Friday, December 21, 2012

A special wish to Santa from Central Valley second grader

It is that time of the year, for girls and boys to make their wishlist asking Santa to bring them a gift. This caring Kirk Elementary second grader, Emilio, asked Santa to give the people who survived Hurricane Sandy all his presents and house. He also hoped it doesn't rain.

This was all little Emilio wanted and Nurse Stephanie felt that there had to be something she could do to help make his wish come true. A friend of Nurse Stephanie took on the task of making Emilio's wish a reality. The friend called the American Red Cross Central Valley, and made a donation to help those that were affect by Hurricane Sandy. When the story of the little boy's wish hit the office, the staff felt that this kind of selflessness deserved more than a simple "Thank You" letter.The Preparedness Prep Squad put a small gift together and planned a surprise visit to Emilio's school. Sandra present Emilio with a Certificate of Recognition and his gift to let him know that Santa made a donation in his name to help Hurricane Sandy survivors. The smile on Emilio's face when he received his certificate and gift let us know that he felt his wish was granted. It is nice to see a little boy wanting to help people he has never meet and people who went out to make his wish come true.
Emilio receiving his certificate and gift.
This is what Christmas is about, helping others.
Be kind to each other and have a Safe and Happy Holidays.

Emilio's joy upon opening his gift and finding a stuff Mickey Mouse,
 a Red Cross mes sager bag, and Red Cross T-shirt.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Follow American Red Cross Fire Safety Tips This Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the American Red Cross Central Valley Region encourages families to prevent kitchen fires by taking some basic safety measures. In the U.S., Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires, 90 percent of which are caused by unattended cooking. 

We all think of Thanksgiving as a time for family, good food and football, but it’s also prime time for cooking fires. Taking a few simple precautions can help everyone have a safe and happy holiday.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—potholders, wooden utensils, food wrappers or towels away from your stove top.  
  • Have a “kid- and pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove.
  • Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.

Follow safety tips year round
Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms. Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.

Create and practice a first escape plan. Ensure that household members know two ways to escape from every room.

If a fire occurs in your home, get out, stay out and call 9-1-1. Crawl low under smoke and stop, drop and roll if your clothes should catch fire.

Visit for more information about fire safety and prevention.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October is Zombie Preparedness Month!

Just a few more days left in the month of October. Are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse?! If not, then it is time you get ready. Once you are prepared for a zombie apocalypse, you are prepared for any type of emergency.
                                                                             (Credit to the CDC.

To get prepared follow the 3 basic emergency preparedness steps
                                                                          ( Credit to the CDC.
When making your zombie preparedness kit, don’t forget to include the basic essential items and then add your zombie necessities.
·         Water (one gallon per person)
·         Food (non –perishable, high in protein)
·         Flashlight
·         First Aid Kit
·         Medications (Prescription and non-prescription)
·         Battery operated or crank radio
·         Tools (can opener, wrench, screw driver, hammer etc.)
·         Clothing (change of clothes, sturdy shoes, gloves and a blanket)
·         Sanitary supplies
·         Cash
·         Contact information
·         Map

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently offering Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse. Also, check out their Zombie Novella!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Reflection: Central Valley Veterans Stand Down

