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News of interest to ARCRA members

  • 10/29/2018 6:28 PM | Deleted user

    Everyday dozens of individuals get taken for a ride, believing the person on the phone is calling from Microsoft. Don’t be fooled into paying good money to a stranger who does nothing, or worse, giving access to your computer, passwords and financial information to a SCAMMER.

    You get the call from MICROSOFT.  It starts out as a friendly exchange. When he calls, he sounds real. He is smooth, but he has had plenty of practice.

    If you play along a bit, he will have you hold the Windows key down and press the "R" key. This will bring up a dialog box, into which he will tell you what to type. This will take you to an error log, which will typically show many low level harmless self-correcting errors that your computer logs every minute. This is to gain your trust, and convince you that your computer is malfunctioning.

    Then, he will direct you to a web page where you will download software which gives him remote access to your entire computer, so he can "fix things." He will guide you through the steps to marry your computers together. He will pretend to fix things, and perhaps ask for your credit card for a small payment. Then, he politely says "Good bye." During the conversation, he has downloaded the entire documents section of your computer. He will at leisure browse all your communications, banking, and everything else. You shouldn't store your passwords on your computer, but we all do that, and he knows it. He can and will go into your on-line bank accounts and clean them out.

    The moral of the story…When Microsoft calls, hang up.

  • 10/29/2018 6:20 PM | Deleted user
    (taken from quarterly update of Shaun Gilmore, Chief Transformation Officer)

    Red Cross has made continued progress on the Integrated Community Engagement Initiative which aligns Biomedical Services blood-drive sponsor recruitment roles with Humanitarian Services community-facing roles.  Currently, there are three beta locations testing the new business model.  The reviews have focused on South Carolina and Utah/Nevada, which launched first and have been operating under the new model since May 1.  The third beta site, Missouri/Arkansas has been delayed until November. Remarkably, South Carolina has been able to successfully continue beta operations while responding to Hurricane Florence and now Michael and is assessing work during a large-scale disaster response. 

    The timeline for the national rollout is being developed based on feedback from the various stakeholder groups involved in the beta sites.  The process is taking longer than expected due to the intense and complex integration process.

  • 09/28/2018 9:37 PM | Deleted user

    Region Representatives  play the important role of supporting our 20 Affiliated Groups located around the country. Positions in the Northeast (CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, PR, RI, VT & U.S. Virgin Islands) and the Midwest (IA, IL, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI, IN, KY, MI, OH) are either open now or will be in January 2019. To receive a job description and additional information, email ARCRA President Michael Carroll  at carrollm1298@gmail.com. Although some time and enthusiasm are required, these positions are not overly burdensome and offer the reward of helping Red Cross retirees to stay connected through participation in a Group’s activities

  • 09/28/2018 9:29 PM | Deleted user

    You may have heard that new Medicare cards are being mailed to everyone with Medicare. Hang tight — mailing takes some time across the country, and you might get your card at a different time than friends or neighbors in your state. In fact, spouses living at the same address may get their cards at different times if they signed up for Medicare in different years. In the meantime, keep using your current Medicare card until your new one arrives.

    There are 3 ways to find out when you should expect your new Medicare card in the mail:

    • Check out the map on Medicare.gov/NewCard.
    • Keep an eye on your email for an email notice when new Medicare cards start mailing in your state.
    • Log in to your MyMedicare.gov account to see if your new card has mailed. Don’t have an account yet? Sign up now at MyMedicare.gov —  it’s a free and secure access all your Medicare information.

    Here are 10 things you should know  about your new Medicare card.

  • 09/28/2018 9:22 PM | Deleted user

    Do you feel bogged down by your stuff?  Fully 48 percent of Americans say that their homes are full of stuff that they no longer need or use.  Some 9.4 percent of us are renting storage units to house our stuff.  The Journal Environment and Behavior found that students living with a cluttered and disorganized kitchen ate almost three times as many cookies as students living with an organized one.

    Take Charge of your clutter in 4 easy steps.  Start small with a closet or chest of drawers or designate ten to fifteen minutes a day to declutter.

    Start by putting things in one of four boxes:

    1.    KEEP-things you regularly use

    2.    SELL/DONATE-things you no longer use, are in good shape and might be of value or needed by someone else

    3.    TRASH-broken, dirty, and unusable items-remove to the trash can immediately

    4.    STORE-things with which you cannot bear to part

    Read more on the clutter study and link between clutter and overeating.

