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Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Red Cross Needs You!

The American Red Cross of Colorado is seeking volunteers for a variety of volunteer positions across the State. The week of April 23-29 is National Volunteer Week and we want to give you the opportunity to turn your caring and compassion into volunteer action with the Red Cross.
Red Cross volunteer hands out needed emergency
items. Photo American Red Cross

In 2016 the Red Cross responded in Colorado and Wyoming  to home fires, apartment fires, hail storms, tornadoes, floods and wildfires. In each case residents needed to be sheltered, cared for and supported through recovery. Nearly all of that work was done by trained local volunteers who gave their time, energy and compassion to be the bright spot in an otherwise dark moment.  Many of our volunteers deployed to other states to help with large scale disasters.

It's that time of year...again!
As the spring flood and severe weather season approaches the Red Cross prepares to respond to help people affected by disasters. That preparation includes recruitment and training of new volunteers, preparing the community and maintaining equipment and supplies.
  
“Our volunteers are truly dedicated to providing support for people affected by disasters,” said Gino Greco, CEO  for the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming. “We owe them our thanks and gratitude.” Greco also said that the organization needs more volunteers, especially in the small towns and more remote areas of the territory.


Working one-on-one with those in need.
Photo: Arnett Luce/American Red Cross
We need you, NOW!
Red Cross volunteer opportunities abound and range from being a disaster volunteer to a community leader and spokesperson. Our volunteers work be hind the scenes and directly with people in need. They work from home or from the scene of a disaster.

While experience and skill sets are useful, the Red Cross will provide the training needed at no cost.




How Can You Volunteer?
 To learn more about Red Cross volunteer opportunities check out our web page at www.redcross.org/colorado. Click on the VOLUNTEER tab on the left and get started as a Red Cross volunteer.


Hear what one volunteer has to say about his "Red Cross Moment".
video

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Upcoming Red Cross Readiness Institute - June 2017

Are YOU a Red Cross Volunteer? Are you interested in updating your knowledge and getting some great training so you're prepared for the opportunity to serve locally or where ever disaster may strike? 

Well buckle up buttercup...we've got a great opportunity for you! Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is conducting a Regional Readiness Institute in June.

When:  June, 2, 3 & 4 in the Denver Metro Area
All classes will be held 8:30 am to 5:00 pm daily

Location:  Littleton Public Schools Administration Building
                   5776 S. Crocker Street
                   Littleton CO  80120

A light continental breakfast along with lunch and snacks will be provided each day.

Classes include:

1.       Disaster Cycle Services Program Update
2.       Supporting Volunteer and Managing Teams
3.       Shelter Management and Shelter Simulation

Participants are encourage to bring their own WIFI enabled laptops. 

To register online:  regionalreadiness2017.weebly.com   
OR email  troy.staples@redcross.org

Not a current Red Cross Volunteer? You can learn more about getting involved by clicking here: http://www.redcross.org/volunteer/  

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Power of Volunteers and Generosity of Donors

The American Red Cross needs two things to fulfill its mission: the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. As we approach national volunteer week, we take time to recognize some incredible volunteers and to share our thanks for the generosity of our donors. One donor, in particular, Great-West Financial and Empower Retirement, supports first responders who are powering our community for a brighter future. Through the generosity of our partners at Great-West Financial and Empower Retirement, the Red Cross is honored to serve alongside these everyday heroes and highlight their heroic contributions to the community each year. 

Left to Right: Tisha Schuller, Everyday Hero Award Winner Rex Laceby,
Brian Schuller and sons
.

The adjective “everyday” is defined as ordinary, typical, or usual. When added to the noun “hero” we have an ordinary person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. This perfectly defines the first responders who risk their lives daily to protect and serve their neighbors, friends, families, and even total strangers. Their “typical” daily activities are often heroic by the very nature of their work; firefighters, police officers, soldiers, and others fall into this category, and many volunteer countless hours in their communities.

Here at the American Red Cross, as secondary responders, we get the opportunity to work with some of these amazing people like Brian Schuller, a volunteer firefighter with Four Mile Fire Protection District.
   
In January 2001, Brian’s wife Tisha Schuller, Vice Chair of the Red Cross Mile High Area Board, “dragged” him to a community firefighting training event where he got his feet wet in the first responder world. He became engaged with some amazing people and fell in love with the work. As he began going on calls, he realized what an important contribution it was to his community and how impactful it was to people who were in a time of need. He also found it had an unexpected impact on him: “I find it personally rewarding to be there for those people,” said Brian. “You are protecting people and they are counting on you.”
With his training in wildland firefighting, Brian holds an officer position within the Four Mile department. Along with responding to calls, he helps with administrative duties that are necessary but may not be directly part of emergency response. He gives the time and talent he has, as often as he can.

In the early years before kids, he and his wife trained and responded together and always prioritized the value of community. Now as parents, the Schullers try to demonstrate that sense of community to their children, to create a culture of giving. Collectively, they do an incredible job of balancing family life, work, and many hours of volunteer service.    
In closing, Brian humbly said, “I can find you a person who does a whole lot more than me.” With regards to others that do a “whole lot more,” he said “they are appreciated and just because myself, or someone else who wants to volunteer can't give 100 percent most of the time, it shouldn't stop anyone from giving 100 percent some of their time,” he said. “Imagine if more people gave 100 percent, even one percent of their time.”
 
