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News of interest to ARCRA members

  • 05/07/2021 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is May 8, a time to recognize the work of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff around the world who are responding to the growing needs of communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The incredible spirit of more that  volunteers all over the world during this crisis is not only a cause for admiration but also a source of inspiration for others to get involved too.

    World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is an opportunity to recognize the more than 13 million volunteers for their dedication to the humanitarian cause and Fundamental Principles and to thank them for their kindness, bravery and selflessness.

    Although physically distant from one another, workers and volunteers are truly united in this crisis. During these challenging times, the global network of the Red Cross and Red Crescent demonstrates that it is united in its dedication to help people in distress. This year has been an unprecedented time and one that is pushing humanitarians to adapt to new ways of volunteering and working together for communities-in-need. And in these times of physical distancing, teams have learned to comfort and show solidarity from afar.

    Today’s world is in a state of constant upheaval and permanent crisis, but whatever the problem – a pandemic, natural hazard, the climate crisis, conflict or migration – Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are visible ambassadors for peace and solidarity. They are active players in shaping the future of communities and countries around the world. In these trying times, their commitment and dedication to alleviating human suffering remains strong and powerful.

    Drawing on more than 150 years of humanitarian action, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is committed to providing relevant and timely humanitarian service to vulnerable communities now and into the future. 

    Read more about World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

    Read about World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day on Wikipedia

  • 05/07/2021 10:28 AM | Anonymous

    On this day, also World Red Cross Day, across more than 50 cities nationwide, Red Cross volunteers will meet with families by appointment outside their homes or virtually by phone, to review a home fire safety checklist, create an escape plan to practice their two-minute drill and offer a smoke alarm installation when it is safe to do so.   

    Since the April 8 launch of Sound the Alarm, Red Cross retirees, volunteers, staff and partners have been working tirelessly and safely during COVID-19 to deliver the mission safely to at-risk households.

    This annual Sound the Alarm initiative is a key part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which has saved at least 864 lives since launching in 2014. This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from national partners, Delta Air Lines and Lowe’s, and those of local donors.

    Take the opportunity to pledge to prepare to keep your families, friends and community safe. If you are in a region that had limited volunteer opportunities, there are still ways for you to participate in this year’s activities.

    Read more about Sound the Alarm on redcross.org

  • 05/02/2021 9:36 PM | Anonymous

    The Department of Homeland Security announced that Americans now have two more years to obtain a Real ID driver’s license or identification card.  Every U.S. air traveler 18 and older will be required to present a Real ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification, such as a U.S. passport or military ID, to board a domestic flight starting May 2, 2023.

    Postponing the enforcement of the last phase of the Real ID Act will give motor vehicle departments across the nation more time to process the new credentials after many were closed or reduced services because of COVID-19. Implementation was scheduled to take effect in October.

    Less than half of Americans with a license and state identification card have a Real ID-compliant document, generally identifiable by a star in the upper-right corner.

    Read the announcement from DHS  here.

  • 04/15/2021 10:23 AM | Anonymous

    With parents on the frontline of this pandemic, the Red Cross continues to provide virtual support for the entire U.S. military family.

    Over the last year, families all over the world have been tested – emotionally and physically – by COVID-19. Frontline workers like our U.S. service members have not stopped throughout this pandemic and this service takes a toll on them as well as their kids. That’s why during this April’s Month of the Military Child, celebrating and supporting military children is more important than ever. 

    Read the full story here on Red Cross.org

  • 04/15/2021 10:09 AM | Anonymous

    Published Apr 15, 2021 by Imperial Valley News

    Driving down the highway, Linda Waterman saw a hound dog meandering down the side of the road. She stopped and managed to coax the large, injured dog into her car. After a visit to the vet, "Jasper the Hound Dog" joined her family and started his journey to be part of the American Red Cross animal visitation program at the Army hospital in Linda's community.

    Read more at the Imperial Valley News

  • 03/23/2021 10:15 AM | Anonymous

    The IRS has extended the filing deadline for individual Federal 2020 tax returns and the payment date for any 2020 taxes owed from April 15 to May 17, 2021.

    This extension applies only to individual taxpayers (filing separately or jointly) and does not require a request for an extension.

    The postponement does not apply to estimated tax payments first due on April 15, 2021 for the 2021 tax year. Some tax experts feel that the failure to delay the first quarterly payment largely nullifies the benefit of the extension for those who pay estimated taxes. In most cases, the tax return for 2020 generally has to be completed before estimated payments for 2021 can be calculated. However, if an individual needs to delay paying a large amount of taxes to the IRS for 2020, they could still complete, but not file, the return prior to April 15 in order to see the estimated taxes for 2021.

    Though many states are mimicking the federal change, the IRS extension does not apply automatically to the deadline for filing state taxes. Make sure that you know your state’s deadlines.

    This date change was just announced by the IRS and they plan to issue formal guidance in the near future. Consult with your tax advisor and/or do your own research on which options are best for your federal and state 2020 tax filings.

  • 03/23/2021 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    We all know that things happen that can damage or destroy your homes-natural disasters, fires, broken pipes.  Some can pose a risk to the safety of our family.  Check out these nine tools you can buy to avoid or minimize fires, leaks, floods or the impact of natural disasters:

    1.  Smoke detectors - Having a working smoke detector is the most basic safety measure everyone should take to protect your family and your home.  According to Red Cross, having a smoke alarm can cut the risk of dying in a fire in half.  

    2. Fire extinguishers - Smoke alarms alert us to the fire and a fire extinguisher can help us fight a small fire. Note the adjective...small fire.  According to the Red Cross, if the fire extinguisher does not immediately put the fire out, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE IMMEDIATELY.

    Read the full list here from www.cnet.com

  • 03/17/2021 4:02 PM | Anonymous

    On March 17, the IRS told financial institutions that the initial distribution of the American Rescue Plan stimulus payments would be made according to a bank industry group in a story in the Washington Post.  This initial distribution will include 90 million direct deposits totaling $242.2 billion.. The IRS will then mail an additional 150,000 checks a.

    Following the deposits, the IRS mailed an additional 150,000 checks with a pay date of March 19, totaling $442 million.  These payments will be sent via USPS as a check or debit card.

    You can check the status of your stimulus payment by using the “Get My Payment” tool at irs.gov, which is available in English and Spanish.  

    Click here and get answers to other questions about the stimulus payments from the Washington Post.

  • 03/12/2021 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    AARP Foundation Tax-Aide helps seniors free of charge with tax preparation assistance, especially individuals over 50 or who have low to moderate incomes. You can find Tax-Aide volunteers across the country. They have been trained to understand the latest changes and additions to the tax code. Tax help is provided through a variety of ways to ensure safety due to COVID-19 spread and volunteer availability.

    You can get more information at 1-888-227-7669 or at http://www.aarpfoundation.org/taxaide AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in conjunction with the IRS.

    Click here to get started

  • 03/02/2021 1:46 PM | Anonymous

    Celebrating your 65th birthday doesn't mean you have to stop working.  Many retirees pursue a second career, doing what they love best in the job.  Some retirees turn their hobbies or avocations into a second career.  Other retirees reinvent their careers to influence younger generations, becoming mentors and "wisdom workers," who train, coach, and work with those new to the field. 

    While some older workers need to keep working to cover living expenses like food, rent and health care, others keep working because work brings them pleasure and they enjoy the the challenges work presents.  In fact, individuals age 75 and over, are the fastest-growing group in the labor force.

    Read more at the Washington Post

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