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  • 06/29/2022 6:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Within the past few days, 6500 ARC retirees have received letters describing the purchase of a group annuity contract from Athene Annuity and Life Company to pay their pension benefit beginning June 30, 2022. The American Red Cross Retiree Association has been briefed on these changes and is prepared to help our members and other retirees understand them.

    Read the Athene Q&A here   

  • 06/01/2022 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    The Atlantic Hurricane Season starts today and runs until November 30. This will be another very active one, according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The American Red Cross urges everyone who lives in hurricane prone areas to make their preparations now and is issuing a call for more people to volunteer to respond to these emergencies.

    For the seventh consecutive year, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting above-average Atlantic hurricane activity, continuing the trend of more frequent and intense climate-driven disasters. The forecast calls for 14 to 21 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.

    The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. However, 2021 was the seventh consecutive year that a storm formed before the designated start of the season, so it’s vital for people who could be affected by these storms get ready now. You can find more hurricane safety information here.

    Download the free Red Cross Emergency app to have severe weather safety information right at your fingertips. The Emergency app provides real-time weather alerts and tips on how to stay safe during severe weather and countless other emergencies. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps.


  • 06/01/2022 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    RED CROSS GETTING READY As hurricane season begins, the Red Cross is also getting prepared to make sure help is available to anyone left in need by a disaster. These efforts include updating response plans in coordination with local partners, refreshing our stock of relief supplies including cots, blankets and cleaning supplies, and recruiting and training new volunteers.

    VOLUNTEERS NEEDED The relentless pace of severe disasters has created additional and ongoing emergency needs, especially for families who have been displaced year after year by extreme weather events. As the growing number of climate disasters threatens lives on a near-constant basis, the Red Cross is growing our volunteer capacity to respond to these emergencies.

    The need to help during disasters has never been greater — join us to provide relief and hope when it matters most. Visit redcross.org to sign up now. These are our most-needed disaster volunteer positions:

    • SHELTER SUPPORT: Help at a shelter during a large disaster by welcoming and registering residents, serving meals, setting up cots, distributing blankets and personal hygiene kits, and providing information and other assistance to people in need.
    • HEALTH SERVICES: Use your professional skills as a licensed health care provider to deliver hands-on support, including care and education to people staying at a shelter during a large disaster. Qualified licenses include RN, LPN, LVN, EMT, Paramedic, MD, DO, PA, NP and APRN.
    • DISASTER ACTION TEAM: While big hurricanes get the most news coverage, smaller disasters such as home fires are no less devastating to those affected. Join your local Disaster Action Team to help families in need by providing food, lodging, comfort, recovery assistance and other support.
    • Visit redcross.org to sign up now


  • 06/01/2022 9:43 AM | Anonymous

    The thoughts and deepest sympathies of the entire American Red Cross family, including retirees,  are with the Uvalde community and all those affected by this heartbreaking tragedy. The American Red Cross is coordinating with emergency officials to provide comfort and support now.

    The Red Cross continues to work alongside other community organizations on the ground in Texas as well as national partners to ensure that immediate needs are being met, to include providing support for a family assistance center and several memorial sites. More than 30 trained Red Cross volunteers are onsite providing mental health, health services and spiritual care support to families who have suffered unimaginable loss and to those in the community who have also experienced emotional trauma.

    Red Cross services to the community will continue in the coming days as the work transitions from the family assistance center to more long-term resilience support.

     Right now, the Red Cross has what it needs to respond to this tragedy and is  not accepting financial or other donations designated specifically for this event. Also, Red Cross cannot accept donations of stuffed animals, clothing, blankets or other items; please contact a local organization — such as a faith-based group, children’s hospital or women’s shelter — to see if they are able to accept such donations.

    While Red Cross does not typically serve hospitals in this area of Texas, the Red Cross stands ready to provide blood and blood products as needed in response to this tragedy. Volunteer blood donors are needed each and every day to help save lives. This tragedy illustrates that it is the blood already on the shelves that helps during an emergency.

