Midwest Extreme Weather: The Red Cross Response

Motorists are  stranded along I-45 along North Main  in Houston after storms flooded the area, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Overnight heavy rains caused flooding closing some portions of major highways in the Houston area. (Cody Duty/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Motorists are stranded along I-45 along North Main in Houston after storms flooded the area, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Overnight heavy rains caused flooding closing some portions of major highways in the Houston area. (Cody Duty/Houston Chronicle via AP)

The Red Cross is helping people in Texas and Oklahoma where devastating floods and tornadoes pounded the states over the weekend. More than 220 people spent their Memorial Day in Red Cross shelters in the two states. Governors in both states declared disasters in more than 80 counties after the extreme weather destroyed or damaged thousands of homes and left thousands without power.

In addition, Red Cross disaster mental health counselors are reaching out to recent victims on-the-ground in Texas. Read how counselors like Richard and Carolyn Newkirk use their specialized skills to counsel children and more in a new article.

All in One Day


All In One Day

All in one day, a home fire, a hurricane, or even a sudden accident can change a person’s life, leaving him or her feeling helpless. Thanks to generous donors, the Red Cross is able to respond, providing hope and lifesaving assistance when it is needed most.

Home Fires are the biggest disaster threat people face in this country. Every eight minutes, someone in the US the Red Cross responds to the home fire. Last year, the Gold Country Region alone responded to 645 local disasters.

Most of these disasters never make the news. That doesn’t mean these disasters are any less devastating to the families affected.

On June 2, 2015, the entire American Red Cross community will unite to launch our first nationwide Giving Day.  Our goal is to inspire the single largest day ever of giving to the Red Cross outside of major disasters.  Families, friends and coworkers across the nation will come together to sustain critical Red Cross support.  All in one day, thousands of people will help ensure that survivors of disasters large and small, patients in need of blood, and military families will not face crises alone.

How can you help?

116427-Giving-Day-Web-Banner-250x250-FINALMake a Gift

When you make this gift, you go all in—providing aid to military families, ensuring a stable blood supply for our nation, saving children  around the world from preventable diseases like measles, providing lifesaving trainings, and enabling the Red Cross to respond, on average, to a staggering 190 disasters each and every day. Your gift on or in advance of Giving Day will help ensure the Red Cross is there for years to come.

SET IT AND FORGET IT

For those who like to plan ahead (or are worried you’ll forget come June 2), we set up a Giving Day donation option just for you!

Now through June 1, you can simply visit the Giving Day website, enter your information, and your donation will be processed on June 2 along with all other Giving Day donations.

This method frees up your time on June 2 so you don’t miss out on being a part of Giving Day activities in your community.

HOW WILL I MAKE AN IMPACT ON GIVING DAY?

One day can change a person’s life in a way they didn’t expect, in a way that left them feeling helpless. Your support allows the Red Cross to be there so people in need can get back on their feet.

People like Pablo in Calaveras, who overcame a tragic house fire; “The Red Cross gave me hope. They showed me the best in people.”

Or Denise, a client from the Boles Fire in Weed: “When you give even a little from the heart, it means the world to someone who has lost so much.”

Thanks to generous people like you, the Red Cross is able to respond to emergencies and provide life-saving training.

HOW ELSE CAN I HELP?

You can also sign up to be a Giving Day Social Ambassador. We’ll provide a toolkit with easily customizable, click and paste social posts and images for you to use. It’s easy to sign up – go to https://givingday.redcross.org/#ambassadors

Thank you for helping to bring more good days! #allin1day

On June 2, let’s go “all in” and make this day count. Schedule your donation today for Giving Day at redcross.org/givingday. You can also help build awareness by using the hashtag #allin1day on Twitter and Facebook.

Nepal from the eyes of the American Red Cross CEO/President Gail McGovern

CEO and President Gail McGovern and Chief International Officer David Meltzer recently returned from visiting Nepal following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake. During their time in country, they visited remote communities impacted by the disaster, and spoke with earthquake survivors as well as Nepal Red Cross employees and volunteers, many who lost everything in the earthquake but continue to help others in need.

In this video, David interviews Gail about what she saw on the ground, what is most needed, and how our work in Nepal helped prepared many people ahead of the destruction.

Also see Gail’s blog:  Gail McGovern: Stories of Resilience from Nepal.

And remember, our community was able to raise close to $445 thousand dollars during the KCRA telethon just a few days after the quake. Thanks again!

What it Means to Give Back as a Red Cross Volunteer and Staff Member

Written by Debbie Calcote, Disaster Program Manager (Tuolumne & Stanislaus Counties), Red Cross Capital Region

Debbie Calcote (R) provides direction for Red Cross volunteers during a recent fire safety canvassing event in Turlock, CA.
Debbie Calcote (R) provides direction for Red Cross volunteers during a recent fire safety canvassing event in Turlock, CA.

In 2005, like many other people, I was devastated by what I was seeing in the media about Hurricane Katrina.  The sadness and total devastation of so many things and people was almost more than I could bear.

My heart went out to all impacted by this rage of Mother Nature. I needed to do something only I was caring for my disabled husband and couldn’t leave the area. So I went to the local Red Cross office and offered to help in any way. Continue reading What it Means to Give Back as a Red Cross Volunteer and Staff Member