Central Ohio Red Crossers Serving Families Suffering From Flooding in Minot, ND

Six central Ohio Red Crossers are currently in Minot, North Dakota helping families suffering from flooding there. Red Crossers from across the country have spent the summer helping folks suffering from wildfires, flooding and severe storms. Interested in helping the cause? Learn about volunteering and/or make a donation to the Disaster Relief Fund online. Your support is much appreciated!

Red Cross helps service families affected by Minot flood

Air Force Lt. Colonel James Lobash was already scheduled to return in late June for a needed break during his third deployment overseas to his hometown in Minot, North Dakota. The 2011 Minot flood, however, took that need to a whole new level.

 

In month seven of the deployment, his wife Nicole and six children were told to evacuate from their home. A neighbor helped her plug the sewer outlets into their home to prevent the raw sewage from backing up into their basement. Then she and her children left their home.

 

The Lobash family was among the more fortunate flood victims with only a couple of feet of water in their basement. Still, they will need to replace their water heater and probably their boiler. When Lt. Col Lobash arrived in country at the end of June, he met his family with relatives in Chicago and then came home to Minot to get his family back into their home before he had to return to his duty station.

 

The water system of the city of Minot had been contaminated, and all tap water had to be boiled before consumption. The Red Cross delivered bottled water to his neighborhood as he and his family worked on fixing the flood damage. “It may seem like a small thing, but really it was a big deal to us,” said Nicole. “I have six kids.”

 

Despite having relatively minimal damage to clean up, Lt. Col Lobash was running out of time. Lobash needed to get an extension to his leave, so he turned again to the Red Cross. It’s Disaster Relief operation was able to document the damage that had occurred to the Lobash home. This documentation is typically used by many of the Red Cross’s charitable partners, to allow them to more efficiently distribute aid to those directly affected by a disaster.

 

In this case, the Red Cross used this documentation to assist Lt. Col Lobash under its Service to Armed Forces program. A Red Cross Notification of Emergency was sent to the commander of his unit in Kabul Afghanistan, documenting the urgent need to allow Lobash to extend his leave to get his family back into their home.

 

The American Red Cross provides such emergency communications twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year for military families experiencing a crisis. The Red Cross relays urgent messages containing accurate, factual, complete and verified descriptions of the emergency to service members stationed anywhere in the world, including ships at sea, embassies and remote locations.

 

Life is slowly returning to normal for the Lobash family. Their oldest 15 year old is currently encamped with the Civil Air Patrol. His mom said “He gets to be away from the mess right now, but we’ll have plenty of work for him when he gets home.”

 

Air Force Lt. Colonel James Lobash was already scheduled to return in late June for a needed break during his third deployment overseas to his hometown in Minot, North Dakota. The 2011 Minot flood, however, took that need to a whole new level.

 

In month seven of the deployment, his wife Nicole and six children were told to evacuate from their home. A neighbor helped her plug the sewer outlets into their home to prevent the raw sewage from backing up into their basement. Then she and her children left their home.

 

The Lobash family was among the more fortunate flood victims with only a couple of feet of water in their basement. Still, they will need to replace their water heater and probably their boiler. When Lt. Col Lobash arrived in country at the end of June, he met his family with relatives in Chicago and then came home to Minot to get his family back into their home before he had to return to his duty station.

 

The water system of the city of Minot had been contaminated, and all tap water had to be boiled before consumption. The Red Cross delivered bottled water to his neighborhood as he and his family worked on fixing the flood damage. “It may seem like a small thing, but really it was a big deal to us,” said Nicole. “I have six kids.”

 

Despite having relatively minimal damage to clean up, Lt. Col Lobash was running out of time. Lobash needed to get an extension to his leave, so he turned again to the Red Cross. It’s Disaster Relief operation was able to document the damage that had occurred to the Lobash home. This documentation is typically used by many of the Red Cross’s charitable partners, to allow them to more efficiently distribute aid to those directly affected by a disaster.