  • 09/07/2018 11:02 AM | Deleted user

    by Jenelle Eli, American Red Cross August 27, 2018

    Senator John McCain—a long-serving legislator and a fierce advocate of the Geneva Conventions—passed away on Saturday, August 25, at the age of 81. During his time as a lawmaker in the United States, Senator McCain consistently spoke out against torture and urged for humanity in war. His life and legacy has profoundly influenced United States law and policy, and left an impression on the hearts of many.

    His experience as a detainee during the Vietnam War forged his convictions about the rights of prisoners and inspired him to speak out against torture.

    “War is wretched beyond description, and only a fool or a fraud could sentimentalize its cruel reality. The Geneva Conventions and the Red Cross were created in response to the stark recognition of the true horrors of unbounded war. And I thank God for that. I am thankful for those of us whose dignity, health and lives have been protected by the Conventions,” remarked Senator McCain in 1999.

    Senator McCain continued, “I am certain we all would have been a lot worse off if there had not been the Geneva Conventions around which an international consensus formed about some very basic standards of decency that should apply even amid the cruel excesses of war. Again, I am proud to salute the promise of humanity represented by the Conventions and the Red Cross. And I accept with gratitude my personal debt to everyone involved in defending human dignity with courage and dedication.

    Senator McCain’s advocacy for the greater good is best articulated by the man himself, who said at a celebration for the 50th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, “I discovered that nothing is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself; something that encompasses you, but is not defined by your existence alone.”

    The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are international treaties that contain the most important rules limiting the barbarity of war. They protect people who do not take part in the fighting, such as humanitarian aid workers, medics, and civilians—and those who can no longer fight, such wounded, sick and shipwrecked soldiers and as prisoners of war.

    They form the core of International Humanitarian Law: a set of rules which seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict by protecting persons who are not or are no longer participating in the hostilities and restrict the means and methods of warfare. Learn more about the Geneva Conventions here.

  • 08/30/2018 4:34 PM | Deleted user

    (You must be a member and logged into the site to read the full Annuities Primer)

    As of last fall, many Red Cross retirees are receiving their benefits in the form of an annuity, in most cases from Athene, Aetna or John Hancock Financial.  ARCRA has created an Annuities Primer on its website that explains what it means to retirees to have their benefits provided through an annuity rather than through the American Red Cross defined benefit pension plan.  Basically, an annuity is a contract.  For a lump sum payment up front, an insurance company agrees to make periodic payments over the life of the contract.  In this case, the contract guarantees payments to Red Cross retirees for the remainder of their life.  In 1989, and again in 2017, Red Cross shifted some of its legal obligation to provide pension benefits out of the defined benefit pension plan and into annuities.

    ARCRA has looked into the State Guaranty Associations that provide a safety net for annuity recipients by guarantying the payment of your pension in the extremely unlikely event that the financial institution who provides your monthly annuity payment fail. You can find this Annuities Primer in the members section of the ARCRA website.   Read more about how State Guarantee Associations work to protect your ARC pension benefit

  • 08/30/2018 4:24 PM | Deleted user

    What should you do if someone calls and asks for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information? Hang up! It’s a scam. Scam artists may try to steal your personal information by calling you and asking for your current Medicare Number to get your new Medicare card.

    Medicare will never call uninvited and ask you to give personal information or money to get your new Medicare Number or card. Click here to Learn what to do if you get a suspicious call.

    Remember: Your new Medicare card will automatically come to you in the mail. You don’t need to do anything, as long as your address is up-to-date with the Social Security Administration. If you need to update or verify your address, visit  My Social Security account.

  • 08/30/2018 3:56 PM | Deleted user

    All over the world, thousands of people have gone missing due to conflict and disaster. The lasting impact on the loved ones of the missing is immeasurable. August 30, 2018 is International #DayoftheDisappeared, and today the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) commemorates those who are missing and those suffering in their absence.  

    On the International Day of the Disappeared, the delegation of the ICRC in Israel and the Occupied Territories highlights the families of the missing Israelis and Palestinians who continue to live the nightmare of not knowing what happened to their loved ones following the 2014 conflict in Gaza. 

     Read more at the ICRC and Wikipedia.

  • 08/17/2018 3:27 PM | Deleted user

    Background: Sunday, August 19, is the UN-recognized World Humanitarian Day – a day to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service and to rally support for people impacted by crises around the world. As conflict rages and families remain stuck in tragic circumstances not of their making, aid is needed more than ever. But health and aid workers – who risk their lives to care for people affected by violence – are increasingly being targeted.

    Check out...
    International Services YouTube playlist 

    Website: Redcross.org/international

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