    Read more here

  • 05/16/2022 12:12 PM | Anonymous

    In May, the American Red Cross  will team up with community partners to install 50,000 free smoke alarms in more than 50 at-risk communities, as part of its annual Sound the Alarm initiative.

    Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster, with more than 86,000 people relying on the Red Cross for support to recover from more than 23,000 home fires so far this year. These disasters also claim seven lives every day in the U.S. — many in homes without working smoke alarms, which can cut the risk of death by half.

    “Every second counts during a home fire, when you may have as little as two minutes to escape,” said Jennifer Pipa, vice president of Disaster Programs for the American Red Cross. “That’s why Red Cross volunteers and community partners are joining together this May to Sound the Alarm by installing free smoke alarms and sharing home fire safety information with families in at-risk communities.”

    Visit SoundTheAlarm.org to get involved by volunteering at an event near you, making a financial donation or learning how to protect you and your family from home fires.

    ‘IF WE ALL COME TOGETHER, WE CAN ALL HELP’ Rob Griggs and his sister Tricia Costanzo lost their parents and brother a few years ago to a fire in their family’s Ohio home, where there weren’t working smoke alarms. After the tragedy, they began volunteering with Sound the Alarm to help other families stay safe.

    Watch Griggs and Costanzo share their story and why Sound the Alarm is important to their community: https://vimeo.com/694955915

    1,275 LIVES SAVED AND COUNTING Sound the Alarm events are a critical part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which has helped save at least 1,275 lives and install more than 2.3 million free smoke alarms across the country since launching in October 2014. Visit SoundTheAlarm.org for more information about this work with community partners.

    https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/latest-news.html


  • 05/08/2022 4:43 PM | Anonymous

    World Red Cross Red Crescent Day is May 8 on the birthday of Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross Movement. In 1919, after World War I, Red Cross Truce Day honored "the spirit of Volunteers providing medical help to everyone without distinction".   The first Red Cross Day was celebrated on May 8, 1948.   And in 1984, the official title became World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.

    The theme for 2022 is BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF KINDNESS.

    Below is a message from Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General, IFRC...

    Dear colleagues,

    I’m writing to you upon my return from Kenya, where I was on mission to see first-hand the challenges faced by communities affected by drought, and how Red Cross volunteers are supporting them.

    Above all, this crisis is being driven by climate change. Communities here are suffering their fourth season without rain. The areas affected were previously hit by serious flooding and a locust infestation, both of which damaged agricultural land. When COVID-19 arrived in the country, it affected countless livelihoods and reduced the remittances that used to flow from urban to rural areas.

    This is just one complex crisis among many in today’s unsettled and hazardous world. But while disasters, conflict and hardship have always been with us, so too have kindness and hope.

    Thursday, 5 May, was the anniversary of the founding of our IFRC. I wrote some reflections on our history and some of the challenges we are facing today - such as the conflict in Ukraine; the COVID-19 pandemic; and the impacts of climate change. I also recorded a message while in our Regional Office for Africa.

    With challenges like these, I wondered, can a simple idea – like Henry Davison’s 1919 decision to bring National Societies together as a force for good - still help to heal the world?

    I believe it can – and will. Because there are nearly 15 million reasons to have hope: our 14.9 million dedicated Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers giving freely of their time, their skills, and their kindness.

    Together, in 2020, we were able to reach more than 688 million people with disaster and other emergency response services; some 306 million with health activities, and 125 million with clean water and sanitation assistance.

    These volunteers, and 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, were supported by every single one of you – the staff of the global Secretariat. I am so proud of your hard work and the dedication you show every day.

    On World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, 8th May, we will celebrate our volunteers and staff, and every individual act of kindness that brings comfort to people across the world.

    In the Secretariat, we should also take time to thank each other, recommit to supporting one another, and to living the theme of this year’s celebration: believe in the power of kindness, and #BeHumanKIND.