 The Central Valley Veterans Stand Down took place last month, September the 18th through the 21st. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to volunteer at such a wonderful event on behalf of the American Red Cross. It is an event that has a lasting impact on the lives of both those who volunteer and receive services.
 For those who are not familiar with what the Stand Down is I will further explain. The Stand Down is an event organized by the organization, Central Valley Veterans with the help of numerous agencies and led by Director John Schuler. The event lasted 4 days and offered veterans services and homeless veterans were able to stay overnight at the facilities. Among the services offered included, application for California Identification Cards, Social Security Cards, employment opportunities, medical referrals and mental referrals. Veterans that chose to stay overnight at the facility were provided meals, clothing, personal hygiene supplies and access to showers. Among the list of presenters at the opening ceremony was the mayor of Fresno, Ashley Swearengin and Secretary of California, Department of veteran Affairs, Peter Gravett.
 Every year the Red Cross participates in this extraordinary event by providing comfort kits. The comfort kits include items such as shampoo, soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste. In addition, the Red Cross provides cots for the veterans that are staying overnight at the Stand Down.
 The Stand Down is an amazing event for so many reasons. It provides a safe place to stay for homeless veterans and provides easy access to services that they are in need of, but were out of reach of. Veterans who participate are given items they can use there and take with them when they leave. For the 4 days Veterans receive 3 meals a day. A person should never have to worry where their next meal will come from, something so many of us take for granted. There is a sense of unity that you can feel. Everyone there was either a veteran or has a passion for helping veterans. When you join the military you enter a brotherhood and sisterhood that is life long, being at the Stand Down I could definitely feel that. As a veteran you are surrounded by people who fought the same battles, who made the same sacrifices and felt that same pain and fears.
 Personally, I absolutely loved volunteering at the Stand Down, it fed my passion. As a volunteer I was welcomed by John Schuler and the veterans assisting with the event. I remember looking around in awe of everyone there, each generation, knowing that they have fought for our country and now we must fight for them. These veterans are struggling, but I loved that during this event they can gain resources and hope. Seeing everyone laugh and share stories was priceless.
 I, along with the American Red cross want to do everything that we possibly can to help military members, veterans and their families. I highly encourage everyone to become involved and help at this event next year.

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Member, Jessica!!

The door at the American Red Cross is one that is revolving. We are people helping people. You can receive services and later join our amazing team as a volunteer or staff member and give back. My own personal journey began in February when I was a student at Fresno State. Thrilled, I joined the American Red Cross office in Fresno as a Service to the Armed Forces Intern. As an intern I had the opportunity to gain leadership experience while doing exactly what I love, providing services in the time of need to military members and their families.  During my time spent as an intern I also learned various skills and had the opportunity to teach the community how to be prepared in the event of a natural or domestic disaster. I took advantage of my internship and learned all that I could about Red Cross services and how we help people. At the end of the day nothing matters to me more than helping my community in any way that I can. Therefore, I greatly appreciate the opportunity the American Red Cross has given me to join the team as an AmeriCorp member. I will now serve as a Preparedness Coordinator and will work out of the Visalia office, serving the counties of Kings, Tulare and Kern.

Bakersfield Preparedness Rally
(Left, me & Right, Gaby)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Earthquake App

Are you ready for some BIG news?!... The official American Red Cross Earthquake app was launched today! This new and informative app is FREE for iPhone and Android platforms. Not to mention as a way to provide easy accessible information to as many people as possible, the app is currently available in both English and Spanish.
The earthquake app is the third in a series of apps launched this year by the American Red Cross. First in the series was the First Aid app, providing information regarding asthma attacks, bleeding, broken bones, burns, choking and the list goes on. The Hurricane app was launched second, providing information and locations of Red Cross shelters. During Hurricane Isaac app users were able to send “I’m safe” messages to loved ones. The just released Earthquake app will provide information on what to do before, during and after an earthquake. As a part of the app, new “Shake Zone Impact Maps” will provide app users with specific local information regarding the status of their community.
Features of the app include:
§  Earthquake epicenter location, impact magnitude and local geographical impact data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey;
§  Personalized push notifications, monitoring both magnitude and geography;
§  A “Shake Zone Impact Map” that provides real-time, simplified impact assessment when available;
§  Comprehensive reporting of all seismic activity for every geographic area in the United States;
§  Options to view the app in English or Spanish based on user handset settings;
§  One touch “I'm safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm's way;
§  Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
§  Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan;
§  Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
§  Information on events that may happen after earthquakes such as fires and tsunamis;
§  Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
§  Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

We are putting lifesaving information right into the palm of your hands. I encourage everyone to download this FREE amazing lifesaving app today!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

National Preparedness Month Kick Off

Without much settling in time, I was tasked with helping organize rallies, presentations, and world record breaking events! It's been a whirlwind 2 weeks into September - National Preparedness Month. The first weekend started with an incredible world record breaking event at the Fresno State Bulldog Football team's first home game. At half time we trained the entire stadium of some 20,000+ people in hands-only CPR. While it was amazing to witness so many people yelling "Are you okay?" to their imaginary victims, my favorite part was going through and shaking the inflatable tunnel to the field at half-time and pretending I was a football player prepping for a big game.

