American Red Cross – Rock River Chapter Nominated for Rockford Register Star’s Excelsior Award

December 1, 2008

The Excelsior was established by the Rockford Register Star in 1979, honors an organization or institution whose work has a positive impact on life in the Rock River Valley. The winning organization receives a plaque and check for $500.

The 2008 Finalist for the Excelsior Award are:

Thanks to all those who nominated us!

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Red Cross – Rock River Chapter & 8 Tips to Keep You Safe

November 27, 2008

Have a Safe Thanksgiving: Even with the best preparations and precautions, accidents can happen

The American Red Cross wants to remind everyone of important safety issues that will help ensure a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Since Thanksgiving usually involves preparing lots of food, cooking safety should be a priority. Unfortunately, cooking fires are more likely to occur on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The Red Cross offers the following tips to prevent home fires this Thanksgiving:

  1. Monitor your cooking at all times. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of Thanksgiving Day home fires.
  2. Keep potholders and food wrappers at least three feet away from heat sources while cooking.
  3. Wear tighter fitting clothing with shorter sleeves when cooking.
  4. Make sure all stoves and ranges have been turned off when you leave the kitchen, and that ovens are turned off when you leave the house.
  5. Set timers to keep track of turkeys and other food items that require extended cooking times.
  6. Turn handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.
  7. Follow all manufacturer guidelines regarding the appropriate use of appliances.
  8. After guests leave, designate a responsible adult to walk around the home, making sure that all candles and smoking materials are extinguished.

Finally, it’s important for every household to make sure to have working smoke alarms. In a recent study commissioned by the Red Cross and National Fire Protection Association, 37 percent of respondents admitted to disabling a smoke alarm when it went off unexpectedly. The Red Cross encourages people to install smoke alarms on every level of their house and outside sleeping areas and to test the batteries once a month.

Even with the best preparation and precautions, accidents can happen. Cooking-related burns are a common hazard of the Thanksgiving holiday. For a superficial burn, cool the area by running it under cold water until the heat eases and then loosely cover the burn with a sterile dressing to help prevent infection. A critical burn requires medical attention.

Choking is another threat to a happy holiday dinner. Common causes of choking include talking while eating; eating too fast; and trying to swallow large pieces of poorly chewed food. If you feel as if food may be caught in your throat, never leave the room-stay where others can see you and help if your airway becomes blocked.

To help someone who is choking, remember “FIVE-and-FIVE Can Keep Them Alive.” First, ask the person if they are able to breathe and if you can help. Once you know the person is unable to cough, speak or breathe, have someone call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.

Lean the person forward and give FIVE sharp back blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. If the obstruction isn’t dislodged, stand behind the person and give FIVE quick, upward thrusts into the abdomen. Repeat back blows and abdominal thrusts as necessary. If you are alone, you can perform abdominal thrusts on yourself, just as you would on someone else. Thrusts can also be administered by leaning over and pressing your abdomen firmly against an object such as the back of a chair.

For more Red Cross fire safety and first aid information visit www.redcross.org or if you’d like to volunteer at the Rock River Chapter go to our website.


Cedric Johnson of the Red Cross on Fox 39 Talking about Viditalk and Veterans Day

November 11, 2008

Click here to watch Cedric from last night!


Send a Video Message to the Troops Overseas Tomorrow at Veterans Memorial Hall in Rockford, Illinois

November 10, 2008

Tomorrow, November 11 the American Red Cross will be on hand at the Veteran’s Day Open House at Veterans Memorial Hall, 211 N Main St Rockford, IL 61101. In addition to a program guided by the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, group tours and Veterans History Project interviews the Red Cross will record VidiTalk web videos to forward to servicemen around the globe. From 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. family members can record a two minute streaming video which will then be emailed to their loved ones in the service overseas.

For more information on American Red Cross Service to the U.S. Armed Forces please visit www.rockriver.redcross.org or call: (815) 963-8471.


Rock River Chapter Encourages Supporters to Send Support to Our Troops Overseas

October 30, 2008

On Tuesday, November 11 the American Red Cross will be on hand at the Veteran’s Day Open House at Veterans Memorial Hall, 211 N Main St Rockford, IL 61101. In addition to a program guided by the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, group tours and Veterans History Project interviews the Red Cross will record VidiTalk web videos to forward to servicemen around the globe. From 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. family members can record a two minute streaming video which will then be emailed 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 of the American Red Cross.

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.

Memorial Hall is a living memorial to Veterans from all wars. It will serve as a constant reminder to the sacrifices given by brave men and women from Winnebago County, and a way for generations to remember and learn about their lives.

For more information on American Red Cross service to the U.S. Armed Forces please visit www.rockriver.redcross.org or call: (815) 963-8471.


Spring forward & Fall back – the time changes this Sunday November 2nd

October 30, 2008

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is coming to an end. This means most Americans will be setting their clocks back one hour and returning to Standard Time on Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 2:00 a.m. If it seems like we’re a little later than usual in setting back the clocks, you’re right. Daylight Saving Time was actually extended by an entire month this year as a result of the Energy Policy Act, enacted in 2005.

Even if you are in the parts of the country that do not turn back the clock, this is also a great time to perform important tasks around the house, including:

  • Resetting automatic lights and sprinklers to standard time operation.
  • Checking fire extinguishers and testing smoke detectors.
  • Restocking first-aid kits and emergency supplies.
  • Changing important passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs).
  • Rotating tires and inspecting the spare.

“Traces of Hope” – Video Game for you to play and learn

October 29, 2008

brought to you by 

Vicious war in Northern Uganda has destroyed Joseph’s home and torn his family apart. He has one goal, to find out from the Red Cross if his mother is alive or dead.

Now he has arrived in the dangerous camp they call Hopetown, he has 24 hours to track down the Red Cross messenger and he needs you to be his guide.

He has a satellite phone, you have the web – together you’ll make a great team. Time is running out; guide Joseph through sickness, fire and violence as together you follow his traces of hope.

Click here to play now!

Let us know what you think of the game by commenting on this post.