Red Cross, Partners Helping Coast Guard During Shutdown

With thousands of U.S. Coast Guard service members and families facing financial hardship as a result of the ongoing government shutdown, the United States Automobile Association (USAA), the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA), Inc. and the American Red Cross are teaming up to help Coast Guard service members and families in need.

Read more here.

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Winter Storms: Best Ways to Be Prepared

Winter storms are taking hold of much of the U.S. right now. The American Red Cross has issued this list of ways to be prepared. Check it out and stay warm!

 

Paws-itively the purr-fect partners

Furry Friends + Red Cross raise the ruff!

By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer

When disaster strikes, a furry friend can afford tremendous comfort to a family, and most pet owners do consider their pets to be part of their family. Keeping them together, therefore, necessitates being able to keep owners and pets as close as possible.

For Camp Fire survivors, there was room to shelter their pets immediately across from the men’s and women’s dorms in the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. While known for sheltering people, the American Red Cross turns to partner agencies to assist with pets.

Operating the temporary shelter and keeping the pets healthy is the responsibility of Furry Friends Pet Relief from Antioch.  Founded by Erin Piña of Oakley, California, Furry Friends began helping in mid-December and took over operation of the shelter on Christmas Eve.

A visiting veterinarian, Dr. Lauren Knobel, has been stopping in and helping set protocols to assure each animal is healthy and up to date on their shots.

Presently, the shelter is still housing over 30 pets, including dogs, cats, and birds. Assisting is shelter manager, Morgan Macy, of Yuba City, who has been here since the shelter first opened. “Thankfully, I can now say that all our dogs are happy and healthy again, and back in general population,” explains Macy.

The shelter is set up in a large A-frame building with dozens of cages of varying sizes. Birds and cats to the left and most dogs to the right. The exceptions are three pups and their mom, just to the left of the reception table.

Stealing the show are the three, fluffy, Alaskan Malamute pups, born on Halloween, shown here with (L-R) Morgan Macy, Grady Grammar and Demetra Poulos.

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If you are a cat person, then you are going to love Dinky, held here by Piña. She’s super friendly, and a crowd favorite.

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The shelter’s hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day and owners are encouraged to spend time with their pets whenever feasible. “If it were me,” says Macy, “I’d be spending as much time as possible with mine. They are suffering just like their owners, and they need to work together as the family members they are.”

If owners can’t walk their dogs daily, one of up to 20 volunteers takes care of walking each animal, three times each day.  Large fenced enclosures enable the dogs to play catch or run freely for exercise.

One owner, Dustin Lee, (R) enjoys playing around with his Pitbull, Hitch. “I got him about a month ago from the local humane society, and we love to horse around together,” says Lee. They enjoy having space outside where Hitch can run free in the enclosure.

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Presently seven AmeriCorps volunteers from San Jose are also assisting Piña and Macy with feeding, watering, walking and cleaning cages. Here every day, the volunteers work from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Shelter residents, as well as Red Cross workers, have been extremely complimentary about the pet shelter, and Furry Friends hopes to work with Red Cross again on future disaster responses that include pet-sheltering operations.

1,600 New Blankets Arriving Soon for Camp Fire Shelter Guests

By Doug Bardwell

Almost two months after the Camp Fire, the American Red Cross continues its work at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds to keep the more than 700 shelter residents safe, happy and comfortable.

Arriving this week are more than 1,600 new blankets, two for each shelter guest. Each red and white, thick blanket is a generous twin size (approximately 66″ x 90″) – not the typical 50″ x 60″ comfort blankets that people give or receive as gifts.

New pillows for each person onsite have also been requested. The delivery date on those hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross hasn’t forgotten about the pets affected by the fire. They are going to be the lucky recipients of all the used blankets that are not soiled. Used blankets, plus any blankets left on the cots after people relocate, will be packaged and delivered to local pet shelters.

About the American Red Cross Gold Country Region:

The Gold Country Region serves a twenty-four county territory including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba counties. For more information, visit redcross.org/goldcountry. Stay up to date on by following us on Twitter and Facebook @ARGoldCountry or by visiting our blog at capitalcrosswords.com.

Helping Folks on the Road to Recovery

The Yuba Sutter Red Cross Shelter in Yuba City is a large cavernous building that was home to about 80 people who evacuated the city of Paradise and beyond, to flee the Camp Fire. Their cots are neatly lined up at the back of the building, most of their belongings stashed underneath. Red Cross medical staff are set up along the far wall to provide various medical needs including replacing prescriptions, eyeglasses, wheelchairs, and more. The opposite side of the shelter is lined with table after table of colorful clothes, books, kids’ arts, and crafts, toiletries, and household goods, ready for folks to select what they need. A little brown-haired girl with a sweet face tries out some of the toys as she takes in snippets of the video that plays in the small children’s play area. Snacks and drinks are also available for between meal nibbling.

VOLUNTEER_Linda and Barry (1)And, tucked into a quiet corner seated together are Linda DeVane and Barry Abromovage, Red Cross volunteer caseworkers. Each has traveled more than 2,500 miles to this place to do what they can to help.

Linda watched the news about the Camp Fire from her home in Macon, Georgia. She knew the devastation was terrible, and says, “You don’t realize until you’re right here in the middle of it, how bad it is.” It’s important for people to have someone to talk to. “It means a lot,” sighs Linda, not just to them, but to us too.”

Over the past several days, Linda and Barry have worked with over 60 individuals at the shelter to help them start down the long road to recovery. “We try to get them thinking about future plans,” Barry notes. Linda and Barry let people know that when they’re ready to leave the shelter, the Red Cross will help with their transition. They are not facing the future on their own, but for now, life is pretty tough.

The folks at the shelter had no idea that they would spend this Thanksgiving away from home in an unfamiliar setting. However, Linda and Barry knew. In fact, Barry arranged his deployment to ensure that he would be here over the Thanksgiving holiday. He wanted to be here to help people like the family he met recently. The children’s school burned, their church burned, their home burned, the places where the parents worked burned. And Barry was there to help, to hear their story, painfully similar to so many others he and Linda have listened to since arriving at the shelter.

Linda and Barry, two Red Cross volunteers, who chose to leave their homes in Lebanon, Virginia and Macon, Georgia to travel across the country to Yuba City, California— because this Thanksgiving, this is where they are needed most.

By Marlene Stamper, American Red Cross Volunteer