; Return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute; Turn around in a full circle and find an exit; Swim 25 yards to the exit; and Exit from the water.  If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.

Every day, an average of 10 people die in the U.S. from unintentional drowning – with 20 percent of them children 14 or younger, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and sixth for people of all ages. In addition, for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

Overall, the Red Cross survey finds that more than half of all Americans (54 percent) either can’t swim or don’t have all of the basic swimming skills. Other key survey findings are:
·         One in three (33 percent) African Americans reports that they can perform all five basic swimming skills, compared to 51 percent of whites. The survey showed that 84 percent of whites and 69 percent of African Americans say they can swim.
·         Just four in ten parents of children ages 4-17 report that their child can perform all five basic swimming skills, yet more than nine in 10 (92 percent) say that their child is likely to participate in water activities this summer.
·         Men are significantly more likely than women to report that they have all five basic swimming skills (57 percent for men compared to 36 percent of women.)
The survey found that nearly half of Americans (46 percent) report that they have had an experience in the water where they were afraid they might drown. In addition, one in five (19 percent) said they knew someone who had drowned, and 20 percent knew someone who nearly drowned.

Many People Planning Summer Water Activities in Areas Without Lifeguards

The new Red Cross drowning prevention campaign begins as summer gets underway, and eight out of 10 Americans are planning water activities such as going to the beach, pool, water park, or boating or fishing this summer. A third (32 percent) of all Americans plan to swim at a place this summer without a lifeguard.

While stronger swimming skills would reduce the risk of drowning, the Red Cross survey found that only two percent of adults plan to take swimming lessons this summer, and about one in five children (20 percent) are likely to take swimming lessons this summer.

“Parents and caregivers should take advantage of the summer months to enroll children in Red Cross swim lessons and download the free Red Cross Swim App to track their progress,” said Sullivan. “Parents and caregivers, in addition to learning how to swim, should also know critical water safety rules and know how to respond to a water emergency, so they can protect children and others.”

The Red Cross also announced it will seek to reduce the drowning rate by 50 percent in 50 cities in 19 states that have high numbers of drowning deaths or high drowning rates by teaching 50,000 more people to swim in those communities over the next three to five years. 

Red Cross swimming lessons help people develop skills and water safety behaviors that help people be more comfortable and safe when they are in, on and around the water. The Red Cross encourages all household members to enroll in age-appropriate water orientation and Learn-to-Swim programs. To find classes for your family, contact your local aquatic facility and ask for American Red Cross swimming and water safety programs. Click here for a flyer of Middle Tennessee Authorized Provider locations.

Red Cross Swim App

The American Red Cross has also announced its new free Swim App to promote water safety for parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The app allows iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire users to track their child’s progress in Red Cross swim lessons and help children learn the key skills and goals for each swim level.

Features of the Red Cross Swim App include:

•               Progress tracker for goals achieved in swimming lessons

•               Stroke videos and performance charts to help with proper techniques

•               “Help your Child Progress” activities that reinforce what is covered in lessons

•               Water safety and drowning prevention information for parents on a variety of aquatic environments

Parents can create a profile for each child, sharing achievements and badges with family and friends on social networks. Children can have fun learning water safety tips with the child-friendly videos and quizzes in the app.

People can download the app for free in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store for Android or Amazon Kindle Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps. The Swim App is not a substitute for learning how to swim. Parents can contact their local pool, aquatic facility or park and recreation department and ask for Red Cross swim lessons. Additional water safety tips are available at redcross.org/watersafety.

The national public opinion survey was conducted for the Red Cross April 17-20, 2014 using ORC International’s Online CARAVAN omnibus survey. The study was conducted among a national sample of 1,024 American adults, including 201 parents of children aged 4-17. The total sample is balanced to be representative of the US adult population in terms of age, sex, geographic region, race and education.  The margin of error for the total sample of 1,024 adults is ±3.1 percent; the margin of error for the sample of 201 parents is ±6.9 percent.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Red Cross and Nashville K-9 to Offer Dog First Aid Course

The American Red Cross Nashville Area Chapter is teaming up again with the training experts at Nashville K-9 to offer another Dog First Aid Course for dog owners.

“As a responsible and compassionate pet owner, it is your job to help provide daily care, love and affection, but you must also be prepared to care for your pet in an emergency or in the event of an accident,” said Joe Simpson, State Operations Manager for Preparedness Health & Safety Services. “In the event that your pet becomes ill or is injured, or needs help in a disaster, the Red Cross Dog First Aid Course can provide you with the skills and confidence to respond quickly and effectively.”

