Spotlight On Local Volunteer Cristen Hodgers

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We are so excited to announce that Cristen Hodgers has been appointed to serve a 2 year term on the American Red Cross National Young Professionals Council.  This advisory board, comprised of 12 young professionals from across the nation, provides strategic advice to the Office of the National Chair of Volunteers and seeks to leverage the work experience and broad skill sets of young professionals to further the mission of the American Red Cross.

Cristen is a member  and vital asset of our Southern Nevada chapter and we could not be more proud of her for this recent appointment.  She has served the chapter as Disaster and Emergency Services Volunteer Lead and Interim Regional Disaster Program Officer. Currently, she is the volunteer counterpart to the Service to the Armed Forces Director, chair of the Red Cross Young Professionals’ Alliance Board, a disaster training instructor and a disaster responder in Mass Care Operations. Outside of the Red Cross, Cristen works at Pebble Black North America as Director of Strategic Development.

Cristen is passionate about finding ways to mitigate disasters while taking the best possible care of people, their personal assets and their surrounding environment. She has presented her research on effective interdisciplinary disaster education strategies at the 18th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine and was honored to be selected as a delegate for the United Nations 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.  She is a member of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine and the International Association of Emergency Managers.  When she is not volunteering or working  you can often find her outside exploring the Nevada desert.

Thank you Cristen for all that you do in service to the Red Cross.

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Blood Drive August 20th 3pm-7pm

American Red Corss Blood Drive

American Red Corss Blood Drive

We are in the midst of the 100 most deadly days of summer but at the same time we also have 100 days of hope! Hope that our community will respond to our call for much needed blood donations.

We have had 80,000 fewer blood donations since May than expected!

If you are looking for a way to help your community but don’t have a lot of time to give then joining us for our blood drive on August 20, 2014 from 3:00pm -7:00pm is the perfect way for you to give back.

Bring a friend! If every donor now through the end of summer brought a friend to donate, we could prevent an emergency situation.

Spaces are limited so for more information and to schedule your appointment please call (702) 369-3149 today!

You can also reserve your appointment time by logging on to redcrossblood.org and enter the Sponsor Code: So NV Chapter.

As an added bonus all presenting donors will receive 2 tickets for the Marc Savard Comedy Show at the V Theatre and be able to enter to win a $100 gift card (drawing to be held at the end of August)

If you have questions regarding your eligibility to donate blood, please call 1-866-236-3276.

American Red Cross – Southern Nevada Chapter
Blood Drive
August 20, 3:00pm – 7:00pm ( by appointment only)
1771 East Flamingo Road – Training Room
For appointments call (702) 369-3149
Blood is especially needed this time of year, your donation could help save the lives of countless individuals.

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American Red Cross To Hire AmeriCorps Positions in Las Vegas, NV

 

With nearly 100 years of service in the Southern Nevada community, the American Red Cross has changed with the times to ensure care for the needs of our community. As we continue to find ways to expand our services, local opportunities to help deliver the Red Cross Mission become available.

The American Red Cross is looking to fill 3 AmeriCorps positions in our Las Vegas Region for local projects. Two of the positions will be Preparedness & Response Specialists, and the third will be a Youth Engagement Specialist.

The Preparedness and Response Project will engage two AmeriCorps members from September 2014 to July 2015 in Las Vegas, NV. AmeriCorps members will provide leadership and support to increase preparedness and response through engagement of the community in various projects in both the urban Las Vegas area and assigned rural communities. Direct service as an on-call Disaster Action Team member responding to local disasters (usually house fires) and possible deployment to a disaster beyond the local area should be expected.

The Preparedness & Response Specialists’ position will focus on the following duties:

  1. Recruit, train, and lead volunteers to increase disaster response capacity
  2. Conducting community disaster education (CDE) to ensure families are better prepared for disaster
  3. Respond directly to local and beyond local disaster events
  4. Complete one service project aligned with Red Cross mission consistent with NPRC program intentions

The Youth Engagement Project will engage one AmeriCorps member from September 2014 to July 2015 in Las Vegas, NV. AmeriCorps members will provide leadership and support to increase preparedness and response through engagement of youth in various projects in both the urban Las Vegas area and assigned rural communities. Direct service as an on-call Disaster Action Team member responding to local disasters (usually house fires) and possible deployment to a disaster beyond the local area should be expected.

