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News of interest to ARCRA members

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  • 12/02/2021 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    From a post on the Red Cross Blog December 1, 2021

    Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, has played a pivotal role in U.S. history. From establishing the first free public school in Bordentown, New Jersey to helping wounded soldiers and reconnecting missing soldiers with their families after the Civil War, only scratch the surface of her harrowing life. With a vast number of accomplishments, here are seven facts you may have not known about her which we hope will inspire you to be as bold as Clara and lead like her.

    A unique birthday, for a unique person
    Clara Harlowe Barton was born on Christmas day, December 25, 1821, in North Oxford Massachusetts. Clara was the youngest of five children.

    A Love for Teaching, (but with Equal Pay)While still a teenager, she began teaching school near North Oxford, Massachusetts at time when most teachers were men. The school offered her a position in the winter months with the same lower pay she received for the summer months. She stated “I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.” Clara’s resolve and sterling reputation as a teacher won out and she was paid the same as the male teachers. Go Clara!

    Read the blog post on Redcross.org

    Watch Youtube video

  • 11/30/2021 6:17 PM | Anonymous

    2021 marked one of the country’s most active years for severe weather — which battered many communities still reeling from last year’s disasters. For thousands of people in need, the Red Cross launched a new major relief effort every 11 days to provide refuge, food and care.

    This year, a family displaced by a disaster in the U.S. spent an average of nearly 30 days in a Red Cross-supported emergency shelter. These extended stays were largely due to a lack of savings and community housing shortages — signs that climate-driven disasters are compounding the financial hardships of the pandemic.

    Red Cross volunteers also provided free services such as food, relief items, health services and emotional support — and distributed emergency financial assistance to help more than 211,400 people with urgent disaster needs, such as making a deposit on a new apartment or replacing lost clothing.

    To meet the increasing needs of hospital patients, the Red Cross distributed 250,000 more blood products in 2021 than last year, until the delta variant began to spread in August. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year — one of the largest year-to-year decreases that could threaten essential medical care for patients.

    As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. Blood donations are desperately needed now to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

    All those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec.16 will automatically be entered for the chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film The Matrix Resurrections. Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.*

    This holiday season visit redcross.org to make a financial donation or an appointment to give blood or platelets. You can also learn about volunteer opportunities in your community and give back in honor of American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, whose 200th birthday will be commemorated on December 25.

    Read more at RedCross.org

  • 11/23/2021 12:47 PM | Anonymous

    Lots of families use the Thanksgiving weekend to decorate their homes for the holidays.  Candles are very popular, especially around the holidays, but candles cause about 20 home fires a day on average in the U.S.  And, December is the peak month for home candle fires. If you’re decorating with candles this holiday season, consider using the battery-operated kind. If you must use candles, keep them away from anything that could burn, and place them out of reach of pets and children. Never leave burning candles unattended.

    Follow these tips from the Red Cross to keep your holidays safe:

    • Check all holiday light cords to ensure they aren’t frayed or broken. Don’t string too many strands of lights together — no more than three per extension cord.
    • Turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house.
    • Ensure outside decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.

    Click here for more tips from the Red Cross.

  • 11/22/2021 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    This year people all around the world have faced dire conditions and emergency needs stemming from the challenges of the pandemic, climate change and global conflict.

    Around the globe, COVID-19 has converged with severe drought and conflict, creating massive humanitarian needs for a growing number of displaced families. According to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, some 84 million people were forcibly displaced this year.

    The world’s most vulnerable people are most affected by these struggles. After living through perilous journeys, migrants often arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They are desperate — hungry, exhausted and frightened. Be it unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border, displaced families from Afghanistan at U.S. military bases or migrants in distress in the Mediterranean Sea, the American Red Cross has been there to provide medical assistance, emotional support and critical relief items.

    This year, at the request of federal government partners, Red Cross workers distributed more than 2.1 million essential items — blankets, diapers, medicine and toys — for evacuees from Afghanistan, as well as unaccompanied children seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

    Read more at Red Cross.org

  • 11/21/2021 11:37 AM | Anonymous

    As you get ready for the big Thanksgiving meal think about adding some healthy treats for your pups to the festivities.

    • Sweet and regular potatoes-great source of fiber but avoid the salt, butter, and sour cream
    • Apples-source of vitamin A & C but remove the core and skin
    • Turkey-remove skin, seasoning, and bones
    • Green beans-source of fiber, manganese and vitamin K and C.  Share before you make the traditional green been casserole.
    • Plain cooked fresh pumpkin-no pie and spiced canned pumpkin pie filling

    Serve all of the above in moderation.  Check with you veterinarian before making changes to your pet's diet.

    For more information check the American Kennel Club

  • 11/04/2021 3:32 PM | Anonymous

    Intercross is launching a special season of podcasts starting November 4, 2021. In episode #117, Intercross goes deeper to tell the stories about the people and the work of the ICRC throughout the world, and also talked with experts about today’s biggest humanitarian challenges. Leave a comment, email our editor Niki Clark, or contact us via Twitter. Don't forget to subscribe to Intercross wherever you listen to your podcasts. 

    Right now, world leaders are in the Scottish city of Glasgow for COP26 – the United Nations climate change conference. 
    The stakes could not be higher. 
    Sea levels are rising. Heatwaves, droughts, floods, and wildfires are more frequent, more intense, and threatening the survival of humanity.
    In a brand new episode, we hear from our communications colleague in London, Sam Smith, who’s been closely following this story for the past year, writing about the very real human impacts of climate change in a conflict zone. 
    He talks to ICRC experts on the ground, in some of the most climate vulnerable places in the world and asks, What happens when climate change and conflict collide? 