American Red Cross Dog First Aid teaches vital safety skills, including how to:

• Administer medications

• Recognize an emergency

• Perform CPR, First Aid and choking skills

• Treat common emergencies such as cuts, scrapes and bleeding

• Build a pet first aid kit

• And much more          

You can enroll today in American Red Cross Dog First Aid.  The next course will be offered:

Date: Tuesday, June 3rd
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Cost: $50
Location: American Red Cross Nashville Area Chapter Auditorium
2201 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203

Participants must pre-register for the course. To sign up, please contact Nashville K-9 at (615) 438-2602 or visit www.NashvilleK9.com.

If you are unable to attend the course, join the tens of thousands of pet owners who have critical first aid and health information at their fingertips. Download the American Red Cross Pet First App today from the iTunes, Google Play or Amazon Marketplace app stores.  The Red Cross Pet First Aid helps you take care of your furry family member by putting veterinary advice for everyday emergencies in the palm of your hand. Get the app and be prepared to act when called upon. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know Pet First Aid.

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 Southeast Tennessee Heroes VIP Event Auction

During Tuesday night's VIP reception featuring Heroes Keynote Speaker and former UT Football Coach Phil Fulmer, a number of auction items will be up for grabs. This year, those in attendance will have the chance to bid as well as you at home. Two phone lines will be made available from 5-8pm Tuesday evening  for call in bids. All items were donated by local supporters, businesses and community groups. Remember, all proceeds benefit the American Red Cross. Plan to BID HIGH and help us help others.

Items will include:
  • Custom autographed UT Football by Coach Phil Fulmer
  • Custom autographed UT Collectors Helmets by Coach Phil Fulmer
  • 4 different UT watches that also can be autographed if desired 
Plus some great packages from around Southeast Tennessee:

Item #1: Date Night Package including: 

* 2 Tickets to any Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra performance.

* $50 Public House Gift Card for Dinner

* $50 DeBarge Winery Gift Card

* Wine Glasses

Item #2: Family Fun Package including:

* 4 passes to the Creative Discovery Museum

* Climb time & gear rental at the High Point Climbing Gym

* Membership to Crab Tree Farms

Items #3: Art School Package including:

* One Week enrollment at any AVA Art or Film Camp held this summer on the campus of Baylor

* Variety of Art Supplies

 Item #4: Weekend Away at Dollywood Package includes:

* 2 passes to Dollywood

* Overnight accommodations at the Highland Manor Inn which is located in close proximity to Dollywood

* $50 Honeybaked Hams Gift Card

Friday, May 9, 2014

Red Cross Offers Home Safety Precautions as Lincoln County Tornado Recovery Efforts Continue

As local residents continue picking up the pieces and moving or rebuilding after the tornado, the Red Cross would like to share some important tips and also thank the local community for their combined response efforts. 

“We appreciate the 120 Red Cross workers that traveled from all over the state of Tennessee to help in this relief effort,” said Heart of Tennessee Chapter Executive, Mike Cowles.  “We are also very grateful to all of the other churches, community agencies and local citizens who were able to help with the clean-up and rescue operations in the aftermath of this devastating tornado.  No one entity can respond to a disaster and we always rely on the community to be resilient, just as the residents of Lincoln County have demonstrated over the past few weeks.”

The Red Cross encourages those in tornado-prone areas to use the Tornado Safety Checklist, which provides information on what you can do before, during and after a tornado strikes and offers these tips to residents as they continue their recovery efforts.

As you rebuild:

  • Strengthen existing garage doors to improve the wind resistance, particularly double-wide garage doors.
  • If your home has been significantly damaged and will require rebuilding parts or all of it, consult with your contractor about having a tornado safe room built during the process. A tornado safe room can save lives. Plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection can be found on the FEMA web site.
Ask a professional to:

  • Look at common connections in wood frame buildings and add anchors, clips and straps that will provide more strength to your home.
  • Reinforce masonry walls that provide structural support to your home. Secure your chimney. Masonry chimneys that extend more than six feet above the roof or have a width of 40 inches or more should have continuous vertical reinforcing steel placed in the corners to provide greater resistance to wind loads.
  • Permanently connect your manufactured home to its foundation to decrease the potential for damage from high winds.
Red Cross continues to provide comfort and support to help thousands of people across many states that have been hit hard by severe storms over the past two weeks. More than 3,000 homes across 10 states have been destroyed or heavily damaged by tornadoes or floods since April 25. 