Almost a full stadium at Fresno State's opening game!
We broke the world record!

Back in the office the following week, we jumped into final preparations for the Prep Rally we were hosting that coming Saturday. The event was a huge success and due to our meticulous planning and organizational skills (applause) everything went smoothly and without too much undue stress. We had a big turnout and all the participants said they really enjoyed the event.

People getting involved at the Prep Rally.
Thanks to these amazing student nurses we taught
115 people hands-only CPR at our Prep Rally!

Later that night it was time to relax at the Taste of River Park event benefiting the American Red Cross. The place was packed. I got to taste delicious food and wine while watching ribbon dancers, a PG&E check presentation to the Red Cross, a fashion show and a jazz dance group. Needless to say by the end of the night I was exhausted, but it was completely worth the effort!

My calendar is filling up and I just wonder how I'm going to fit everything I want to do and learn into the short 9 1/2 months I have left.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Newest Americorps NPRC Members

My name is Cayce and, along with my cohort Jessica Marquez, I am the newest and first Americorps National Preparedness and Readiness Corps (NPRC) member of the American Red Cross Central Valley Chapter. Based out of beautiful Fresno, California, my job for the next 11 months will be to prepare the communities of Fresno, Madera, Merced and Mariposa Counties for disasters and provide relief efforts in the unfortunate event of a disaster. 

My very first, first-hand experience with the Red Cross was in 2007 when I was sent to do research in the Saharawi Refugee Camps located in Algeria among a desolate expanse of the Sahara Desert. Here I saw tireless relief efforts by the Saharawi Red Crescent (SRC) in conjunction with the Algerian Red Crescent (ARC). When Morocco invaded its southern neighbor, Western Sahara, in 1975 the Saharawi Red Crescent was established to provide relief efforts to the people of Western Sahara and to help establish a refugee camp across in Algeria. Today all the aid coming into the camps is channeled through the SRC and ARC. In a place where few survive, the Saharawi people have united and organized themselves in a way that has allowed them to survive and grow to a population of 165,000 over the past 37 years. The SRC and ARC could always be found at community centers handing out food rations, propane tanks, and other necessities. Working in places like this and seeing the efforts of humanitarian aid workers like the Red Crescent is what inspired me to want to make this my career.

Mustafa, 4, overlooking the Saharawi Refugee Camps
After returning home, I completed my Bachelor's in Anthropology from UC Santa Barbara, backpacked Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, and interned with human rights based non-profits along the way. Returning home once again, I started looking for jobs in human rights work and realized that the UN, Amnesty International and International Committee of the Red Cross all required higher degrees and more experience to get the jobs I wanted. So I went to Kingston University in England to complete my Master's in Human Rights, interned and volunteered with more non-profits, then finally came back home to California to pursue a slightly less up-and-go lifestyle. 

Cayce in Palermo, Sicily 2011
Through a series of unlikely events - having to waitress for 8 months, chatting to a customer about her work, finding out she works for the American Red Cross, and finally getting the"in" I needed to land a job in the field I've been wanting to work in - I got the NPRC position with Americorps and the American Red Cross Central Valley Chapter. So now I get to be the crazy person who dreams of going into desolate, conflict ridden, disaster prone areas and finding out what I can do to help. So I am happy to be sitting here, watching storm maps and teaching my neighbors how to be resilient in the event of a disaster.

Monday, May 21, 2012

News Release: Save the Date to Save-A-Life!


Visalia, CA, May 21, 2012— Are you and your family prepared to take care of your own needs for the first 72 hours of a disaster or an emergency? The most common disasters in the Central Valley are home fires, power outages and wild fires. Due to the extreme lack of rainfall this year, we are anticipating extreme fire potential this summer. We know it’s not if there will be a disaster, but when will it happen. Will you be ready when the time comes?

The American Red Cross Central Valley Region is working every day to ensure our communities are ready for emergencies by training individuals in lifesaving skills. By fostering a culture of readiness through personal preparedness and collaboration between local organizations, communities become much more resilient and are able to quickly recover following a disaster.

