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Archive for December, 2008

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Representatives from the American Red Cross in Greater New York’s (ARC/GNY) Centennial Circle-60 civic-minded women leaders who use their  business acumen and influence to make preparedness a vital part of every New Yorker’s life-rang the opening bell this morning at the NASDAQ Marketsite. Also in attendance were members of the Greater New York Chapter, including Chief External Affairs Officer Rosemary W. Mackey (5th from left, above), who provided opening remarks before the official “bell-ringing,” as well as Centennial Circle member and MSNBC news anchor Contessa Brewer (4th from right, above).

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A Season of Giving

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ARC/GNY volunteer Judy Stroup reflects on the gifts the Red Cross brings to disaster victims.

 

As we approach this holiday season, which is often referred to as the “Season of Giving,” I find myself reflecting on the “giving” of the Red Cross. In particular, I think of the clients I worked with during my deployment to Louisiana in September after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike had impacted their lives. Despite being overwhelmed daily by the still-visible reminders of the disaster, the families I visited always welcomed the arrival of the Red Cross as a beacon of light and hope.

 

This was especially true when I was involved in outreach client casework. Some of our visits were the only “agency” contact the individuals experienced. They were so grateful to be able to tell their story knowing that there were caring people who took the time to listen. When we were able to respond with aid, their gratitude was always so effusive that I found it an emotional awakening to the power of the “giving” of the Red Cross. We would tell them that the Red Cross is just the conduit of the “gift” from the American people.

 

We emphasized that it is because of this generosity that we are able to do what we do and to give them this “gift.” While sharing this, I felt so proud to be an American and to represent the American people in this way.

The opportunity to witness the temporary serenity and renewal of faith in others that a visit from the Red Cross brings into the lives of people, when they need it most, is the “gift” I will cherish the most this holiday season. 

Thank you, Red Cross, for being there for all of us.

 

Retired teacher Judy Stroup joined ARC/GNY in August 2005 just before Hurricane Katrina hit, and was deployed to the Red Cross Hurricane Wilma relief effort a few months later.  Since then, she has been active in responding to local as well as national incidents.  She is currently the Local Disaster Coordinator (liaison to the Stony Point Emergency Operations Committee). Judy lives in Stony Point, New York.

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Here’s a roundup of the American Red Cross in Greater New York’s (ARC/GNY) relief effort in Orange County in response to last week’s severe ice storm. The Chapter:

  • Opened a shelter at Monroe Woodbury High School in Central Valley on Friday, December 12 to aid those affected by last week’s ice storm.  (Although no residents stayed overnight, they received meals, snacks and counseling at the shelter, which closed the next day.)
  • Sent 47 ARC/GNY responders—14 volunteers, 25 employees, and 8 volunteers from corporate partners Wal-Mart and Elant—to staff the shelter.
  • Opened two feeding locations where members of the public could pick up heater meals. Wal-Mart donated food and snacks.
  • Served 3,948 meals and snacks at the shelter.
  • Provided 22 Orange County residents with mental health counseling.
  • Sent 9 Chapter vehicles to assist the relief effort.

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Seventeen Greater New York Chapter relief workers assisting the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York’s winter storm response are being today being joined by six more ARC/GNY workers—five volunteers and one employee.

To date, the Greater New York Chapter has also:

  • Sent one shelter support vehicle to Albany. This 4-wheel drive box truck carries enough relief supplies to open a shelter for 400 people, including cots, blankets, comfort kits and heater meals.
  • Moved additional cots, blankets, comfort kits, flood clean-up kits and heater meals into the Albany area from the ARC/GNY warehouse in Middletown New York.
  • Sent two Greater New York Chapter vans to the Albany area to help ferry Red Cross relief workers from shelter to shelter as needed.

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The Mayor of Troy, Harry J. Tutunjian and ARC/GNY Disaster Responder Eddie McQuillan

The Mayor of Troy, Harry J. Tutunjian and ARC/GNY Disaster Responder Eddie McQuillan

 

Seventeen responders from the Greater New York Chapter are continuing to assist relief workers from the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York after Thursday’s severe winter storm devastated the Albany area leaving nearly 200,000 people without power.  They are being joined by four more ARC/GNY workers today, which will bring the total ARC/GNY current deployment of volunteers and employees to 21.
 
Last night hundreds of people received warm meals, beverages, mental health counseling, health care services and a secure place to sleep at the Northeastern New York Chapter’s shelters located throughout the Albany region. The number of the shelters is expected to decrease today as power begins to be restored. ARC/GNY’s relief workers will continue to assist residents at these shelters through tomorrow, and possibly longer if needed.

You too can help the Red Cross respond to the ice storm in New York and to thousands of other disasters across the country by making an online donation.

Click here for Winter Storm Safety Tips

Click here for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Tips

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The American Red Cross in Greater New York (ARC/GNY) sent a total of 11 responders to Albany to aid the winter storm relief efforts of the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York. A total of 12 shelters were opened yesterday throughout the Albany area as the storm, which began on Thursday, December 11, increased in intensity and created widespread power outages throughout the area and left many roads impassible. Last night the shelters provided 350 residents food, beverages and a warm, secure place to sleep.

Greater New York Chapter responders were there last night to provide care at two of the shelters, one of which is for special-needs individuals. Six more Chapter relief workers and two Red Cross Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) members (retired FDNY firefighters) are traveling to Albany today, for a total of 19 Chapter workers who will be there to help our sister chapter staff shelters. The shelters are expected to remain open throughout the weekend to provide food, beverages, mental health counseling and health care services to those affected by the storm.

You too can help the Red Cross respond to the ice storm in New York and to thousands of other disasters across the country by making an online donation.

Click here for Winter Storm Safety Tips

Click here for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Tips

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The American Red Cross in Greater New York (ARC/GNY) shelter at Monroe Woodbury High School in Central Valley has been closed as of 10 a.m. today. The shelter was opened yesterday to provide a warm, safe place to stay for those affected by Thursday’s winter storm that created power outages throughout Orange County. While there were no residents who stayed overnight, five ARC/GNY relief workers provided 40 hot meals to Orange County residents and responders, and breakfast was available this morning before the shelter closed.

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