    Best wishes,

    Jagan

    Jagan Chapagain
    Secretary General, CEO

    Read more from the ICRC
    Watch video message from Jagan Chapagain
    Watch video message from World Red Cross Red Crescent Day from Mrs. Mercedes Babe, Chair of the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, Mr. Francesco Rocca, President of the IFRC, and Me Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC

    Special thanks to  Michael Stone, President IFRC Alumni
    https://www.ifrc.org/alumni-association

  • 05/04/2022 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    Events in more than 50 at-risk communities will help protect families against home fires

    This May, the American Red Cross is teaming up with community partners to install 50,000 free smoke alarms in more than 50 at-risk communities, as part of its annual Sound the Alarm initiative.

    Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster, with more than 86,000 people relying on the Red Cross for support to recover from more than 23,000 home fires so far this year. These disasters also claim seven lives every day in the U.S. — many in homes without working smoke alarms, which can cut the risk of death by half.

    “Every second counts during a home fire, when you may have as little as two minutes to escape,” said Jennifer Pipa, vice president of Disaster Programs for the American Red Cross. “That’s why Red Cross volunteers and community partners are joining together this May to Sound the Alarm by installing free smoke alarms and sharing home fire safety information with families in at-risk communities.”

    Visit SoundTheAlarm.org to get involved by volunteering at an event near you, making a financial donation or learning how to protect you and your family from home fires.

    ‘IF WE ALL COME TOGETHER, WE CAN ALL HELP’ Rob Griggs and his sister Tricia Costanzo lost their parents and brother a few years ago to a fire in their family’s Ohio home, where there weren’t working smoke alarms. After the tragedy, they began volunteering with Sound the Alarm to help other families stay safe.

    “If we all come together, we can all help,” Griggs said.

    Watch Griggs and Costanzo share their story and why Sound the Alarm is important to their community: https://vimeo.com/694955915

    1,275 LIVES SAVED AND COUNTING Sound the Alarm events are a critical part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which has helped save at least 1,275 lives and install more than 2.3 million free smoke alarms across the country since launching in October 2014. Visit SoundTheAlarm.org for more information about this work with community partners.


  • 05/04/2022 10:24 AM | Anonymous

    Original post by Susan Malandrino, American Red Cross

    May was officially designated by Congress in 1999 as Military Appreciation Month and reminds Americans to celebrate and pay tribute to past and present military members and their families who have sacrificed so much.

    How the Red Cross Supports the Military Community

    How the Red Cross Supports the Military Community

    Red Cross SAF staff are on more than 100 military installations and deployments sites and at over 140 military medical facilities and 170 veteran care facilities worldwide. Each year,  Red Cross provides emergency services to over 90,000 to members of the military, veterans and their families by leveraging the network of 14,700 Red Crossers to:

    • Help families communicate with their loved ones and facilitate their return home through our Hero Care Network.
    • Offer a variety of free resiliency workshops in-person and virtual to provide military, veterans, their families and caregivers with resources and tools for facing challenges and stress.
    • Medical and non-medical Red Cross volunteers provide care, comfort and therapy items at veteran hospitals and military treatment facilities around the work.
    • Red Cross also supports our nation’s wounded, ill and injured military and veterans of all eras through virtual and in-person peer support to reduce their isolation, and increase their sense of hope, knowledge and skills.
    • For those new to the military community, check out the  ‘Get to Know Us Before You Need Us’ program where Red Crossers meet with new enlistees and their families to answer questions about military family life and share how Red Cross services can help before, during and after deployment.

    How You Can Give Back to the Military Community

    How You Can Give Back to the Military Community

    This year, during May,  turn their appreciation into action. Red Crossers can make a critical difference in the lives of our military families through emergency relief and volunteering.