 

In this case, the Red Cross used this documentation to assist Lt. Col Lobash under its Service to Armed Forces program. A Red Cross Notification of Emergency was sent to the commander of his unit in Kabul Afghanistan, documenting the urgent need to allow Lobash to extend his leave to get his family back into their home.

 

The American Red Cross provides such emergency communications twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year for military families experiencing a crisis. The Red Cross relays urgent messages containing accurate, factual, complete and verified descriptions of the emergency to service members stationed anywhere in the world, including ships at sea, embassies and remote locations.

 

Life is slowly returning to normal for the Lobash family. Their oldest 15 year old is currently encamped with the Civil Air Patrol. His mom said “He gets to be away from the mess right now, but we’ll have plenty of work for him when he gets home.”

 

Thanks to the Red Cross Blog and Bill Fitler, Red Cross worker in North Dakota for this story.

Honoring Exceptional Volunteers

Staff and volunteers gathered at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center last night to honor outstanding volunteers who served the community through the American Red Cross during 2010-2011. Take a look at a special video honoring the 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Service Award recipient Dee Dee English.

 

Along with Dee Dee the following volunteers were presented with distinguished service awards:

 

Corey Dayhuff – Chair’s Award
Director Corey Dayhuff, President of the Dayhuff Group, chaired the Sales Team for the 23rd Annual Red Cross Golf Classic held last August. Corey and his team of 9 volunteers raised $248,000!

Jamie RichardsonFundraiser of the Year
Jamie is the VP for Corporate Relations at White Castle, Inc. and for the 2nd year in a row led the Humanitarian of the Year Sales Team raising nearly $288,000 this year!

 

Sheri Tackett - Philanthropist of the Year
Sheri became Chair of our Tiffany Circle,a  society of women philanthropists in 2008 and began immediately using her business acumen and professional and social connections to recruit members. Since 2008, the 20 founding members of Tiffany Circle have donated more than $644,000!

 

Nicholas Riehl – Disaster Preparedness and Response Award
Nick has made significant contributions through his involvement as a team leader of the Disaster Services Technology team.

 

Sharon Groves – Ann Magnussen Award
Sharon provides 24-hour emergency response to local disasters. Since joining us in 2008, she has been the disaster action team or health services point person for an average of ten 12-hour shifts per month… that’s a lot!

 

Sharon Groves and Kim Tolliver – Health and Safety Services Award
Each with 30-years in the healthcare field,  this sister team have served as event coordinators for the Red Cross First Aid Services Team for four years. Both have led projects resulting in service delivery improvements.

 

Many other volunteers were honored for their dedicated years of service to the American Red Cross. We are a very lucky organization to have such wonderful volunteers! For pictures from the event check out our Flickr page. To learn more about volunteer opportunities visit us online.

 

Columbus volunteer helps a furry friend in Alabama

Jim Johnson has been volunteering with the American Red Cross for several years now with the First Aid Service Team, disaster response and more. On a recent deployment in Alabama to help residents recover from flooding and severe weather, he was approached by a community member who could no longer care for his pup. Jim, being the great guy that he is, decided on the spot to rescue the little lab-mix puppy.

If here were back home in Columbus, there is little doubt Jim would have taken his new furry friend home, but being deployed on a disaster relief assignment, he knew this wasn’t possible. He set out to find this puppy a forever home, but didn’t have to look far. Jamie, another Red Cross volunteer was heading home the next day and offered to take the puppy with her. The problem, her flight home to Washington state left the next morning and the little puppy, which Jim had by now named Twister, needed vet care, a carrying case and an airline ticket to make the trip.

 
These kinds of obstacles are Jim’s specialty. With the help of fellow Red Crossers the Greater Birmingham Humane Society and a kind veterinarian, little Twister was micro-chipped, neutered and had all of his immunizations in less than two hours. Once that task was crossed off the list Jim took up a collection amongst fellow volunteers to fund Twister’s flight. Who can resist an adorable dog? The money was quickly raised and Twister made the flight the next morning with his new mommy, Jamie.  We are told he coped with the flight well and is safely resting at home.

