Looking for a great project for your group on MLK Day? Look no further.
By: Katie Fidler, American Red Cross, SEM Region Intern
As you may know, the American Red Cross services for veterans date back to World War I. As the years passed by, the services the Red Cross provided continued, and to this day the Red Cross maintains our commitment to veterans and their families. With Veterans Day coming up on Monday, November 12th, we wanted to provide you some ideas for volunteer opportunities within the community that deal directly with veterans, and let you know about our upcoming Holiday Mail for Heroes which your club will be participating in.
For volunteer opportunities, your club could:
- Volunteer at your local Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.
- Do a fundraiser and donate supply items http://www.volunteer.va.gov/apps/VolunteerNow/viewlist.asp?state=MI&list=41
- Contact the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for volunteer opportunities http://www.volunteer.va.gov/apps/VolunteerNow/
- Deliver holiday messages to veterans or bring baked goods to veteran’s hospitals
There are many other ways that you can participate with and volunteer for your local veterans, and we encourage you to find a way to reach out and volunteer for veterans.
One last idea: Consider making cards for the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes! This project gives our troops a sense of home when they receive these cards, and is a fun way for you or your group to reach out to our heroes. For more information on Holiday Mail for Heroes, visit http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes
*SEM Red Cross High School Clubs – you will be receiving materials when we come out for the Holiday Mail for Heroes project in late November/early December
We hope that you and/or your club can find a way to volunteer for veterans this month and have an opportunity to give thanks to the heroes past and present.
Hurricane Sandy reached land last night and the effects have been devastating. The storm has left 29 Americans dead and nearly 7.5 million without power, and Sandy’s high winds knocked down trees and power lines sparking fires to homes across the east coast. Volunteers from the Red Cross have already sprung into action by providing shelter for more than 3,200 people in 9 different states, and more and more people continue to move into these shelters. As Sandy continues to wreak havoc it is vital that we all pull together to help our family and friends affected by this record-breaking storm.
Here are a few ways that you or your Red Cross Club can stay informed and help victims of Hurricane Sandy:
- With nearly 300 blood drives closed on the east coast, support victims by donating blood at your local Red Cross
- Volunteer to be apart of our disaster relief team in our local community to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy (must be 18 years or older)
- Fundraise or provide donations for the Red Cross to assist in sheltering, feeding, and clothing disaster victims
- Contact your local Red Cross to help create comfort kits that disaster provide victims with everyday essentials
- Download the Red Cross Hurricane and First-aid app for up-to-date weather alerts, open Red Cross shelters, and disaster toolkit
- Register on Red Cross Safe and Well Website to let loved ones know you’re safe
- Protect your family from the affects Hurricane Sandy may have in your community
- Raise awareness for how people can prepare for, prevent, and respond to disasters
It is September, which means that it is starting to get chilly outside, and we are inside getting cozy with our heaters. It is important to start preparing your home for the cold season by taking steps to prevent fires in your home. Fires are the number one disaster in our local area so make sure you are preventing fires by keeping anything flammable like paper, clothing, or bedding away from our heaters, space heaters, fireplaces, or candles. It is important to turn off your space heater when you are sleeping or when you leave the home, and don’t forget that embers in a fireplace can still start fires so make sure they are completely out. Do you have a smoke detector? There should be one in every room so be sure to check them and make sure they are all still working. By making these small changes you can help prevent fires within your own home.
What happens if a disaster strikes? Just as we all need to work to prevent disasters, we also need to work to prepare for the unexpected. If an emergency happens in your home you need to make sure that your entire family is ready. There are three important steps to make sure that you are ready for a disaster:
- GET A KIT. Food, water, flashlights, and a first aid kit are all things that you will need during a disaster. Have these things ready to take with you in case an emergency happens. Make sure you pack batteries, any medicine your family members need, blankets, cell phones, and extra cash in case you need to evacuate your home.
- MAKE A PLAN. Meet with your family and decide what you will do if you need to evacuate. Make an escape plan to get safely out of your home in case of a fire, pick a place to meet like at a street sign or in front of your neighbors house, decide who will do what (like who will get the baby or who will help grandma), and decide who will you call when you reach safety.
- STAY INFORMED. Keep a radio or TV close so that local authorities can inform you during an emergency, know the difference between weather alerts, and always know how to protect yourself if a disaster occurs.
It is important to prepare for disasters within our home, so sit down with the whole family and start preparing today!
Hey folks, how’s it going? My name is Katie Fidler and I am the new intern at the American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Region. I recently moved to Michigan from a small town in California, right next door to FresnoCalifornia. It has been a long drive across the states, but I finally made it, and I couldn’t be more excited to start interning at the American Red Cross. So the number one question I have heard since I moved is, “Why? Why move from California to here?” Well, to be quite honest, the University of Michigan has the highest ranked School of Social Work in the nation, and I love school! So I packed up and came all the way from California with only what would fit in my car, without knowing a soul in Michigan, and with a big leap of faith that I could do anything I put my mind to, and here I am now. It has been three weeks since I arrived, I just finished my first week of school at U of M studying Social Work, I am interning at the Red Cross, and I am eager to start getting to know southeast Michigan and all of you!
So, “Why the Red Cross,” you ask? The Red Cross is an international organization that spends all of its resources helping those who need it most. Why wouldn’t I want to intern there? The Red Cross is filled with amazing people, most of whom are volunteering their time because of their love for their cities, their neighbors, and their friends (even the ones they haven’t met yet). Individuals at the Red Cross spend most of their time trying to make life better for others, and I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to work side by side with them.
Now, even though the people here are great, I am most excited to get out into Metro Detroit to learn from the people who know this place best – the youth! I cannot wait to meet you guys and girls and learn the Michigan way from the ones who live it everyday. I was so inspired to hear of the Red Cross Ready and Team Red programs that were so full of youth that were working on making their community better. So my goal here is to extend my hand out to you.
In California, I worked with youth at an after-school program that helped keep teens off the streets and provided gang-prevention programs to help make the streets of Fresno a safer place for youth and families, but here in Michigan, I want to help you find the confidence, knowledge, and information you need to help make this community a safer place for yourself, as well as your family and friends. I cannot wait to meet all of you, and who knows, maybe you can help me become a true Michigander!
Feel free to contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Last week the American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Regional Chapter was thrilled to welcome 14 Red Cross Club leaders from around Metro Detroit to Red Cross Club Leaders Training 2012! The training took place at the American Red Cross office at 100 Mack Ave. in Detroit.
High school students from Dearborn High School, Cass Technical High School in Detroit, International Academy East in Troy, and Plymouth Educational Center Preparatory High School in Detroit gathered together for a full day of training on who the Red Cross is and what we do, as well as club structure and activities for the upcoming year. The SEM Regional Chapter is implementing a brand new club structure for the 2012-2013 school year, ensuring that all Red Cross Clubs are active in all Red Cross areas of service. We are VERY excited for the wonderful work the clubs will be doing for the Red Cross this year! Check out some photographs of our club leaders in action:
A few months back we launched a contest for clubs to share their design skills and promote the Red Cross at their school. The winning entry came from the Red Cross Club at International Academy East in Troy, MI. For winning, the club won $200 for future projects. We were so impressed and wanted to share their hard work and creativity with everybody. Check it out!
Congratulations, IA East Red Cross Club!!!