In Lincoln County, the Tennessee Volunteer Region served over 4,440 meals and snacks to emergency workers and those affected by the tornadoes. More than 4,800 individual clean-up items such as rakes, shovels, garbage bags, work gloves and other clean-up supplies have also been distributed throughout the impacted community.  Red Cross caseworkers have been meeting one-on-one with people to create recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate help from other agencies.  More than 96 cases have already been opened to support to families and individuals.  Anyone that still needs assistance is encouraged to contact the Red Cross at (615) 893-4272 to be connected with a caseworker.

In the immediate aftermath of the tornado, the Red Cross activated their partnership with Goodwill, and collected donated items from the public. In exchange for the donations, Red Cross has been provided Goodwill Cares gift cards that Red Cross caseworkers will be using to meet the needs of those affected by the recent disaster.  These Goodwill Cares gift cards can be used at any Goodwill store and will allow those who have been impacted by the disaster to pick out exactly what they need to assist in their individual recovery.

The Red Cross initially opened an emergency shelter and also had several locations in the community that were open last week and over the weekend for people to receive first aid assistance, meals and snacks and to pick up clean-up supplies and other relief items. The Red Cross also opened a Multi-Agency Resource Center, where affected residents met with representatives of various organizations who connected them with the resources they needed.

The Heart of Tennessee Chapter, which is part of the Tennessee Volunteer Region, serves residents of Lincoln, Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, Franklin, Marshall, Moore and Rutherford counties.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Red Cross Celebrates World Red Cross Day on May 8th

Today, the Tennessee Volunteer Region joins hundreds of American Red Cross chapters throughout the United States and 185 other Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies around the world in celebrating World Red Cross Day.  World Red Cross Day is celebrated each year, in honor of Henry Dunant, who founded the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement nearly 150 years ago.

For more than 130 years, the Red Cross has been dedicated to helping people in communities large and small across the U.S. It is the only humanitarian services organization that provides blood services, serves as the emergency communication link between military personnel and their families, offers health and safety training and responds to disasters of all types and sizes.

World Red Cross Day is a time to recognize worldwide efforts to advocate for the relief of human suffering, whether from disease, disaster, war or famine.

Here in the United States, the American Red Cross is dedicated to helping people in need across the country, and in association with other Red Cross societies, throughout the world. Founded by Clara Barton on May 21, 1881, the American Red Cross provides compassionate care in five critical areas – people affected by disasters; support for members of the military and their families; health and safety education and training; blood collection, processing and distribution to as many as 3,000 medical facilities across the United States; and international relief and development. The American Red Cross is part of the global Red Cross/Red Crescent network.

For more information about Red Cross presence around the world, please visit us online at redcross.org/about-us/history/global-red-cross-network

You can help us celebrate World Red Cross & Red Crescent Day by becoming a volunteer, learning lifesaving skills, making a financial donation or giving a blood donation!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Day Visiting a Disaster Area

by Scott Toncray, volunteer for the Red Cross, Tennessee Region Volunteer

Lincoln County Tornado victims begin to recover from the April 28 storms.

As you drive up to any area affected by a natural disaster, the scene is surreal. In the days following the April 28, 2014 tornadoes in Lincoln County, Tenn., I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the devastation these storms caused. As we drove to the area affected, you first notice the smell of people burning debris caused by the storm. You can hear chainsaws, front-end loaders and birds singing in the background. This is spring and all the trees are now green except in the area where hundred-year-old trees have been uprooted, many are split in half and none of the leaves remain on those still standing. Debris, including pieces of tin roofs, are twisted around the branches. But for the survivors – they continue to smile and have a spirit to rebuild or repair the damage to their homes, thankful that they survived the storm.

Many times – television and still photos capture only the foundation remaining and a single American flag flying in the breeze. But it is heartbreaking to drive through the neighborhoods and see people cleaning up the debris the storm left in its path. Along with emergency vehicles and clean up crews are American Red Cross volunteers along with churches and other community organizations dropping off truckloads of water, food, snacks, shovels, rakes, brooms and mops so the victims can begin to pick up the pieces and rebuild what was destroyed or damaged. Signs have been painted with the words, “Lincoln County Proud.” Today, a week after the cleanup began, media crews have left and moved on to other stories of the day but we should remember those who are still rebuilding, as the process will continue for months.

What can I do?

Many people see the images broadcast in media outlets and want to pack up their cars and head to help but it is important to receive training so that rather than intruding on the victims who are recovering both physically and emotionally that you are trained to assist them. The Red Cross offers courses that you can take from your computer as well as in classroom environments so when the next disaster strikes you can begin to help immediately. If time doesn’t allow – you can always make a financial contribution that pays for the recovery supplies mentioned above.