    • Volunteer with the Red Cross to turn ‘thank you for your service’ into action.
    • Through the Red Cross Hero Care Network, volunteers deliver critical emergency messages for military families separated by deployments, training, and more.
    • Through the military hospital programs, medical and non-medical volunteers are needed to provide patient comfort and care to injured or wounded service members and their families.
    • Support for military mental health is crucial. At the American Red Cross, mental health professional volunteers lead free resiliency workshops for military families in need.
    • If you would like to turn your military appreciation into action, we encourage you to reach out to sign up at redcross.org/volunteer or reach out to your local Red Cross for opportunities.


  • 04/15/2022 1:48 PM | Anonymous

    Posted by the American Red Cross on April 14, 2022

    As conflict in Ukraine continues, the American Red Cross has contributed $12 million dollars toward relief efforts. This support allows the Red Cross network to provide lifesaving aid to those in need — both in the country and in neighboring areas. Currently, an estimated 12 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

    The contribution includes $10 million dollars to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help alleviate the suffering caused by this devastating crisis as well as $2 million dollars to the Danish Red Cross to provide emergency supplies to people displaced within Ukraine. This includes non-perishable food items, first aid kits, blankets and hygiene kits to people fleeing their homes inside the country as well as families sheltering in place and unable to access life-saving supplies.

    Of the approximately 11 million people who have been displaced by this conflict, an estimated 7.1 million are still inside the country and in need of urgent life-saving assistance.

    “With every day that passes, we know vulnerabilities increase. Access to medical supplies, food, water, utilities, and other vital goods and services deteriorates,” says IFRC Regional Director for Europe, Birgitte Bischoff.  “We know there are so many uncertainties for people right now, but one thing that’s clear is the needs are immense, and they will be for a long time.”

    In Ukraine: Aid Amidst the Violence

    Under mortal danger to themselves, Ukrainian Red Cross teams are still working tirelessly to help people and communities impacted by conflict. The constant violence across the country has left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity, water, food. Families are huddled underground for hours on end seeking safety while homes are reduced to rubble. Damaged roads have disrupted supply chains, leaving communities cut off from food and basic supplies.

    In Mariupol, Ukraine, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is making every continual effort to deliver urgently needed aid to the city. On April 6, an ICRC team led a convoy of buses and private cars carrying about 1,000 people to Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. The civilians transported in the humanitarian convoy had fled Mariupol on their own. The ICRC team had tried over the course of five days to reach Mariupol, and came within 12 miles of the city, but security conditions on the ground made it impossible to enter.  Read more here at Red Cross.

    Photos

    At an aid distribution at a local branch in Warsaw, Jenelle Eli of the IFRC is helping unloading the truck. The Polish Red Cross distributes humanitarian aid to people having fled Ukraine. Some of the needed items are food, medicine, hygiene items, bedsheets, coffee, and toilet paper. Photo: IFRC

    1 of 11

    At an aid distribution at a local branch in Warsaw, Jenelle Eli of the IFRC is helping unloading the truck. The Polish Red Cross distributes humanitarian aid to people having fled Ukraine. Some of the needed items are food, medicine, hygiene items, bedsheets, coffee, and toilet paper. Photo: IFRC

    2 of 11

    Slovak Red Cross volunteers work in the first aid room where they examine people fleeing Ukraine and provide medical care for people crossing the border. Photo: IFRC

    3 of 11

    People fleeing from Ukraine wait at Polish-Ukrainian border checkpoint in Przemysl. Children are covered with thermal foil blankets to help protect them from the freezing temperatures. Photo: IFRC

    4 of 11

    Ukranian Red Cross volunteer Sasha Kursova plays with 3-year-old Timur. The Red Cross distributed donated clothing and for children and adults as well as toys in front of the Red Cross branch office in Uzhorod. Photo by Marko Kokic/IFRC

    5 of 11

    9-year-old Alyona came to the Uzhhorod, Ukraine Red Cross branch office with her mother to receive assistance from Red Cross volunteers and is now helping Red Cross volunteer Azia Antciferova sort donated supplies to be distributed to families that need them. “I want to become a Red Cross volunteer and I want to help. Now I now know where everything is so I can help give things way to people,” says Alyona. Azia has been a volunteer since 2015. Three weeks ago, she and her son and husband had to flee their home city of Kharkiv and are now living with a friend in a two-room apartment. Photo by Marko Kokic/IFRC

