Thursday, April 28, 2016

Turn Around, Don't Drown!

Spring is flood season, and during this time, we'd like for you to remember TADD: Turn Around, Don't Drown.
It doesn't take much flooding to sweep away a car or a person. Walking or driving through even a few inches of fast-moving flood water is dangerous. More than half of the deaths from flooding happen to people in cars, and many people also die walking in or near floods. For more information on the dangers of flood water, visit the National Weather Service's flood safety site at

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Be Prepared for Severe Weather

While we have thunderstorms in the Tennessee forecast for tonight and tomorrow, the big weather news this week is the high threat for severe weather and possible tornadoes across much of the Central U.S.
Spring is the season for severe weather and tornadoes, but no matter what season it is or where you live, it's always good to be prepared. A great first step is to download our free Emergency App, which provides safety information, severe weather alerts, and Red Cross shelter locations on your smartphone or tablet. Visit for more info and to download the app. And for more info on preparing for severe weather, visit


Monday, April 25, 2016

Need TN Promise Community Service Hours? Volunteer with Us!

Students: Are you seeking Tennessee Promise community service hours? Volunteer with us! We have plenty of youth volunteer opportunities, and we're always seeking new volunteers!

For more information on our volunteer opportunities, visit

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Giving Day Profile: Michelle Hankes

The Red Cross helps families in other ways besides assisting them in disasters. In our final Giving Day post, we're featuring Executive Director Michelle Hankes, who supports Giving Day because her was saved due to her husband's Red Cross First Aid/CPR training.
When her son was about a year old, he choked on a piece of fruit at a restaurant. Michelle's husband responded quickly due to his training and saved their son.
To support the Red Cross during the final hours of Giving Day, please visit #help1family

Giving Day Profile: Faye Anderson

In our final Giving Day post, we're featuring Executive Director Faye Anderson, who made a sign showing why she supports Giving Day. To support the Red Cross during the final hours of Giving Day, please visit #help1family

Giving Day Profile: Nashville-Area Red Crossers

In our final Giving Day post, we're featuring some more Tennessee Red Crossers who made signs showing why they support Giving Day. To support the Red Cross during the final hours of Giving Day, please visit #help1family

Giving Day Profile: Mary Beth Birge

Many Red Cross volunteers and staff credit the Red Cross for helping their families at some time in their lives. In our final Giving Day post, we're featuring Tennessee Regional Disaster Officer Mary Beth Birge, who supports Giving Day because the Red Cross helped her brother after his home caught fire.
To support families like Mary Beth's during disasters, please donate to the Red Cross today: #help1family

Giving Day Profile: Larry Crowell

Larry Crowell is another Tennessee Red Crosser who tells why he supports Red Cross Giving Day. Larry, the disaster program manager for the Tennessee River chapter, supports Giving Day because he wants to make a difference by helping families through the Red Cross.

And Larry has made a difference! Just recently, he was awarded the Public Citizen of the Year Award by the Tennessee chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Help Red Crossers like Larry make a difference to Tennessee families. Please make a Giving Day donation today: #help1family

Giving Day Profile: Mary Walker

Today, we're going to feature a few Tennessee Red Crossers who have made signs telling why they support Red Cross Giving Day.
First up is Mary Walker, who says that she cares about each family she helps as a Red Cross volunteer. Whether installing smoke alarms in homes in need for our Home Fire Campaign or responding to disasters, Mary and her husband, Fritz, have helped one family after another!
You can help volunteers like Mary help others by donating to the Red Cross. Please visit
to donate today. ‪#‎help1family‬

Monday, April 18, 2016

Governor Haslam Honored as "A Hero Among Us"

Governor Bill Haslam was honored this morning by the American Red Cross of East Tennessee as "A Hero Among Us" in recognition of his work with the Red Cross while he was mayor of Knoxville and for his continuing efforts as governor. Haslam was awarded the honor at the East Tennessee chapter's annual Lifesaver Breakfast, which was held at Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The stadium even featured a Red Cross display on its billboard for the event!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Letter from Heart of Tennessee Executive Director, Mike Cowles - April 2016


Is spring really here?  It is hard to tell with our up and down weather patterns, but I am sure looking forward to warmer weather.  As we all know, this is the time of year when the trees and flowers are bursting with color, the birds are singing a little earlier in the morning, the days are getting longer, the kids are playing more outside, and, storms are more likely to appear.  Are you prepared?
My family is prepared. We have a Rubbermaid tote on standby with flashlights and fresh batteries, bottled water, a small amount of snacks, a first aid kit, sleeping bags, a propane camp stove and more.  No matter how prepared you are, I encourage each of you to take time this spring to put a kit together that will help you in case of emergency. 