HOW TO HELP:  Every year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters ranging from a home fire involving one family to larger disasters like hurricanes and wildfires that impact entire communities. If someone would like to help, they can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Red Cross Raises Over $109,000 at Annual Heroes Breakfast

Rece Davis, John Mitchell, Joel Sullivan

ESPN Host Rece Davis Encourages Red Cross Support

Nearly 300 local business leaders and guests attended the American Red Cross - Natchez Trace Chapter 6th Annual Heroes Breakfast held at Brentwood Baptist Church on Tuesday, May 6th.  The event featured special guest speaker, Rece Davis, ESPN college football and basketball studio host and commentator, and totaled $109,585 to benefit the American Red Cross.

“The Red Cross is very grateful to Rece Davis for giving of his time and talents to support our Heroes Breakfast,” said John Mitchell, Chapter Executive for the Natchez Trace Chapter, “But most importantly, we are thankful to our sponsors and individual supporters who provide the financial infrastructure to make the vital work of our volunteer heroes possible every day down the street and around the world.”

Guests were invited to attend the Heroes Breakfast and to make a contribution to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross whether it's responding to a disaster, collecting lifesaving blood, teaching skills that can save a life, or assisting military members and their families. Event sponsors included: Nissan, Delek/US Mapco, GM Spring Hill Manufacturing, Northstar Real Estate Advisors, LLC, Vanderbilt Bone and Joint, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Nacarato Volvo, Papa Murphy’s Maryland Farms and Williamson Medical Center.

For anyone that was unable to attend the Heroes Breakfast, they can still support the efforts of the Red Cross by making a financial donation online at redcross.org as well as by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

The Natchez Trace Chapter serves Hickman, Lewis, Maury, Perry and Williamson Counties.  Last year their local office
·                     Responded to 96 local disasters.
·                     More than 150 volunteers serve five counties within the Natchez Trace Chapter
·                     Trained over 2,000 community members in lifesaving courses.
      ·                     Delivered over 98 emergency messages on behalf of our military community.

  Kim Thornton, Vicki Smith, Rece Davis, Jennifer Wolcott, Clint McCain

  Richard Ocheltree, Jack Rowe, Rece Davis, Jeanne Beasley, John Blackburn

Dear Red Cross: A Letter from a Recent Tornado Victim

We recently received this letter of gratitude from a couple in the Lincoln County community where a tornado tore through several rural communities, destroyed and damaged many homes and took two lives.   

Monday, May 5, 2014

Red Cross Aid Still Available for Tornado Impacted Residents

Red Cross emergency response vehicle canvasses the area in front of South Lincoln Elementary School to provide mobile feeding to affected residents last week.

More Than 100 Volunteers Assist With Relief Efforts

Over the past week, the Tennessee Volunteer Region of the America Red Cross has mobilized more than 100 volunteers and continues to work to meet immediate emergency needs for those who have been affected by the tornado ravaged areas in Lincoln County.

“The Red Cross is very appreciative of our community partners such as Goodwill Industries and all of the other local churches and community organizations that have partnered with us to help meet the emergency needs of the residents who were devastated by this tornado,” said Heart of Tennessee Chapter Executive, Mike Cowles.  “We’re all working together in this relief effort and it has truly been collaboration.” 

Red Cross volunteers have completed damage assessment of storm-affected areas in the community and will continue working in Lincoln County this week to help meet emergency needs. Red Cross workers will be available by phone at (615) 879-3006 or (615) 893-4272 for anyone who still needs assistance.

During the past six days, the Tennessee Volunteer Region has worked to serve over 4,440 meals and snacks to emergency workers and those affected by the tornadoes. More than 4,800 individual clean-up items such as rakes, shovels, garbage bags, work gloves and other clean-up supplies have also been distributed throughout the impacted community. 

The Red Cross initially opened an emergency shelter and also had several locations in the community that were open last week and over the weekend for people to receive first aid assistance, meals and snacks and to pick up clean-up supplies and other relief items. The Red Cross also opened a Multi-Agency Resource Center, where affected residents met with representatives of various organizations who connected them with the resources they needed. 

HOW TO HELP:  Every year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters ranging from a home fire involving one family to larger disasters like hurricanes and wildfires that impact entire communities. If someone would like to help, they can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

 Bob Wallace speaks with homeowner Gail Sandmeyer who was in the basement when the tornado hit.