Local Collection Drive to Bring a Smile to Our Military

Author: Randi Benton, Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer

Screeeech”! No, not the guy from Saved By The Bell, this is the sound of care packages being sealed and ready to ship to the troops after being filled with the countless items and supplies donated by the community in Northern California. Care packages? Donations? What’s the occasion, you ask? Well, of course that would be the third annual Operation Care Package – a joint effort between the American Red Cross Gold Country Region and KCRA/ KQCA to collect care package items, goods and supplies for our military, local and abroad.

Image-1-5“Care packages provide a touch of home and an opportunity to say “thank you” to the brave men and women of our Armed Forces for their service and sacrifice,” said Tobrin Hewitt, Services to the Armed Forces Manager for the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.

Operation Care Package was underway from dawn ‘til dusk on Friday, June 10, 2016, receiving in a cornucopia of donations from hygiene products to books and snacks.. But, prior to the start of the event, at precisely 4 A.M. volunteers swarmed the empty car lot in front of the Toyota dealership at the Roseville Automall, a little bit like a hoard of sleep-deprived zombies but nonetheless ready and willing to set up the tents and have everything arranged for the day ahead.

Armed with some coffee, Red Cross and partner volunteers were fast at work when the first donations began to pour in. One lane was blocked off for drivers to pull up and unload their donations, and believe me when I say it was busier than an In ‘N Out drive thru on a Saturday night! In between the colossal amount of cars driving by to drop of various items and supplies for donation, Sutter Health drove in with a truck load full of hundreds of items and even the local chapter of the Girl Scout who donated 5,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

photoThis year’s Operation Care Package consisted of volunteers from the Red Cross, Blue Star Moms, Move America Forward, Retired Veterans, Current Servicemen and many more. Even a Cheer Squad from Oakmont High School took time out of their summer to help out with the event and cheer the drivers as they were driving by with their donations. Even more surprising, little kids were getting in on the action helping out their parents and excited to give back, or in this case sort out the items being received.

“Volunteers not only worked effortlessly to make this event a success, but they also made sure to look after one another,” said Robin DeCristofano from the Blue Star Moms. “Some of them were passing out icy cold strips to others to stay cool, handing out snacks, and ensuring everyone had a cold water bottle to stay hydrated. Overall, everyone was in jovial spirits.”

Throughout the course of the day, despite the mild heat and busy atmosphere, everyone was determined to make this day another proverbial win for the books. And I dare say it was! We were able to collect approximately 12,000 individual items which will help us put together more than 5500 care packages for military members deployed in Honduras serving in Joint Task Force-Bravo, Blue Star Moms, Marine Families, Yolo military families as well as Move America Forward and Corporal Palmer Foundation will receive items to send to service members.

As always, this event would not have been possible without the partnership and support from KCRA/KQCA, the Roseville Automall, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sutter Health, and Safe Credit Union.

Check out more the pictures from the event here.

 

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3 Reasons and 4 Ways to #Help1Family on Red Cross Giving Day

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Nearly every eight minutes, the American Red Cross extends a helping hand to a family in need that has lost everything – the roof over their heads, their clothes, their most cherished possessions – to a home fire.

The Red Cross Northeastern California Chapter has been busy helping those affected in and around 13 northeastern counties from Sutter and Colusa to the Oregon Border, but we need your help on one special day to continue to provide the emergency services that your neighbors depend on.

On April 21, you have a chance to help families in need whenever and wherever they need it by participating in the Red Cross’ Giving Day to #help1family. A donation of just $88.50 can provide a family with a day’s worth of food, plus blankets and other essentials.

We are proud of the work we accomplished to help people in Northeastern California last year:

  1. Installing 424 smoke alarms in the community
  2. Providing 380 overnight stays to families in need
  3. Serving 24,000 meals and snacks to people affected by disasters

Spread the word about Red Cross Giving Day – the more people who support Giving day means we can help even more.  Use your social media channels to reach out to friends and family and ask them to donate to #help1family by visiting redcross.org/giving day.

Here are four ways your donation will #help1family:

  1. Supporting a family in urgent need: provide funding to give them a day’s worth of food, blankets, and other essentials.
  2. Supplying warm meals: help provide hearty, comforting meals to those impacted by disasters.
  3. Providing clean-up kits after a disaster strikes: make clean-up kits available for families in need that include vital items like a mop, bucket, and disinfectant.
  4. Deploying an emergency response vehicle for a day: Red Cross workers travel to impacted neighborhoods in fully stocked Emergency Response vehicles to provide food, water and critical relief.

Imagine the impact that we could have on our community if everyone wanted to #help1family.

Pizza Guys Joins Red Cross Giving Day

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Who is hungry for some pizza?!

We are excited to announce that Pizza Guys is kicking off a Red Cross Giving Day Campaign tomorrow!  The campaign begins on Friday, April 15 and runs through Red Cross Giving Day on April 21.

Giving-Day-EblastPizza Guys has 61 stores participating in the campaign located throughout Northern and Central California, as well as Oregon and Nevada.  Throughout the campaign, Pizza Guys employees will as
k customers if they would like to make a donation to the Red Cross at the register.  Customers will also have the opportunity to donate to the Red Cross through the Pizza Guys website.