    6 of 11

    Slovak Red Cross volunteers Katarina Rakicka and Yura Rusunyuk help a refugee family from Ukraine at the Kosice train station, which serves as a transfer point where refugees coming from Ukraine travel onward to other European countries. Duma, his wife Elena and their three children travelled from Dnepr in Ukraine. Duma explained that his home is near an airport in Dnepr which has been the target of a lot of shelling. Feeling unsafe, he and his wife decided to leave. They are headed toward the Czech Republic where Duma once worked and where he knows people. Photo by Marko Kokic/IFRC

    7 of 11

    Ukranian Red Cross volunteer Jana Zovdun distributes donated shoes to an Internally Displaced Person. Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers distributed donated clothing as well as toys in front of the Red Cross branch office in Uzhorod. Many left their homes with what they could carry and are in need of additional clothes as the weather begins to become warmer. Volunteers are also taking the opportunity to collect information about what additional needs people may have. Photo by Marko Kokic/IFRC

    8 of 11

    At a warehouse in eastern Hungary in the town of Debrecen (about an hour’s drive from the Ukrainian border), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has prepositioned truckloads of relief supplies destined for Ukraine. Donated relief items include blankets, tarpaulins, large family size tents, first aid kits for first aiders, hygiene parcels, kitchen sets, mattresses, refillable water bottles, plastic mats and soft drinks. Relief supplies include those provided by the Spanish, French, German, Finnish and Swiss Red Cross and from USAID. Photo by Marko Kokic/IFRC

    9 of 11

    In the Uzhhorod, Ukraine Red Cross Branch office, volunteer Alieksandra Balabanova comforts a beneficiary who breaks down crying. Alieksandra says despite all that has happened in Ukraine, she doesn't cry. "I have to stay strong in order to help others," she explains. Photo by Marko Kokic/IFRC

    10 of 11

    Ukranian Red Cross volunteer Lesya Ivanias gathers information about what help is needed from people displaced by the crisis. Photo by Marko Kokic/IFRC

    11 of 11

    Romanian Red Cross volunteer Andrei give gloves to a child in Siret – a town on the border of Romania and Ukraine. His team helps families fleeing Ukraine by providing basic necessities such as medication, hygiene supplies, food, water, and warm clothes. They also offer mobile phone charging and SIM cards. Photo by Jenelle Eli/American Red Cross


  • 04/03/2022 9:02 PM | Anonymous

    Rumors About the Red Cross In Ukraine: What You Should Know

    Recently posted by the American Red Cross.

    As the conflict in Ukraine continues, each day brings more death, destruction and suffering to people across eastern Europe. For more than a month, the Red Cross has worked tirelessly to support the more than 10 million people displaced during this conflict and has reached more than 750,000 people with life-saving aid, both within Ukraine and in neighboring countries.

    Recently there has been a great deal of misinformation circulating online about the role of our Red Cross partners regarding our work in and around Ukraine. Specifically, false narratives about the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) neutrality and role on the ground have the potential to cause real harm to all of our teams, partners and the many people who need urgent help. As needs increase by the hour, the ability for Red Cross teams to deliver much-needed humanitarian assistance is being jeopardized by the surge of misinformation about the role the organization plays to alleviate suffering in armed conflict.

    These rumors also impact the American Red Cross as many are unclear about the distinctions among ICRC, IFRC and national societies — like ours.

    One claim that has no basis in truth is a false allegation regarding the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in forced evacuations. The ICRC has not been involved with any forced evacuation or forced transfer of civilians into Russia from Mariupol or any other Ukrainian city. To be absolutely clear, the Red Cross would never support any operation that would go against people's will.

    There is another false allegation about the role of ICRC in Russia. To be clear: the ICRC does not want to open an office in southern Russia to "filter" Ukrainians, as many reports are alleging. ICRC is not opening a refugee camp or any other type of camp.

