October 27, 2008
American Red Cross volunteer Debbie Kemp of the Washtenaw County Chapter in Ann Arbor (MI), and Eric Sanchez work together on cleaning and packing up cots that were used in the megashelter in Houston which housed as many as 1,200 Hurricane Ike evacuees. Sanchez, who won the Season 11 “All Star Amazing Race,” and several contestants from the reality television shows “Survivor,” “Big Brother,” and “Amazing Race” were on hand Sunday (October 26) to help with cot cleanup. In times of disaster, the American Red Cross provides food, shelter, disaster health and mental health services, bulk distribution of home and health products, and advocacy and referral services.
October 15, 2008
October 6, 2008 was proclaimed to be American Red Cross Day in Baytown, TX, by Mayor Stephen DonCarlos; in recognition of the “overwhelming acts of kindness and support; and countless hours and dedication” to the Baytown community. This same recognition was awarded to the North Carolina contingent of Southern Baptists.
The super dynamic duo helped get the Baytown kitchen running and serving a record number of meals, with many accolades from clients and staff. The Baytown kitchen had served 671,000 meals as of October 8, 2008. With a combined total of 53 years with Red Cross Disaster Relief, Tony and Tony worked well together from the start and left the operation as good friends.
When presented with the award the men remarked that the award was not for their efforts, but for ALL the people who really made it happen. Describing the nickname given them by their co-workers, “The Dog and Tony Show”, the guys smiled and shook their heads. “Yeah, that’s pretty true – it just depended on which one of us was running the show!”
October 13, 2008
Residents of the Houston/Galveston area have seen the work being done by the Red Cross and they want to help.
Duane Betz, Commodore of the Galveston Bay Cruising Association, stopped by the disaster relief operation headquarters recently to deliver a $1,878 donation that his group raised during a recent sailing race. The race, said Bez, “was a way to help the sailors get a feeling of a return to normalcy and to benefit all affected by the storm.”
During his visit to the relief operation headquarters, Glen Lockwood, job director, thanked Bez for the group’s efforts and provided a tour of the site.
October 10, 2008
The lovely lady in the hat you see assisting with mobile feeding operations is Josephine Smith, 83 years young. Josephine was born in Chambers County, Texas and has called Anahuac her home for more than 82 years.
Hurricane Ike brought Josephine to the Red Cross as a client, and she soon became a volunteer. “I have lived in Chambers County my whole life; I know ALL these people, I just had to help my friends.” Josephine feels blessed to have survived and to be able to give back.
October 6, 2008
Saundra Romero, a Red Cross volunteer from the Oregon Pacific Chapter, appreciates how her co-workers pitch in and support her efforts. She wanted to help with this year’s hurricane response needs and only had one week of vacation at the time. Her co-workers at UMPQUA, a community development corporation, pitched in and through their generous donations, Saundra, received an extra 40 hours of vacation time.
“I think it’s wonderful that they stand behind me, especially since I’m their only tech person. This gives them an opportunity to support the Red Cross through me.” Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the Red Cross disaster relief headquarters, Saundra provides computer and phone support for other workers.
Saundra’s extended community has supported her in the past too. In 2005, the community of Roseburg, Oregon, came together and raised five weeks pay to support Saundra while she volunteered to assist victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
September 30, 2008
Rita Underwood from Wichita Falls, TX, has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross for the past 20 years. She is currently assisting victims of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in Louisiana. Rita said, “It never hits home until it’s one of your own. The Red Cross was there for me and my family 54 years ago when our family home burned down; 50 years ago when our next family home was hit by a tornado; and again 20 years ago when my son needed blood to save his life. I am just so proud to be a volunteer.”
In her spare time, Rita sings the National Anthem at sporting events.