The Youth Engagement Specialist’s position will focus on the following duties:

  1. The growth and development of local Red Cross Clubs within the Clark County School District, local colleges, universities, and other youth organizations that would be interested in having a Red Cross Club.
  2. Conducting community disaster education (CDE) to ensure families are better prepared for disaster
  3. Respond directly to local and beyond local disaster events
  4. Complete one service project aligned with Red Cross mission consistent with NPRC program intentions

AmeriCorps NPRC members are Full-Time and expected to serve a minimum of 1,700 hours during their 11 month term of service. Members must be available during normal business hours, Monday to Friday from September 02, 2014 to July 31, 2015. Due to the nature of our program, there will be times when members are required to serve after normal business hours including nights and weekends, sometimes on short notice.

Program Requirements

  • Willing to make an 11 month full-time commitment and complete a minimum of 1700 hours of service.
  • At least 18 years of age by the start of the program.
  • A U.S. Citizen, U.S. National or lawful permanent resident alien of the U.S.
  • High school diploma or its equivalent. College degree highly desired.
  • Current valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.
  • Lift 35 pounds. Sit and stand for long periods of time.
  • Ability to live and work in compromised environments including sleeping on a camping cot in a congregate shelter during times of deployments
  • Previous successful experience working with diverse populations.
  • At least one year of volunteer or community service experience.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent public speaking skills.
  • Ability to be deployed on national, regional and local disaster relief operations lasting three weeks.
  • Demonstrated professionalism, flexibility and initiative.
  • Team-oriented.
  • Bilingual Spanish a plus.

Program benefits: NPRC members will be provided:

  • $15,500 living stipend for 11 months of service.
  • Upon successful completion of the program, eligible for an education award in the amount of $5,645 which can be used to pay educational costs at eligible post-secondary educational institutions (including many technical schools and GI-Bill approved educational programs), as well as repay qualified student loans.
  • Health insurance provided. Childcare available if eligible.
  • Student loan deferment or forbearance

For more information: Tiffany Updike, 702-531-0232 or tiffany.updike@redcross.org

 

 

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Red Cross Pillowcase Project: What Will You Take When Emergency Strikes?

By Melissa Watson-Coetzee

We can’t stop disasters (though we wish we could) but what we can do is be prepared when disaster strikes.  The Pillowcase Project is an initiative that was inspired by the ingenious children that began using their pillowcases to grab their most cherished belongings during Hurricane Katrina. The goals of The Pillowcase Project are to:

1. Help students become familiar with the types of disasters that affect our local area such as earthquakes,  fires and floods.

2. Inform students and, by extension, families about the importance of creating a disaster preparedness kit and plan.

What we have found is that by teaching one child about disaster preparedness through the Pillowcase Project we are able to teach an entire family. The American Red Cross of Southern Nevada is a huge supporter of this national initiative and  we are currently offering free classes for elementary school children to teach them about Emergency Preparedness. Just this week,  we worked with a local Las Vegas Valley Girl Scout camp to teach the scouts how they can help their families be prepared for and what to do during a disaster.

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If your class or organization would like to have this fun and useful presentation delivered free of charge, please email Sean Ward at sean.ward@redcross.org. He would be delighted to arrange a presentation with your school or organization.

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Red Cross Pet First Aid Skills May Have Saved Two Young Lives Today

 

With 30 years Red Cross experience, Doni Ward-McAllister has been a leader for nearly every line of service in the Red Cross. Currently in Preparedness Health and Safety, Doni put her Pet First Aid skills to work today when she happened upon these to little gals in our parking garage this morning. Only a couple weeks old, Doni brought the kittens inside, and has been nursing them back to being alert and wiggling around.

Knowing what to do when a pet is in distress can make the difference in their survival. The American Red Cross offers Pet First Aid to instruct participants on the various responses they might encounter with animals.