    Here are the claims circulating, as well as the facts to help clarify the truth:

    Claim: “The Red Cross is abandoning people who need help in Mariupol, Ukraine.”

    Fact:

    The human suffering throughout Ukraine, including in Mariupol, is immense. This is an extreme situation where people are facing impossible choices to feed and protect their families, in addition to surviving under an increased attack from Russian forces. An agreement between the parties is urgently needed in order to deliver aid and to ensure the safe passage out for those wishing to leave.

    Currently, hundreds of thousands of people need help in Mariupol, which means a ceasefire needs to hold not just for a few hours, but potentially for days. Specific agreements on location, timing, routes and other details need to be agreed upon to ensure the safety of civilians. The ICRC is not and cannot in any way be the guarantor of a ceasefire agreement between the parties or of its implementation; the ICRC is facilitating the dialogue between the parties on the safe passage of civilians.

    The ICRC has a team in Dnipro (320 km from Mariupol) and is sending aid to both Dnipro and Zaporizhia (220 km from Mariupol). People in Mariupol need and deserve the same, and ICRC stands ready to help if the parties can come to an agreement to do it safely.

    Claim: “The Red Cross is siding with Russia in this conflict and giving up its neutrality.”

    Fact:

    Neutrality is at the core of our fundamental principles, and vital to the work we do every day. Because the Red Cross Movement is neutral, we have access to deliver aid to the most vulnerable people regardless of where they are located. Neutrality also helps the Red Cross do work like protect detainees

    This crisis is bigger than the ICRC and the wider Red Cross humanitarian network. Neutrality and impartiality are not abstract concepts or lofty principles that have no relation to people's real-life experiences. It is a means to an end, a way of working that allows humanitarian workers to reach, help and in many cases save the lives of civilians, no matter what side of the frontline they are on.

    Claim: “The Red Cross should not be meeting with Russian officials.”

    Fact:

    ICRC is a neutral organization whose neutrality is vital in aiding all people impacted by conflict. Maintaining neutrality ensures the organization can advocate respect for international humanitarian law, to protect civilian life and to ensure aid is able to reach people most in need. ICRC has been in dialogue with officials in both Ukraine and Russia to advocate for humanitarian access and protection. Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC, visited Moscow on March 23rd and 24th to continue humanitarian discussions with Russian authorities stressing the importance of safe passages for civilians – including the delivery of humanitarian supplies, protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure and the dignified treatment of prisoners of war. ICRC officials previously met with Ukrainian authorities.

    Meetings like this are lifesaving. The role of the Red Cross Movement is to ensure safe passages from conflict zones for all, including Red Cross staff and volunteers, journalists and medical and aid workers.

    Claim: “The Red Cross is deporting people from Mariupol to Russia.”

    Fact:

    The ICRC does not organize or carry out forced evacuations; their role is to solidify agreements to help people safely flee the violence, and they are working daily throughout affected regions to do so. These understandings are agreed to by all parties to ensure the route is safe, and that information is shared with those seeking safe passage so they can make their own choices. ICRC will continue to do its work to help facilitate the safe passage of civilians as they did previously in Sumy and will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead. On a related note, there are many Russians who live in Ukraine; once this crisis began, some made the voluntary decision to move back to Russia and the ICRC has helped those who wish to go to Russia to do so – but these are voluntary choices for those involved, not deportations.

    Claim: “ICRC wants to set up an office in Rostov, southern Russia, to ‘filter Ukrainians.’”

    Fact:

    The ICRC is discussing opening an office Rostov in southern Russia (where there currently is no office), in order to facilitate the delivery of relief assistance and to support mobile relief teams. ICRC's primary role includes the delivery of emergency services to people in need, wherever they are, which is why new offices need to be established close to areas where humanitarian aid is needed. ICRC already has teams in Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, and Romania.

    For additional discussions on this topic, see this article from International Business Times.



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