Know where the safest place in your home is in case of a tornado. If you have children, show them where to go to before and after the storm.  Make sure you know where your pets are and educate you neighbors on being prepared.  Our kids feel safe knowing that if “Mom and Dad” are injured or trapped that they can go find a neighbor that can help.

One of the best things you can do for yourself and the community is to know your surroundings and to always be prepared for the unexpected.  Take some time this month and stop by our office and let us talk to you about the Red Cross and how you can be prepared.
Mike Cowles
Executive Director

Letter from Southeast Tennessee Executive Director, Julia Wright - April 2016

The American Red Cross celebrates the work and support of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 10-17.  Red Cross volunteers fulfill many roles from coordinating events, to responding to house fires in the middle of the night, to serving as board members and so much more.
Early in the month of April, we had the opportunity to show our appreciation to local volunteers at the Volunteer Recognition event at the Southern Bell Riverboat.  This year we reached out to over 300 local volunteers asking them to nominate their peers to receive special recognition.  The following volunteers were recognized as outstanding volunteers in their role at the American Red Cross: 

Clara Barton Service to Armed Forces Award, Roger Medlin

Clara Barton Administrative Support Award, Dawn Johnson

Clara Barton Disaster Cycle Services Award, Jonathan Hooker

Distinguished New Volunteer, Kent Fairrer

Volunteer of the Year, Rosemarie Asia
Thanks to these individuals and the over 300 other amazing volunteers in Southeast Tennessee for their outstanding work in 2015 serving over 15,000 hours and making our community a better place to live, work and play.


Letter from Mid-South Executive Director, Laura Vaughn - April 2016

National Volunteer Week is April 10-17 and your American Red Cross of the Mid-South is honoring its volunteers who give their time to help people in need.

Nearly 600 volunteers serve your local chapter, volunteering at the VA, teaching children how to prevent and respond to a fire, responding to home fires in the middle of the night and so much more. We want to take this time during National Volunteer Month to thank our volunteers for their service. They help us fulfill our lifesaving mission every day, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for their service.

Last year the Mid-South Chapter Red Cross volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to over 800 local families who faced emergency situations. They trained thousands of people in lifesaving skills and provided countless services to military members, veterans and their families.

You can also serve your community by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Simply go to to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application. You can also give me a call at 901.726.1690.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Letter from Tennessee River Executive Director, Faye Anderson - April 2016

Beauty in Motion

April is a time for new beginnings. With the beauty of April comes a feeling of excitement as our Red Cross chapter continues moving forward with our mission. We have new volunteers willing to give, learn, and grow with us through this process. New relationships with community partners are growing as they take on our vision in the community. Our dedicated volunteers are keeping a watchful eye on the weather and are ready to respond as needed in their communities.

The TN River chapter covers a large area, 12 counties plus Fort Campbell, and a population of around 485,000 individuals. It is a big job, a huge responsibility, but is it worth the challenge. I get to watch every day as both our new and seasoned volunteers embrace their communities! As we work toward having two Disaster Action Teams in each of our counties, we continue to serve with our mission in mind all the way down to the Alabama state line. 

With the sights and sounds of a new season, come  a new commitment and a new zest for helping this organization stay strong not only today but in the future. As I watch the flowers bloom, I’m reminded of the beauty of the mission of the Red Cross. Each petal representing a line of service, but together as a whole, “One Red Cross,” one beautiful, fragrant flower!

There is nothing more beautiful than the flowers that bloom this time of year except for this: Seeing the hearts that open up and share the mission with those in need….now that is beauty in motion!!