    Click here for show notes, key takeaways and more resources




    Mark November 18th on your calendar for the next episode. Here's a little more on that one: 

    In this episode, we meet Walter, an American Red Cross volunteer in the state of Missouri who works as a therapy leader for incarcerated veterans. Along with the American Red Cross, we delve into the challenges that many face coming out of the military service, and the services the American Red Cross is providing to those who find themselves incarcerated in the U.S.

  • 10/29/2021 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    With COVID-19 vaccines readily available and nearly 60% of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, Halloween may look a bit different than last year, but with the ongoing pandemic, there are still safety factors to consider when planning Halloween activities.

    Here are some steps and things to consider helping keep you, your families and communities safe and healthy, whether you and your families are going out trick-or-treating or staying home to hand out candy.


    • Make your cloth mask part of your costume. A costume mask is not a safe substitute for a cloth mask. Avoid wearing a costume mask over a cloth mask as it can make breathing difficult.
    • Plan outdoor activities and avoid indoor events where the risk of virus transmission is higher.
    • Bring hand sanitizer with you while trick-or-treating and use it after touching objects or other people. Wash your hands when you get home.
    • Avoid trick-or-treating in large groups, and social distance from others around the neighborhood.
    • Make sure trick-or-treaters can see and be seen. Give kids a flashlight to light their way and consider adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
    • Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. Avoid running. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cross between parked cars.
    • Only visit homes that have a porch light on, and never go inside.
    • Make sure a grown-up checks the goodies before eating. Make sure to remove loose candy, open packages and choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.

    Staying Home Handing Out Candy

    • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
    • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters by setting up an area with individually bagged treats for kids to take. Wash your hands before handling treats.
    • Maintain social distancing and wear a cloth mask.
    • Light the area well so young visitors can see.
    • Sweep leaves from your sidewalks and steps. Clear your porch or front yard of obstacles someone could trip over

    Read the Red Cross press release here

  • 10/07/2021 11:37 AM | Anonymous

    It’s been more than a month since the deadly Hurricane Ida devastated communities from Louisiana to the Northeast and people are still out of their homes, dealing with temporary living quarters and losing everything they had.

    The American Red Cross and partners are still there, continuing to work around the clock to provide recovery help after the storm changed lives forever. Follow Red Cross work here.

    Hundreds of people impacted by Ida are still depending on the Red Cross and partners for safe shelter in Louisiana and New Jersey. Since Ida first threatened the U.S., more than 40,000 total overnight stays have been provided.

    As many as 330 trained Red Cross workers are supporting the relief efforts, either on the ground or virtually. In total, some 3,000 disaster workers from all over the country have helped on the Red Cross Ida relief effort.

    Read more and see photos here

  • 10/05/2021 4:36 PM | Anonymous

    The blood supply in the United States is dangerously low – an uncommon occurrence for this time of year. It is safe to donate blood and all eligible individuals – including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine – are encouraged to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets now to ensure that blood products will be available for all patients when needed.

    Blood centers across the country are currently reporting low blood supplies as the Delta variant continues to spread. With the recent COVID-19 case surge and the busy back-to-school period, some blood collection organizations are experiencing an abnormal decline in donor turnout; others are experiencing blood drive cancellations at schools and businesses limiting the number of individuals allowed onsite as a precautionary pandemic practice. These collection challenges have disrupted the nation’s blood supply, resulting in concerningly low inventories of life-saving blood products across the country for patients in need.

    Fall is typically a time when the blood supply is more stable – If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, hospitals may be forced to alter treatment for some patients or cancel some patient surgeries. Blood donations are needed now to help maintain optimal care for all patients.

    AABB, America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross are joining together to urge eligible, healthy individuals to contact their local blood center and make an appointment to donate blood. Doing so is essential to maintaining the stability of the nation’s blood supply, which ensures life-saving medical treatments are available for patients.  

    To read more go to RedCross.org

    Today and through the coming months, blood collection organizations across the nation need the support and generosity of blood donors to help save lives. Please contact one of the following organizations to find a local blood collection site and to schedule an appointment to donate:

  • 09/08/2021 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    Alongside partners, the Red Cross has mobilized hundreds of trained disaster workers and relief supplies to shelter and support thousands of people in evacuation shelters from Texas to Florida following Hurricane Ida.

    The American Red Cross is working around the clock across several western states to help people impacted by the massive wildfires which have forced tens of thousands of people from their homes. The Red Cross is also actively helping people affected by additional wildfires in Oregon, Nevada and Montana. The National Interagency Fire Center reports 85 large fires currently burning, and 42,423 wildfires in the U.S.

    Haitian Red Cross teams are active in the wake of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake which struck Haiti on August 14.  More than 700,000 were injured, thousands killed, and the island experienced severe damage to infrastucture. Haitian Red Cross staff and volunteers are responding alongside local authorities. The global Red Cross and Red Crescent network has activated its emergency response system and is identifying urgent needs on the ground, as well as, preventing and controlling the transmission of COVID-19 and guaranteeing access to water, hygiene and sanitation 

    Read current updates on Red Cross response to these and other disasters at https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/latest-news.html

    HOW YOU CAN HELP Support people affected by disasters like fires and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

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