The best part is that on Giving Day, 50% of online Large and X-Large pizza sales on pizzaguys.com will be donated to the Red Cross when customers use coupon code: REDCROSS at checkout.

Please help us spread the word!  Encourage family, friends and colleagues to get a Pizza Guys this week and on Giving Day.

For more information, please contact Chelsea.Fahr@redcross.org.

 

Countdown to Red Cross Giving Day

On April 21, Red Cross supporters will join together for the second annual Giving Day to make a difference for thousands of families impacted by emergencies. Will you help to spread the word about this incredible day? Sign up to be a Giving Day Social Ambassador today!

Once you join as a Social Ambassador, we’ll share special updates you can post to make sure your friends and neighbors know how to get involved on Giving Day.

 

Home Fire Campaign – Reaching Secluded Areas

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This past Saturday, February 6, 2016, Red Cross volunteers gathered around to knock on doors and help save lives at the Columbia Sky Mobile Home Park in Tuolumne County.

Together with the Tuolumne Fire Department about a dozen volunteers met on the brisk Saturday morning to participate in the first Home Fire Campaign canvassing event in that county.

The day could not have been better, even the deer were out to greet the volunteers and the Columbia mobile home park residents were friendly and receptive.

“All of the volunteers really enjoyed visiting with the seniors,” said Debbie Calcotte, Disaster Program Manager with the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.

In all, volunteers visited 39 homes and installed 51 smoke alarms.

“This was a great kick-off canvassing event for Tuolumne County,” said Lilly Wyatt, Communications Director. “But, we would not have been able to get in to talk to so many individuals and families if it wasn’t for the partnership and collaboration of the Tuolumne Fire Department.”

Anyone is encouraged to sign up and volunteer for future canvassing events across the 24-county Gold Country region of the American Red Cross. Training is provided.

“Today’s event was encouraging,” added JoLynn Miller, Red Cross volunteer. “We heard stories from the people we were visiting on how they actually support the Red Cross with donations and how grateful they were to the teams for being there today.”

The young fire cadets we’re also thrilled to talk to the community about how important fire safety was and help them with fire escape plans and routes.

Data shows that the 4% of homes without smoke alarms represent nearly 40% of the home fires, and that working smoke alarms can double someone’s chance of surviving a fire. That’s why, the American Red Cross is continuing the multi-year Home Fire Campaign, which aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent by the end of 2019.

  •  Installation teams have three goals:
    • Testing and installing smoke alarms and/or replacing batteries (as needed);
    • Educating the resident on fire safety and safety from other types of locally relevant disasters; and
    • Documenting installation information, including the services provided.

The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to join us in taking the two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.

We are in Sonora next Saturday.

Check our our Home Fire Campaign Album on Flickr with images from some of the canvassing events we’ve participated in. 🙂

 

Behind the Scenes with ARCSA

IMG_0458Hello all! My name is Sophie Amirrezvani and I am the president of the American Red Cross Student Association (ARCSA) at Sacramento State.

We are dedicated to fostering a volunteering community within our club. We do a lot of events both on and off campus. I am a second year at Sac State and I remember coming into college knowing that I wanted to be involved on my campus but had no idea what I wanted to do. At the beginning of my first semester I checked out a few different clubs and the only one that really stood out to me was the ARCSA. I really loved Thursdays because not only was it one day closer to the weekend, but I got to go to see my Red Cross friends.

Last year, the club was short on officers so the officers recruited a historian and a secretary. I ended up being secretary and look where that got me. By being an officer I have learned so much more about the Red Cross and all the wonderful services we have to offer. This year I am also a board member, representing Sac State. It is truly inspiring to meet so many people that are so dedicated to helping their community.  I have been volunteering for the Red Cross for just over a year now and have loved every minute of it. If you have not already done so I highly encourage becoming a volunteer! It is a wonderful experience and you get to meet so many amazing peopleIMG_0461

Whenever my mom asks me what I am up too other than school, my natural response is that I’m either volunteering for a Red Cross event or I plan on hanging out with my Red Cross friends. I am so happy to have joined such a wonderful and diverse club. Most people assume that our club consists solely of science major, although for myself that is true, I am a biology major. However, we have members that are majoring in a wide variety of subjects, ranging from criminal justice to computer science to gerontology. Fun fact: there is only one gerontology major in our club and she is awesome!!

A Red Cross Mission Moment

Truckee Air Show

Truckee Air Show

We arrived at the Truckee airport to a crisp cool early morning breeze,  setting up our easy – up tent, tables, literature,  color coded spinning wheel & prize selections.

 All routine tasks for a day of “questions & answers” relating to possible disasters in One’s community. The crowds were growing as we began our mission.

The music playing  was of 1930-1940 era. a few patriotic songs and a pledge of allegiance to begin the air show.

What was not routine was the beautiful sky, filled with wonderful sights of aircraft tricks and spins with incredible speed and ear piercing “roaring Jet engines”  that criss- crossed each other and flew  in very close precision formation.

It was thrilling, to say the least. The men and women of the military and civilian pilots alike were the heroes of the day.

I am guessing there were several hundred people in attendance if not a few thousand. We were kept busy most of the day with lots of Kids!  
The Red Cross Volunteers present were : Tami Martin, Beryl Mayne, Larry & Esther Bousquet of Truckee, Calif.

 A very pleasant day was had by all.

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 From: Beryl Mayne