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.


Monday, July 7, 2014

DAT+GRAM - Nashville Area Chapter 7/7/14

Two Rivers Chapter Welcomes Larry Crowell

The Two Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross is pleased to welcome their new Disaster Program Manager, Larry Crowell. 

Larry will be responsible for the implementation of the disaster services program in the Two Rivers Chapter territory, while also working as a part of the Tennessee Volunteer Region.  He will lead and manage a volunteer team and will be responsible for the implementation of disaster preparedness, response and recovery programs in the local area.  He will also ensure the development of disaster leadership volunteers in each of the program support functional areas of the disaster cycle in order to meet the needs of the territory, region, state and division. 
“The Tennessee Volunteer Region is very fortunate to hire a Disaster Program Manager of his caliber,” said David Kitchen, Regional Disaster Program Officer.  “Larry recently completed his Bachelor of Science degree from Austin Peay State University in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security and he has a diverse nonprofit background and has also owned a variety of successful businesses.”

Having served as a Red Cross disaster volunteer for many years, and recently completing an internship working under his newly retired predecessor, Cecil Stout , Crowell has been well trained and prepared to successfully lead the Two Rivers Chapter Disaster Cycle Services department.  The Chapter serves residents in Benton, Dickson, Houston, Henry, Humphreys, Montgomery, and Stewart Counties as well as Ft. Campbell, KY and Land between the Lakes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Red Cross Issues Top 4th of July Safety Steps for Travel, Grilling and Fireworks

 This Fourth of July weekend, many people will be traveling, firing up the backyard grill or enjoying fireworks, and the American Red Cross offers a series of steps everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday weekend.

“Everyone looks forward to having fun over the Fourth of July, and the Red Cross wants to make sure people know how to stay safe while enjoying the holiday,” said Joel Sullivan, Regional CEO for the Tennessee Volunteer Region.

HIGHWAY SAFETY Millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. The Red Cross offers these five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling:

  1. Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits.
  2. Do not drink and drive.
  3. Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to call or text.
  4. Use caution in work zones.
  5. Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.
FIREWORKS SAFETY The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home:

  1. Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
  5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
GRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

  1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  2. Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire. 
  5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.

DOWNLOAD FREE FIRST AID APP  The Red Cross has a free Red Cross First Aid App to put expert advice for everyday emergencies at their fingertips. The app is available for smart phones and tablets and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.