At Save-A-Life Saturday, on June 9th, 2012, the American Red Cross in partnership with Southern California Edison will be giving free presentations to help you learn crucial, lifesaving skills in disaster preparedness, basic first aid, and hands-only Citizen CPR. The classes are non-certified, shortened versions of Red Cross training courses, lasting approximately half an hour and offered multiple times throughout the day. Join us on Saturday June 9th at the Visalia Mall from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm to learn how to prepare you and your family, your business and your schools for a disaster. The training is FREE, so bring the entire family and enter to win disaster preparedness kits, and receive free giveaways and information.

This event is part of the American Red Cross Central Valley Region’s Prepare Central Valley initiative, sponsored in part by Southern California Edison, works to empower community organizations and local residents in the Central Valley with the skills and tools they need to effectively prepare for and respond to emergencies.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

American Red Cross Responds to 66th Fire of the Season.

Fresno, CA, April 5, 2012— Local American Red Cross volunteers responded to a residential fire on the 1200 block of San Bruno Ave in Fresno, CA at approximately 3:05AM this morning. The team of Red Cross volunteers helped coordinate assistance in the form of food, shelter, and emotional support to the 4 adults who were affected by the fire.  This marked the 66th fire the Central Valley Chapter has responded to this year. Last year, the Central Valley Region responded to 545 fires.

“We’re deeply saddened for those affected,” said Ellen Knapp, Regional CEO.  “As we continue to provide support to those affected, we also encourage others to take action to minimize the risk of a home fire.”

The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan. 
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including bedrooms.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. 
  • Have a plan in place can help you escape, including at least two ways to escape from every room of your home and a meeting spot at a safe distance from your home. 
  • Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice a year.

Red Cross volunteers on the scene were members of the Chapter’s Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.

For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit or

To make a financial donation to your local Red Cross to help people affected by house fires and other disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text - visit, or call (559) 455-1000 or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Japan: One Year after the Earthquake and Tsunami

One year following Japan’s tragic earthquake and Pacific tsunami, the country is firmly on the path to recovery.

“Donations to the American Red Cross have helped hundreds of thousands of disaster survivors and are serving a critical role in recovery plans,” said President and CEO Gail McGovern. “Whether it’s offering emotional support to someone struggling with trauma, building much needed healthcare facilities, or providing appliances to a family moving into a temporary home, the Red Cross is helping the Japanese people look to the future.”Donations to the American Red Cross have helped the Japanese Red Cross:

  • Provide more than 316,000 survivors with necessary appliances for their temporary housing, including refrigerators, washing machines and rice cookers.
  • Support construction of four temporary hospitals, one permanent hospital and a community health clinic.
  • Rebuild a Red Cross nursing school that will train specialists in disaster medical care
  • Provide more than 87,000 people with health services through Japanese Red Cross mobile teams and temporary clinics.
  • Comfort 14,000 people by counselors trained to deal with disaster-related trauma.
  • Provide transportation and vaccinations for the elderly and educational support, temporary school gyms and play areas for children.
  • Improve the disaster response capacity of the Japanese Red Cross, so critical to saving lives.
"Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has generously donated funds through the American Red Cross and national societies in many other countries,” said Tadateru Konoe, president of the Japanese Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross. “Through your support we have been able to help survivors regain their resilience and also increase our preparedness to face up to potential future disasters."

The American Red was one of the largest private, international contributors to the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami response, raising more than $312 million. One year later, virtually all of the funds have been spent. Because of these donations, the Japanese Red Cross was able to bring emergency comfort to those living in shelters and later able to provide the supplies and services needed to help them get back on their feet.

Japan: One Year Later (Video)

In the last decade, Japan’s Ministry of Education has responded to market imperatives and a need for managers with specialized skills by increasing the number of graduate programs. But Japan's new professional and graduate programs have experienced chronic under-enrollment -- basically, no one is showing up to class. Now the Ministry of Education is playing catch-up to market these educational programs to a very truant bunch of students.