Never one to miss an opportunity to help someone in need Jim commented that, “I can’t help every person affected by these storms, but it feels good to know that I rescued at least one Alabama resident, little Twister. I will always remember that puppy and the people I have met while volunteering for the Red Cross here. They are amazing.”

We are so proud of Jim and all the volunteers assisting with disaster relief across the country. Help support these efforts by donating to the Disaster Relief Fund today.

Help us celebrate CPR/AED Awareness Week ~ 50% discount on training!

June 1-7 Is CPR/AED Awareness Week

Nearly one quarter of Americans say they’ve been in a situation where someone needed CPR. Would you know what to do? During National CPR/AED Awareness week, we are encouraging everyone to learn the important skills of CPR and AED in order to help save lives. As an incentive, we are offering a discount on Adult CPR/AED classes. Those who sign up for classes before June 30th will receive 50% off the regular course price – that’s a $36 savings!  Use coupon code 35086F&F to receive your discount, when registering online.

Make sure to tell your friends and family – savings like this are too good to miss! Sign up today!

Severe spring weather devastates communities across the South and here at home

Images of the damage caused by a tornado in Joplin, MO. Photo Credit: Michael Spencer/American Red Cross

The Red Cross is currently providing food, shelter and emotional support for people whose lives have been disrupted by tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri on Sunday. The following actions are already underway:

Red Cross workers opened shelters in the damaged areas within hours and provided people with food and water and a safe place to stay.

  • Red Cross emergency response vehicles in Missouri responded immediately and more vehicles are on the way to help distribute food, water and relief supplies in the affected neighborhoods.
  • Red Cross workers are being deployed and relief materials, including personal hygiene items like toothbrushes and shampoo, tarps, coolers, rakes and other clean-up supplies, are now being sent to Joplin, Missouri.
  • Trained health services and mental health workers are en route to areas affected by the tornadoes to help people cope in the aftermath of these tragic storms.

 

In Joplin and elsewhere across the south, people should register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know they are safe. They can also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). People in the affected areas can list themselves as “safe and well” on the site. Friends and family outside the disaster area can then search for messages from their loved ones by using a pre-disaster phone number or complete address. Click here for a list of open American Red Cross shelters across the country. 

Flooding in Ross County, Ohio

Here in Ohio, volunteers continue to help families whose homes were badly damaged by flash flooding that hit Ross, Hocking and Vinton counties in early May. More than 100 homes were damaged, causing the need for an emergency shelter to open for families with nowhere to go. Nearly $9,000 was given to families to cover immediate needs, including food, clothing and a safe, dry place to stay.

At the heart of the Red Cross are the volunteers and supporters who time and again step forward to help those in need. If you are interested in learning about volunteering with the American Red Cross click here for a list of our local volunteer positions and steps to get started. Supporters can help by making a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.  Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Thank you!

Stories from Alabama…One Red Crossers Shares Her Experiences

The following post is from Pam, a Columbus disaster volunteer who has been volunteering with Red Cross disaster relief teams in the south for nearly three weeks now. Pam is on an Emergency Response Vehicle Team, transporting meals and clean-up supplies to people in neighborhoods where homes have been destroyed by the recent storms.

Another day about to begin…..I am back in Birmingham at kitchen 1 where I started deployment.  The routes are winding down.  Folks are departing for home and we are now taking over additional routes from other volunteers.  I am on an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) out of Orlando, FL.  It is a smaller ERV, one of only two in the country. I am still looking for our ERV from Columbus.  I think “she” is in Tuscaloosa.  Although, it looks like I may end up there later today.  I will give her a hug and a pat on the bumper.  

Jim and I were able to connect and did manage to spend part of the day ‘working” together.  He likes his courier job and is having fun doing it.  His days are long with all the airport pick up’s he has to make.  Saturday my route took us to Concord, Al.  It was one of the areas hardest hit.  The clean up is starting and volunteers are helping by the hundreds.  They are all wearing red shirts and picking through the rubble piece by piece, one lot at a time in groups of 15 – 20 volunteers.  They look like ants on an ant hill working.  They are piling things up one brick at a time.  There are lots of trees and branches in the way so it is quite a job.  

