Thanks to Everyone Involved at Yesterday’s American Red Cross Viditalk Event for the Troops!

December 17, 2008

Yesterday was a wonderful success! We were at the Chicago Rockford International Airport letting friends and families record video messages to send to the loved ones serving our country overseas and abroad.

You can see one of the videos that was recorded below!

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American Red Cross Releases Top 5 Disasters of 2008

December 15, 2008

The American Red Cross today announced the top five disasters of 2008, based on the number of people needing shelter, food, and comfort. They are:

  1. Hurricane Dolly
  2. Hurricane Gustav
  3. Hurricane Ike
  4. Midwest Flooding
  5. Indiana Tornadoes

Weather played a disastrous part in many people’s lives in 2008. A record number of tornadoes destroyed homes and memories. The worst flooding in more than a decade inundated the Midwest. Hurricanes followed each other, leaving devastation in their wake. And wildfires sparked by severe dry conditions and high winds blazed several times in the west.

The American Red Cross was there through it all.

“No matter where our help was needed, we were there,” said Joe Becker, Senior Vice President of Disaster Services for the American Red Cross, “But helping those affected by all of these disasters has been costly. We’ve spent all funds contributed for Red Cross Disaster Relief.”

The Red Cross set up almost 900 shelters; served more than 16.5 million meals and snacks; distributed close to 275,000 comfort and clean-up kits, and deployed more than 27,000 Red Cross workers to respond to these five disasters. These numbers do not include the many other disasters which struck across the country, large and small.

Earlier this year, Red Cross launched a $100 million nationwide fundraising campaign — the Campaign for Disaster Relief. As the year draws to a close, Red Cross is asking the public to remember those whose lives are changed in an instant by disaster and make a contribution to the Disaster Relief Fund, which allows us to mobilize volunteers and resources to help communities throughout the United States.

You can make a donation by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Spanish speakers can call 1-800-257-7575. You can also use your cell phone to donate $5 by text messaging the keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357). If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, you should call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

“We thank all those who have supported our disaster relief efforts,” Becker said, “and ask those who have not yet made a donation to please give whatever they can to help us continue to be there with food, shelter, and comfort when disaster strikes.”

For more information on those disasters please visit the Red Cross Online Newsroom.


Red Cross Invites America to Join “National Day of Giving” December 13

December 12, 2008

The Red Cross is designating December 13 the “National Day of Giving for the American Red Cross” as part of its efforts to reach the $100 million fundraising goal for its Campaign for Disaster Relief, which the organization launched in September.

“We’ve made some incredible progress toward our goal in a short period of time,” said Jeffrey Towers, chief development officer of the Red Cross, “and we’re confident that the National Day of Giving for the American Red Cross will bring us that much closer.”

Red Cross volunteers and employees will reach out on December 13 to their friends and neighbors to help raise money for the Campaign for Disaster Relief, which aims to replenish the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The fund was depleted as a result of a very busy year of disasters, including a record number of tornadoes, severe flooding in the central United States and an active hurricane season. From January through October 2008, the Red Cross had already responded to more than 70 large-scale disasters.

The Red Cross relies on the Disaster Relief Fund to provide food, shelter and counseling for disaster victims in the United States. Red Cross volunteers respond not only during large events like hurricanes or earthquakes, but also in thousands of “silent” disasters-most commonly house fires-that happen in communities every day, all across the country.

There are several ways the public can help the Red Cross meet its $100 million goal, which will go toward helping the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year:

  • Look for Red Cross volunteers in your community on December 13. They will be available to take donations on the spot. Share what you can with your neighbors.
  • Donate to the Red Cross by going to www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (for Spanish-speakers, 1-800-257-7575).
  • Send contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
  • Use your cell phone to donate $5 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by text messaging the keyword “GIVE” (4483) to “2HELP” (24357).
  • Shop the Red Cross online store at www.redcrossstore.org.

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


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!