This weekend, the Southern Nevada chapter is offering a chance for you to learn what to do in case of a pet emergency. On Saturday, June 14, from 10am to 2pm the Pet First Aid class will be offered in Las Vegas. If you’d like to join in, go here and sign up!

But if you can’t make it to the class, you can still arm yourself with great information. Red Cross has a Pet First Aid app for smartphones that gives you valuable first aid information right in the palm of your hand. You can learn more about the app here.

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Night of 50,000 Lives Continues to Grow

Due to the outpouring of support we’ve received from the community, we are going to continue to raise money for the Measles and Rubella Initiative through the end of August.

This will allow groups to take to the streets and enlist their friends and co-workers in helping to ensure that a child can get a vaccination, and that measles and rubella can hopefully be eradicated by 2020.

You can still make a contribution to the cause: a donation to the Measles & Rubella Initiative which runs through the end of August.  Help us reach our goal of saving 50,000 lives here.

More information on the Measles and Rubella Initiative here.

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Red Cross Response to Devastating Southern and Midwestern Storms

 

The American Red Cross is responding across the South and Midwest to help people affected by the massive storm system that has destroyed neighborhoods and left thousands without power.

 

Red Cross workers opened or supported community shelters in seven states Monday night including Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Virginia. More than 100 people sought refuge in the shelters and many more visited them for meals and information about what help is available. If someone needs to find a shelter, they can contact their local Red Cross chapter or access the Red Cross shelter map on redcross.org, which is updated every 30 minutes with shelter locations by address, city, state and/or zip code.

 

Red Cross workers are providing health and mental health services and Red Cross emergency vehicles are distributing food and relief supplies throughout the affected states as weather conditions permit. The Red Cross is mobilizing additional disaster workers and emergency vehicles to move into the affected states to provide additional help when it is safe to do so.

 

“It’s heart wrenching to see the destruction this storm has caused and that so many people have lost everything,” said Richard Reed, senior vice president, Disaster Cycle Services for the Red Cross, who is in Arkansas. “Red Cross workers are here now, providing shelter, food and comfort, and we’ll be here for weeks to help people as they begin to recover.”

 

STORM STILL A THREAT More than 75 million people are still at risk from this storm system which threatens communities from the southeast coast to the Great Lakes and into the Mid-Atlantic region. Parts of Alabama and Mississippi face the highest threat today in communities already battered by the storm Monday.

 

DOWNLOAD TORNADO APP People should download the free Red Cross tornado app onto their mobile devices. The app includes a warning siren and alert when a tornado warning has been issued and an all-clear alert when the warning expires or is cancelled. Users can find Red Cross shelters and utilize the app’s “I’m Safe” button to let loved ones know they are okay. The Red Cross sent out 4.4 million severe weather notifications in the last 48 hours through its tornado app for tornado and thunderstorm watches and warnings.

 

TORNADO SAFETY People should know how their community will warn them about the storm. Other steps include the following:

  • Pick a place where family members can gather – the basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
  • Watch for tornado danger signs – dark, greenish clouds, a cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud or roaring noise.
  • Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or severe winds. If there is access to a sturdy shelter or vehicle, abandon the mobile home immediately and go to that facility. Do not wait until the tornado is in view.
  • If someone is caught outdoors, they should seek shelter in a basement or sturdy building. If they can’t do that, they should get into a vehicle, buckle their seat belt and drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If flying debris occurs, they should pull over and park, stay in the vehicle with their head down below the windows, covering their head.

 

HOW TO COPE The ongoing tornado threat is stressful for people in the storm’s path and even more frightening for residents who have faced tornadoes in the past. The Red Cross offers these steps people can take to support each other during this difficult time:

  • Take time to take care of yourself and your family. Reach out to others to offer and receive support.
  • Events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety since no one knows for sure what will happen next. Remember that it’s okay to feel nervous.
  • Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
  • Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration, anxiety or difficulty sleeping.
  • Parents should let children talk about their fears and then reassure them about their safety.
  • People should also be careful not to overexpose themselves to media reports about the storm.
  • To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

 

HOW TO HELPThose who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting http://www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

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