It is interesting some of the personal items they are finding and putting into piles (children’s shoes, trophies etc.) The last thing they do is take a shovel and clear the dirt off the concrete.  The houses are just like you see on TV but you are closer and it tends to be overwhelming because of the size of the disaster. Most of the churches are busy helping their neighbors with food and clothes too.  Everywhere we go people stop us and thank us for coming to help.  The folks in this area are so welcoming and grateful.  

Nearly 30 local volunteers have been deployed to the south to help with Red Cross relief efforts. Support their work and help the thousands still sleeping in Red Cross shelters by making a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund here.

Red Crossers Helping People Devastated by Recent Severe Weather

15 Red Cross volunteers from central Ohio are in Alabama, North Carolina and Arkansas are helping people affected by the string of severe weather that has recently plagued the country. These local volunteers are serving meals, meeting with families whose homes have been severely damaged and helping out with the logistics it takes to move so many supplies and people into these badly damaged areas to help. Learn about local volunteer opportunities and how you can get trained to help.

How can you help people affected by recent disasters? The best way is to make a donation to the disaster relief fund. This fund supports disaster relief efforts across the country, including safe shelter, warm meals , clothing, supplies and support for all who have been affected by disaster, including the devastating storms that tore across the country last week. Thank you for your support!

Honoring Local Humanitarian Michael Morris, AEP Chairman and CEO

A tradition that dates back to 1997 continues May 3, 2011 as we honor Michael Morris, chairman and CEO of American Electric Power (AEP) as the 15th Humanitarian of the Year.

Join us at the May 3rd luncheon held at the Hyatt Regency by purchasing your ticket today! We are honored to have White Castle, Nationwide Insurance and AEP as lead corporate supporters, and hope you can join us for this annual event.

The list of individuals honored in the event’s 14 years represents the “Who’s Who” of Columbus including: 

1997 Dimon R. McFerson 2004 Teckie Shackelford
1998 John G. and Jeanne McCoy 2005 Robert J. Weiler, Sr.
1999 Frank Wobst 2006 Nancy Jeffrey
2000 John H. McConnell 2007 Ron and Ann Pizzuti
2001 Reverend Leon Troy, Sr. 2008 Carl F. Kohrt
2002 Loann W. Crane 2009 Ingram Family
2003 Alex Shumate 2010 Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein

 

We are excited to add Michael Morris to this distinguished list! While recognizing these exemplary leaders for their humanitarian work, the event also serves as an important source of revenue for the Red Cross, grossing more than $3 million since its inception in 1997. The funds generated by the luncheon support the life-saving services and programs of the Red Cross in Franklin, Fayette, Madison and Pickaway Counties.

We hope to see you there!

Japanese Red Cross President Konoe

On 11 March, a massive earthquake, measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, struck Japan’s north-east coast. Then came the tsunami. I felt strong tremors and watched the first television pictures of the remorseless wave breaching our coastal defences and sweeping ships, cars and burning houses across the land. When I reached the disaster area, I was confronted with devastation that defies imagination. This was one of the very worst. The destruction was absolute.

In living memory, this is the first time that the world has experienced such a complex emergency involving tsunami, earthquake and nuclear risks. We need time to process what has happened, although one thing is certain: the thousands of families swept away by the waves are a claim on our conscience.

Japan’s road to recovery will be a long one. But we are deeply touched by the sympathy and goodwill shown across the world. The only response to such tragedy, in the end, is mutual aid and a global spirit of togetherness – in my country, in your country, and in all others. I sincerely appreciate all of your support in the past, the present and the generous help offered for the future. In return for such encouragements, our nation will steadily prove its resilience. And the Red Cross Red Crescent will always stand by those in need.

Thanks to Wendy Harman, American National Red Cross, for this post.