It is not hard to determine why Japan’s graduate classrooms sit empty. For one thing, the promise that graduate programs offer does little to remove the stigma associated with continuing education courses. Traditional definitions of success lead many professionals to fear that they will be perceived as less competent if they pursue education after they have entered a professional career. In the past, Japanese companies have also based career advancement on seniority. An extra one or two years in school has often meant falling behind less educated counterparts who move faster up the corporate ranks.

As Japan approaches the first anniversary of the crisis that transformed the nation, global attention will undoubtedly focus on the progress that the country has made in resurrecting its physical infrastructure. Restoring homes, roads, hospitals and schools, and mitigating the damage of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl certainly deserve our attention and reflection. Still, it is important to remember that solving the social and economic problems that Japan faced before the crisis are just as critical.

The unique skills that graduate programs offer will play a vital roll in managing Japan's long-term recovery. If students and professionals continue to avoid higher education, Japan will find itself ill-equipped to maintain its revival. Considering how many people have been displaced and how much there is yet to be rebuilt, it may be worthwhile for the Ministry of Education to encourage distance learning or online graduate programs. Because online schools are more cost-efficient, offer the ability to reach a larger audience across vast distances, and provide the opportunity to study while working full-time -- thereby avoiding the stigma of a late entry into the workforce -- they may be the perfect tool in ensuring that once Japan's physical recovery is complete, the nation will have an educated workforce capable of leading an economic recovery.

To get involved in Japan's recovery, donate to:
American Red Cross presents Japan One Year Later Japan One Year Later

This video was sent in to the American Red Cross Central Valley Region and asked to be shared with you our loyal readers.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Red Cross Month 2012 - Presidential Proclamation



After more than 130 years of providing humanitarian relief at home and abroad, the American Red Cross remains a reflection of the compassion and generosity central to our national identity. At moments of profound need, the actions of men and women across our country reflect our noblest ideals of service -- from search-and-rescue teams that brave disaster zones to ordinary citizens who deliver not only lifesaving care and supplies, but also hope for a brighter tomorrow. During American Red Cross Month, we pay tribute to all those whose dedication to relieving human suffering illuminates even our darkest hours.

A visionary humanitarian and unyielding advocate for those in need, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881 after many years of tending to soldiers and families injured in war's wake. In the generations that followed, the American Red Cross served as a force for peace and recovery during times of crisis. Presidents of the United States have called upon the American Red Cross time and again, beginning when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Red Cross Week during the First World War, and continuing into the 21st century.

Today, emergency response organizations like the American Red Cross continue to play a vital role in responding to disasters that cast countless lives and communities into harm's way. When devastating storms struck cities spanning the Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard this past year, the American Red Cross and other relief organizations were instrumental partners in preparedness, response, and recovery. And when a devastating earthquake shook Japan's Pacific coast, they answered by extending support to the people of Japan and standing with them as they rebuild.

We are reminded in times like these that the strength of our humanitarian response and the measure of our resilience are drawn not only from the committed action of relief organizations, but also from individuals who step forward, volunteer, or give what they can to help their neighbors in need. With generous spirits and can-do attitudes, Americans from every corner of our country have come together again and again to show the true character of our Nation. As we celebrate American Red Cross Month, let us resolve to preserve and renew that humanitarian impulse to save, to serve, and to build, and carry it forward in the year to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America and Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2012 as American Red Cross Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, and by supporting the work of service and relief organizations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Just In Case You Missed Team Firestopper In Your Community!

Team Firestopper hosted an event on Saturday, February 25, 2012 to help support fire safety in Fresno’s Highway City Community. This seminar was to help encourage all the residents of this area to be aware of fire hazards, what to do in case of a fire, and how to save someone if CPR was needed. Prior to the seminar, 50 families were able to sign up to get a free fire safety kit, which included things like a fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, and a smoke detector.

There were a total of 56 families in attendance on Saturday, I believe that we did have a great turn out, and everyone that participated had a great experience, and walked away with a lot of information and knowledge on how to be prepared in case of a fire. Once families were registered they were able to go to one of the many booths that were set up, which were ran by volunteers. The booths consisted of hands only CPR, getting a kit ready in case of a fire, learning how to use various fire safety equipment like a fire extinguisher, planning a fire escape route out of the house, pet fire safety, and as well as a PG&E booth. Free lunch was provided to everyone who participated, which was a plus and a great way to end the whole event. Document protection boxes and first aid kits were raffled off at the end, with almost every participant leaving home with some fire safety prize in hand. Overall, the event was great; everyone met someone new, participants left with free prizes, and we had great weather!

Volunteering at this event meant that I was helping these families to potentially save a life if needed. I was placed at the hands only CPR station and I felt that many of the participants did not know how to perform CPR, if they did, they needed to refresh their memories on some of the exact steps to take. Volunteering, especially for an event like this, is very rewarding. Knowing that you have taught these families something important, that hopefully they will remember and use in case of an emergency is gratifying. I feel volunteering is a way to meet other volunteers and community members; it is a way to find out about problems in the community, and if possible finding a way to try to fix them. Helping others when it is needed most and giving back to the community is what volunteering is all about.

Alyssa Tapia, Intern
Preparedness Services

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Look, Same Red Cross.

The American Red Cross officially unveiled its new logo in early January, featuring the iconic Red Cross in a button, to symbolize the personal investment of volunteers, employees and supporters in the Red Cross mission. The Red Cross, one of the world’s most recognized and trusted brands, has historically represented hope, safety on the battlefield, and care in crisis.

This new look is designed to reflect the organization as it is today: modern, authentic and innovative. The updated identity is meant to appeal to both long-time Red Cross supporters and an entirely new generation of volunteers and donors, eager to show their affiliation with the organization. This presentation of the Red Cross logo is similar to the lapel pins and buttons worn by Red Cross supporters in the early part of the 20th century.

While most people think of disaster relief and blood donation when they think of the Red Cross, the updated brand identity is meant to invite people to learn more about the organization and its mission.”We want to show more people how they can be part of a Red Cross that intersects with their lives in many ways,” said Peggy Dyer, chief marketing officer of the Red Cross. “We’re proud of both our history and our future. We look forward to telling our story to a wider audience and the new brand identity is an important step in that process.”

The American Red Cross will continue to roll out its new look when it debuts a redesigned corporate website later this year. The new site will feature the logo button, updated graphics and an enhanced use of photography. It will also feature user-generated content to allow individuals to share their Red Cross experiences.

The American Red Cross is currently developing a public-service ad campaign that will feature stories of people whose lives have been touched by the Red Cross mission.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Truly Serving our Armed Forces - Welcome Jessica!

Some people have to spend half of their lives searching for the answers that will lead them to the discovery of their “life purpose”, but as for me that is completely opposite. At a young age I came to terms with the fact that my very purpose in life is to help others and save lives. Since then I have dedicated my life to providing assistance to those in need and helping empower the people within my community.

It is my life experiences that have fueled my passion to work with veterans, military members and their families. One day I stopped and took a moment to reflect upon the people around me, it is then that I realized I was surrounded by real life heroes. I am a daughter, niece, cousin and friend of a veteran. These men and women have touched my life and serve as my inspiration. I know first hand about the sacrifices and experiences that military members and their families make. Therefore, my ultimate goal is to volunteer and obtain a career within an organization that provides services to promote the health and well being of military members and veterans.

Conducting my internship at the American Red Cross and working with their Service to Armed Forces program has given me the ability to work with veterans, military members and their families. I have the opportunity to provide services that will have a lasting impact on the lives of military members and their families. I can relate to the challenges and at times overwhelming emotions that my clients are experiencing and I want nothing more than to provide them with comfort, reassurance and quality services.

On behalf of the American Red Cross Central Valley Region we would like to welcome Jessica Marquez to the Services to the Armed Forces department.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up!

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work...