The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.  We want to thank those volunteers and first responders who give that 100 percent, be it a little or a lot of their time. You are the Everyday Heroes who make our communities stronger and safer.

About Great-West Financial and Empower Retirement: Established nearly 125 years ago, Great-West Financial’s offerings range from investments, life insurance, annuities and executive benefits products marketed under the Great-West Financial brand to retirement savings products and services provided by Empower Retirement, the nation’s second-largest retirement plan record keeper by participants. The company manages a total of $469.5 billion in assets for more than 8.5 million retirement, insurance and annuity customers.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

American Red Cross Heroes Soiree - 2017

To all the heroes being honored in 2017, we can’t say it enough: Thank you! 

Honoring our heroes at our March 10, 2017 Soiree was our chance to fully recognize and give thanks in person, to the giving, selfless individuals that have made such a difference. From preventing drowning, support for vets, using Red Cross or emergency medical skills where quick thinking is required, to organizing home fire campaigns, these volunteers went above and beyond.
We raised nearly $500,000 for disaster relief in the communities we serve and we are thankful to the more than 650 people who attended the event and gave so generously.


Service to the Armed Forces Hero Award
Rex Laceby, Capt. USMC (Ret
)

In addition to being a decorated veteran himself, Rex has devoted his life to service to veterans. He not only leads the career placement program for veterans at University of Colorado, he has developed and teaches courses on how to create a welcoming environment for veterans—both on campus and in work places. This service is helping to both place returning veterans in the workforce, and to help create supportive environments where veterans can be successful. Rex is also well known in the community for his service as a volunteer with Boulder Emergency Squad. Video at: Armed Forces Hero.

Life Saving Hero Award
Christopher Francklyn

Chris is the coach of CU Club Rowing. He was out at the Boulder Reservoir performing
maintenance, when he realized rowers from a junior rower’s high school club were on the water as a very strong wind squall with 40+ miles per hour winds came up. Several rowing shells were swamped and rowers were in deep water. At great personal risk, Chris piloted the CU teams' launch out to the stricken rowers, maneuvered skillfully up to the swamped racing shells, and proceeded to get them aboard his launch and out of the water. Despite very strong winds and waves breaking over his launch, he got all the nine student rowers safely to shore and away from danger. Video at: Lifesaving Award.


Youth Hero Award
Haley Bolen and Annabelle Schaeffer

During a camping trip at Sky High Ranch in Woodland Park, Haley was able to use skills which she learned during her week-long Red Cross babysitting course previously this year, to recognize the signs of a stroke and inform the parent volunteers at the camp what the emergency was. Haley recited the FAST rules to the parents and told them the scout leader was having a stroke. Haley's quick thinking and fast action helped to save a life that day. Once the EMTs arrived, Haley assisted in giving information of symptoms to the medics. Annabelle was also instrumental in assisting Haley, and gave the emergency information needed to notify the scout leaders’ family of her condition and the hospital she was being flown to. These young ladies showed great lifesaving skills by keeping everyone calm, not panicking, and also knowing what to do in an emergency.  Video at: Youth Hero Award




International Services Hero Award
Yadira Rodriguez Bernal
Yadira was recently recognized as the Foreign Services 2016 Volunteer of the Year. She works at Nationwide Insurance full-time and her schedule includes Saturdays but she still finds time to visit the Immigration Detention Center and work with detainees. Yadira is originally from Colombia and utilizes her background to connect and provide comfort to people in the Aurora facility. She is a passionate supporter of the Red Cross in Denver and consistently helps in various Red Cross programs across several lines of service. In her spare time, Yadira organized a home fire prevention campaign for her co-workers to install smoke detectors in homes in vulnerable communities. Her dedication to others is obvious through the hours of time she so willingly gives through her volunteer service. Video at:  International Services Award




Health and Safety Hero Award
Detective Shawna Gilbert and Sue Jordan

Detective Shawna Gilbert was participating in the Law Enforcement United (LEU) Road to Hope, a 3-day bicycle ride which raises money for survivors of officers killed in the line of duty. Detective Gilbert volunteered as a ride marshal during the route, which spanned from Reading, Pennsylvania to Washington DC. During day two of the ride, Detective Gilbert was riding up a hill and observed a participant fall over on his bicycle. Sue Jordan,a nurse who was also participating in the ride, was first to make contact with the fallen rider who was unconscious, had no pulse, and was not breathing. Due to Sue’s quick response and Detective Gilbert’s efforts, the rider regained a heartbeat and began breathing on his own. The fallen rider ended up having triple bypass surgery. As a result of these ladies’ quick assessment and effective rendering of CPR, he is alive today; fully recovered with no permanent damage and has returned to work as a police sergeant.
Video at: Health and Safety Award





Thanks to all of our Sponsors for the 2017 Heroes Soiree: