REMINDER: The American Red Cross is Helping You Record Video Messages to the Troops – Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 12, 2008

Record a two-minute streaming video, which will then be e-mailed to their loved ones serving in the Armed Forces.

  • Where: Chicago Rockford International Airport’s (RFD) Main Terminal
  • When: Tuesday, December 16th from 6am to 7pm
  • Who: Friends and family members
  • What do you need: the soldier’s email address

Many thanks to the organizations below for helping
us spread the word!

rfd-airport-logo-cmyk wtvo-logo2

wxrx-multi-color wnta-multi-color

Advertisements

St. Bridget’s School in Rockford, Illinois Donates to the Red Cross Emergency Overnight Shelter Donation

December 12, 2008

We’d like to thank St. Bridget’s for their generous donation to our Emergency Overnight Shelter!

St. Bridget's School Emergency Overnight Shelter Donation 12.11.2008

St. Bridget's School Emergency Overnight Shelter Donation 12.11.2008


American Red Cross Shares Holiday Fire Safety Tips

December 11, 2008

As the holiday season moves into full swing, the American Red Cross-Rock River Chapter urges families to follow simple safety tips to keep the season merry and to prevent holiday fires.

First, the Red Cross recommends keeping all potential fuel sources, including decorations and evergreen trees and wreaths, at least three feet from heat sources such as candles, heat vents, fireplaces and radiators.

In addition, holiday lights and candles need to be turned off or extinguished before leaving the room or going to bed, and especially before leaving home.

If you are entertaining guests, designate a responsible family member to walk around your home ensuring that candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished once guests leave.

During the winter holiday season the incidence and severity of home fires dramatically increases. In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year nearly 47,000 fires occur nationally during the holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage. Many of these fires are caused by home heating sources, unattended cooking, and candles.

“Last year the Rock River Chapter responded to more than 100 home fires and provided families with immediate emergency assistance including shelter, food, counseling and more,” said Dave Pattengale, Director of Emergency Services. “In addition to following safety precautions with holiday lights and decorations, this is a great time for Rock River Valley families to make sure that their smoke alarms are functioning properly and practice their home fire escape plan.”

At a minimum, smoke alarms need to be installed outside of each sleeping area and on each level of your home. If you sleep with closed doors, install alarms inside sleeping areas too. Use the test button to test each smoke alarm once a month. All smoke alarm batteries need to be replaced once a year. Fire escape plans should include at least two escape routes for every room in the home. Also chose a convenient meeting place at a safe distance from your home. Practice your escape plan at least twice a year with all family members.

The Red Cross recommends following the below tips to help prevent holiday home fires:

Christmas Tree Care

  • Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees.
  • If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily boken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
  • Use a sturdy tree stand designed not to tip over.
  • Keep trees at least three feet away from heat sources, including fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
  • Make sure that any light strings or other decorations for the tree are in good condition and follow manufacturer’s instructions for their use. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords.
  • Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.
  • Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.
  • Safely dispose of trees as they become dry and needles begin to drop.
  • Dispose of trees through recycling centers or community pick-up services. Dried-out trees should not be left at home or in a garage, or placed against the home or garage.

Holiday Lights and Decorations

  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets by not linking more than three light strands.
  • Use decorations that are flame-resistant or flame-retardant.
  • Place decorations at least three feet away from fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.

Holiday Candles

  • Remember that lit candles are fire. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from trees, evergreens, holiday decorations, and other items that can catch on fire like clothing, papers and curtains.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over easily, are made from a material that cannot burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
  • Place candles only where they cannot be reached or easily knocked over by children and pets.
  • Consider using battery-operated “flameless” candles that are scented and have a flickering affect.

For more information on fire safety, or to learn more about American Red Cross programs and services please visit: www.rockriver.redcross.org or call: (815) 963-8471.


MyRedCrossStore.org – Free Shipping on Orders over $100

December 11, 2008

For a limited time only get free shipping on all orders over $100.  Be sure to visit, www.MyRedCrossStore.org today for great Holiday Gifts, Calendars, and stocking stuffers!


December 16th – Send a Viditalk Holiday Message to the Troops for Friends and Family Members 6am-7pm

December 5, 2008

On Tuesday, December 16th the American Red Cross – Rock River Chapter will be on hand at the Chicago Rockford International Airport’s (RFD) Main Terminal to record VidiTalk web videos to forward to servicemen around the globe. From 6am to 7pm friends and family members can record a two-minute streaming video, which will then be e-mailed to their loved ones in the service overseas.

The Red Cross is a lifeline to members of the U.S. Armed Forces, sending communications all over the world on behalf of family members who are facing emergencies or other important events. “This project gives people the opportunity to send their support to our soldiers who, while valiantly serving our country, may need this boost from back home,” says Dr. Robert Willis, Executive Director of the Rock River Chapter.

In addition to bringing their loved one’s e-mail address to the video taping, friends and family members are also invited to bring an ornament to decorate the “Operation Tree of Honor” located in the Airport’s Main Terminal. This tree was presented to RFD by the Friends of Camp Grant in honor of the 33rd Illinois National Guard Troops who were deployed to Afghanistan on December 1st. The Friends of Camp Grant are also collecting Christmas cards to send to the Guard Division.

VidiTalk is a powerful, cost effective, easily implemented solution to improve communications. It enables users to easily create and send high-quality personal video messages (Vidis) from their computer to recipients on high-speed or dial-up connections. Vidi messages can also be streamed to cell phones and other wireless devices. The user creates a video message on their computer where it is automatically compressed, encoded and sent to the hosting server. The VidiTalk server returns a hyperlink to the creator for placement into email, instant messages or any electronic document. Recipients click on the link and view the streamed video message in a customized playback screen using Microsoft Windows Media Player.


Conrats to Barbara Olson Center of Hope & Dick Kunnert on Winning Excelsior & Excalibur Awards!

December 5, 2008

And the winners last night were Barbara Olson Center of Hope won the Excelsior Award who offers life skills training and job placement opportunities for 300 teens and adults with mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and epilepsy and Dick Kunnert won the Excalibur Award for his work as an advocate for the mentally ill and homeless.

Those who were nominated for Excelsior included:

Judy Gard and Bob Willis attend the Rockford Register Star Excalibur & Excelsior Awards on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008, at Cliffbreakers in Rockford. Photo by SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM

Judy Gard and Bob Willis of the American Red Cross Rock River Chapter attend the Rockford Register Star Excalibur & Excelsior Awards on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008, at Cliffbreakers in Rockford. Photo by SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM

Carm Herman reacts as she walks to the podium after it was announced the Barbara Olson Center of Hope won the 2008 Excelsior Award during the Excalibur & Excelsior Awards at Cliffbreakers in Rockford on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008 Photo by EDDY MONTVILLE | RRSTAR.COM

Carm Herman reacts as she walks to the podium after it was announced the Barbara Olson Center of Hope won the 2008 Excelsior Award during the Excalibur & Excelsior Awards at Cliffbreakers in Rockford on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008 Photo by EDDY MONTVILLE | RRSTAR.COM

Dick Kunnert reacts after winning the 2008 Excalibur Award during the Excalibur & Excelsior Awards at Cliffbreakers in Rockford, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008. Photo by EDDY MONTVILLE | RRSTAR.COM

Dick Kunnert reacts after winning the 2008 Excalibur Award during the Excalibur & Excelsior Awards at Cliffbreakers in Rockford, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008. Photo by EDDY MONTVILLE | RRSTAR.COM


Facebook Members Choose the American Red Cross

December 2, 2008

With 18,582 supporting votes, the American Red Cross placed first among eight non-profit organizations in the Western Union Foundation’s Our World Gives campaign. Based on this endorsement, the Western Union Foundation will award the American Red Cross $50,000 in support of its life-saving mission.

We are honored to have been selected by Facebook members as their favorite charity,” said Jeff Towers, Chief Development Officer for the American Red Cross. “Our sincere thanks to the Western Union Foundation and the many Facebook members who voted and mobilized their network of friends in support of the American Red Cross. As we continue our current campaign to raise $100 million for disaster relief, we are encouraged by this endorsement of our mission.”

The Western Union Foundation partnered with the Facebook social networking site to create the Our World Gives campaign to raise awareness of the incredible work done by the participating charities in addressing critical social issues. Our World Gives is part of Western Union’s Our World, Our Family program – a five-year, $50 million commitment to facilitate global economic opportunity and help migrants and their families stay connected, overcome barriers and realize their dreams. Our World, Our Family is designed to reach people on every rung of the economic ladder.

Other participating non-profit organizations include: Accion USA, CARE, Mercy Corps, Room to Read, US Fund for UNICEF, Opportunity International and World Vision. For more information, please visit westernunion.com/foundation.

Thanks to all those who voted for the Red Cross!