Archive for November, 2009

In this season of hope and giving the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes, Inc. have joined forces to invite Americans to “send a touch of home” to United States service members and veterans across the country and abroad. In its third year, the Holiday Mail for Heroes program is an opportunity to share joy and thanks with our service members throughout the holiday season by way of a greeting card.

Today over 1.4 million men and women serve in the U.S. armed forces and over 24 million veterans have served in the past. The holiday season is the perfect time to honor and extend a warm holiday greeting to those who’ve served and continue to do so.
How Holiday Mail works

We have established an extensive process to ensure all cards sent to our service members are safe and arrive in time for the holidays. Holiday cards will be collected through a unique P.O. Box address from Monday, November 2 through Monday, December 7*.

First, cards from across the nation must be sent to this address:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and distributed to participating Red Cross chapters nationwide. Once the cards arrive at the Red Cross chapters, they are sorted and reviewed by volunteers who then distribute them to service members, their families and veterans in communities across the country.

Please don’t forget to follow these guidelines while preparing your holiday greetings!


* Sign all cards
* Entitle cards “Dear Service Member, Family or Veteran”
* Limit cards to 15 per person or 50 for school class or business group
* Bundle groups of cards in single, large envelopes


* Send letters
* Include personal information such as home or email addresses
* Use glitter – excessive amounts can aggravate health issues of wounded recipients
* Include inserts of any kind as they must be removed in the screening process

Learn more about the American Red Cross in Greater New York’s Service to the Armed Forces.

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More than 50 guests attended “Tsunami Recovery: Five Years Later,” a presentation given on November 4 by Gerald Anderson, Senior Director of the American Red Cross Tsunami Recovery Program (TRP). The Manhattan home of Yvonne Liu, a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Red Cross in Greater New York, served as the setting for Mr. Anderson’s talk. The presentation was augmented by large photographs by Daniel Cima set up as panels around the room to provide further context to the presentation.

Mr. Anderson, who has been with International Red Cross since 1992, was deployed to Indonesia just days after the deadly December 26, 2004 tsunami caused a massive loss of life and devastated areas in more than a dozen countries across Asia and East Africa. He explained how the TRP was created as a response to this enormous disaster, how the American Red Cross and its sister societies around the world provided volunteers and significant funding, and how the Red Cross has used the program as a vehicle to help thousands of people to rebuild their lives.

The TRP, slated to end in 2010, has six key program areas: water and sanitation, psychosocial support, health, shelter, livelihoods and disaster preparedness. As a result of initiatives in each of these areas, tens of thousands of families now have access to clean water, and thousands have moved from temporary shelters into permanent homes. “Five years after the tsunami,” said Mr. Anderson, “survivors are embracing a brighter future.”

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New York Chapter Goes the Distance with New York Road Runners (NYRR) Partnership and Team Red Cross

Left to Right: Rajeev Bhavasar, Terry Bischoff, Patrick Durkin, Veronica Roca, Michael Curtin, Matthew Baron, Victor Martinez, Neal Gorman (Photo: Maryellen Novak)

Proudly sporting the Red Cross logo across their backs, 11 Team Red Cross runners from the American Red Cross in Greater New York––for the first time ever—crossed the finish line with the 42,000 runners who ran in Sunday’s 40th ING New York City Marathon. Each of the Team Red Cross runners pledged to raise or donate at least $2,500 to support the Chapter’s vital work––helping New Yorkers prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Team Red Cross made great strides in far surpassing their goal, raising $112,000 to date, and the number is still rising!

Team Red Cross was led by CEO and first-time marathon runner Terry Bischoff. “This is such a special day,” said Terry after crossing the finish line. “It is a day to celebrate many ‘firsts’ for the Red Cross in Greater New York––our first time supporting the New York Road Runners in this world-class event with almost 300 Red Crossers, a combination of volunteers and employees, assisting NYRR’s medical team, the first time we assembled a team of runners who ran to raise much-needed funds in support of our Red Cross and my first marathon.” Other first-time runners on Team Red Cross included Ernesto Duran, a native of Columbia who is a member of ARC/GNY’s Young Professionals Committee and Mike Curtin, whose first contact with the Red Cross came when the organization’s Services to the Armed Forces unit arranged for his return from Somalia to attend his father’s funeral. Red Cross board member Patrick Durkin and Mary Pang from the Chapter’s Tiffany Circle also crossed the finish line as part of Team Red Cross. Other Team Red Crossers included Matthew Baron, David Eastman, Neal Gorman, Victor Martinez, Rajeev Bhavsar and Veronica Roca.

Team Red Cross enjoyed a pre-race team dinner on Friday night generously hosted by the owners of the scenic Water Club located on the East River of Manhattan. There, the team celebrated meeting their training and fundraising goals, exchanged thoughts on race day strategies and heard words of thanks and encouragement from CEO Terry Bischoff. On race day the Team was supported by many Red Cross fans and colleagues along the 26.2 mile route who cheered them on from start to finish. They were able to ward off the early morning chill before the “cannon” sounded in black windbreakers, which along with their white t-shirts, were donated by Paragon Sports in Manhattan.

While Team Red Cross covered the 26.2 mile course through all five New York City boroughs, almost 300 other Red Cross volunteers and employees assisted NYRR’s medical professionals. Approximately 250 of these first-aid trained workers, donning Red Cross caps and NYRR vests, worked the post-finish line spotter program, assisting runners with information, direction, and medical assistance. Additionally, 35 of our licensed medical professionals, under the authority of ING New York City Marathon Medical Director Stuart B. Weiss, responded to calls where there was a need for more advanced medical evaluation, and assisted with the transport of such runners in acute distress to medical tents for further evaluation and treatment by NYRR.

In addition to having a presence in all three medical tents where Red Cross volunteer physicians and nurses were available to support NYRR’s medical team, the NY Chapter also had a seat in the Joint Operation Center, the central medical command post for the race overseen by Dr.Weiss. Chris Mercado, American Red Cross in Greater New York Director of Disaster Health Services, said, “It was gratifying to see that our trained volunteers, including our team of licensed medical professionals, were there to support the world-class medical services of NYRR in this amazing event.”

“We are very proud of our ING New York City marathon firsts, and thank all who contributed in making this a world-class ‘first’ for our chapter––NYRR for inviting us to participate, our dedicated volunteers and employees, Team Red Cross, the Water Club and Paragon Sports. Thank you all for your continued support of our Red Cross,” said Terry Bischoff. “See you all next year for ING NYC Marathon #41!”
The marathon is over, but you you can still support the Red Cross team by making a donation here.

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