PHILIPPINES: Last week a magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit western Visayas and some parts of northern Mindanao in the Philippines, claiming at least 22 lives with a further 71 people missing and 52 injured. Within hours of the earthquake the Philippine Red Cross, with the support of the IFRC, deployed 500 food packs, 1,000 bottles of drinking water, 1,000 sleeping mats, 1,000 blankets, 500 jerry cans, 30 tents and one mobile warehouse to serve as the temporary hospital.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Early this month a ferry carrying at least 560 passengers sank off the north coast of Papua New Guinea. Two weeks later, over 180 people were still missing with authorities believing the death toll could reach at least 200. Staff and volunteers of the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society have been at the scene of the disaster since the accident occurred, offering counseling to relatives of the passengers waiting anxiously on shore and carrying out small distributions of emergency relief supplies.

SYRIA: Relief efforts continue in Syria as the violence escalates. Over the weekend Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoys reached the cities of Homs and Bloudan, providing much needed food, medical supplies, blankets, and hygiene consumables to thousands of people. The Syrian Red Crescent and the ICRC are planning further missions to continue providing humanitarian aid to people affected by the unrest.

BANGLADESH: Throughout the last decade, the ICRC has been working with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to promote international humanitarian law to authorities in Bangladesh. Last week deans and department heads of 35 public and private universities in Bangladesh met to discuss the inclusion of international humanitarian law in their curricula. Additionally, this week the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an anti-crime force, is participating in an ICRC training course on humanitarian principles and international human rights law in domestic legislation.


ICRC = International Committee of the Red Cross
IFRC = International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Team Firestopper Is Fire Proofing The Highway City Community. Are You Prepared?

The American Red Cross Central Valley Region will be visiting the Highway City community to educate residents about fire prevention on Saturday, February 25th, 2012 from 11:00AM – 1:00PM.

American Red Cross volunteers will host a Fire Safety Seminar at Central Community Church in Highway City where participants will learn how to conduct a home hazard hunt, perform a safety makeover, and help families develop a disaster plan through a program called Team Firestopper.

There are simple steps that everyone can take to protect their home and family from fire. Team Firestopper shares this information with people in communities that are disproportionately affected by fires. As part of the program the Red Cross will be distributing FREE smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, surge protectors, and disaster preparedness kits to the first 50 families to register by calling the American Red Cross Central Valley. Participants must reside within the 93722 zip code. Pacific Gas & Electric Company presents Team Firestopper through a million dollar campaign that encourages Valley residents to Be Red Cross Ready by following these three steps. Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Informed.

The American Red Cross Central Valley Region Team Firestopper program will work to prevent home fires in neighborhoods with typically high incidences of home fires to create a disaster-resistant community.

If you currently live in the Highway City community please call (559) 455-1000 to register for Team Firestopper!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up!

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work...

SYRIA: Violence in Syria continues with one of the latest casualties being the secretary-general of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Dr. Abd-al-Razzaq Jbeiro. Dr. Jbeiro was shot in a vehicle clearly marked with the red crescent emblem after attending meetings at Syrian Arab Red Crescent headquarters in Damascus. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent, IFRC, and ICRC are renewing calls for an end to violence, while volunteers continue to administer life-saving first aid to the injured.

IVORY COAST: Following the second round of presidential elections in late 2010 where both candidates claimed victory, tension and violence grew into a full-fledged armed conflict in Ivory Coast. In the chaos, hundreds of children lost contact with their families. The ICRC and the Liberian Red Cross have registered around 600 children separated from their parents and areworking to bring the children back their families.

PHILIPPINES: As tens of thousands of survivors in Mindanao, Philippines enter their second month of uncertainty, the Red Cross is announcing plans to drastically increase its support to communities affected by December’s Typhoon Washi. The revised operation will see the Red Cross provide 2,000 families with cash or other livelihoods support as well as reaching 15,000 families – an estimated 75,000 people – with food, water storage containers and hygiene kits. In all, the Red Cross now intends to reach 100,000 people through these various interventions.

SUDAN: For Darfur's pastoral communities, livestock is essential for their sustenance and constitutes the backbone of the local economy. The lack of rain, desertification and prevailing insecurity has stressed herding communities into animal overcrowding at the few options remaining, leading to increased risk of disease. The ICRC has been extending its support by training animal health workers and through large-scale vaccination campaigns in remote areas of Darfur, and in response herders are reporting a dramatic decrease in the number of animals they are losing to disease.


ICRC = International Committee of the Red Cross
IFRC = International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies