Thanks to Fox40 for sharing the work that we do at the American Red Cross and thanks to the Girl Scouts for putting extra love in making the kits.
We would like to share this special ‘full circle moment” that showcases how our work is impacting people every day.
Email from Jennifer Loncaric Subject: What we do works.
“I thought you might like this. That’s a note my daughter wrote when she helped make comfort kits with Jasmine a few months ago. The girl holding it was also there helping that day. She is Trina’s (my co-leader) step-daughter. Their house was burnt early Sunday morning after a mortar hit the front porch. We don’t know how long they will be displaced, but the Red Cross visited them today with some help. It’s a beautiful thing to see the joy on her face from something so small in such a tragic time for her family. I am overwhelmed with emotion knowing my girls have had such a local and personal impact.”
Thanks to the kind efforts of local girl scout troops, many families struck by home fires have received useful Red Cross Comfort Kits during such a stressful time in their lives. Jasmine Su an HSS instructor and Girl Scout troop leader helped to create these kits through the help of her troops. Here is a picture of one of her troop members holding a very heartfelt message which was addressed to the family that suffered from the tragedy.
We take much pleasure in sharing this moment to demonstrate the positive support of these young ladies during times of stress.
Red Cross volunteers are unlike any other. Not only do they help individuals and families when any disaster big or small affects their communities, they also go above and beyond to help in every area of our operations. What makes our volunteers unique is the bond they form amongst other Red Cross volunteers – they become an instant family.
Today, it’s a somber day for our family of volunteers in Modesto and the entire Gold Country region as we said our final good bye’s and recollected the impact one of our own made in our communities.
Our passionately devoted volunteer Debbie Brasher passed away at home peacefully in her sleep. During her celebration of life, it was clear that she touched hundreds of people’s lives. A church full of family and friends recalled her eagerness to serve, passion for volunteering at various organizations and her desire to keep smiling and make other people grin.
Debbie volunteered for the Red Cross in our Modesto office for more than five years. Since her first time she stepped inside the office, she began training, being proactive in projects, taking a leadership role and making things happen.
“Debbie was a hard worker and a treasured volunteer,” said Debbie Calcotte, Disaster Program Manager for the Gold Country Region. “She never said no. She would take the time to do whatever assignment accurately with a smile on her face and a great attitude.”
Mrs. Brasher was involved in Red Cross event coordination for both public events as well as events organized by the chapters. She helped with documenting future shelter locations and was part of a Disaster Action Team. Debbie was deployed to Washington to assist providing food and water to clients affected by the fires a couple of years ago.
Debbie, a long-time Hughson resident began volunteering for our organization after a long career in the California court system first in Alameda County and then in Stanislaus County where she held the positions of Assistant Administrator and most recently, IT Director. She was especially honored of her volunteer work with the American Red Cross and missionary service work in India and Mississippi.
“Debbie was always compassionate towards other volunteers, everything she said was always positive,” recalls Liza Cruz, a Red Cross employee. “She is surely going to be missed.”
When people see the Red Cross responding to emergencies, they often want to help but don’t know how. We want to help you get involved now, before a major disaster strikes.
Our volunteers respond to a local emergency every 11 hours. In these events, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, and health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. Although the Red Cross is not a government agency, it is an essential part of the response when disaster strikes. We work in partnership with other agencies and organizations that provide services to disaster victims.
Most of you have probably noticed reports of several fires in our region. With our record drought conditions, it will not be surprising to have many more, and the danger of a big fire is greater than ever.
The Red Cross has had a presence in the Gold Country region for over 100 years with a modest number of dedicated individuals. Now only a very small number of volunteers remain to provide initial help to folks who have lost their homes, who need a place to stay, food, and maybe critical prescription medications. These same volunteers are regularly the ones to start the process of setting up evacuation centers and shelters for large disasters.
If our local volunteers are not available because of vacations or illness, volunteers from Yuba City or Sacramento will respond, but driving time will insure it won’t be as prompt. Consider your family standing beside the ashes of what used to be your house without money, credit cards, car keys, phone and phone numbers, only the clothing on their backs – would waiting an extra hour or two for help make a difference?
You can make a difference by volunteering with the American Red Cross. We’ll find the position that appeals to you and allows you to use your skills and talents. Requirements are few: 18 or over, retired or with a flexible work/school schedule. We do require a background check of all our volunteers, We do this to ensure both our volunteers and clients have a positive interaction with the Red Cross .
We have several areas where you can get involved, from communications/public affairs to disaster response and recovery, fundraising, preparing the community for a disaster and general administrative support. For more information or to sign up visit: www.redcross.org/GoldCountry.
Sign up for the Team Red Cross App, which allows you to sign up to help, get an overview of basic tasks and receive notifications about Red Cross disaster volunteer opportunities in your community.
At the Red Cross, we understand how one dedicated person – despite the odds or circumstances – can have a profound effect on a community or an individual. For Chicago Red Cross Volunteer Laura Landoe, the difference she makes is quiet and intimate.
Landoe is one of a handful of volunteers who work with the No Veteran Dies Alone program at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center at Great Lake Naval Station in North Chicago, Illinois. The No Veteran Dies Alone is a palliative care program designed to provide the best quality of life for patients who no longer respond to medical treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities across the country.
Landoe’s role is to provide companionship and assistance, giving constant bedside comfort and most importantly, ensuring that no veteran faces death alone. There are times she holds a veteran’s hand, talks with them, reads to them and sometimes, sings hymns to them.
This Memorial Day as we fire-up the grill, head for the swimming pool, gather with family, and celebrate the start of summer, let us stop and remember the real reason for this holiday. It’s an opportunity to honor the men and women who have given their lives in service of their country while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces – and people like Landoe who serves our country in her own special way.
For more information about Services to the Armed Forces at the American Red Cross Gold Country Region, click here.