Monday, August 2, 2021

In Case You Missed It

Red Cross employee Chris Higgins featured in #MyRedCrossLife.

Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (See below.)

Last Week in Review
  • We gave a shoutout to Lori-Ann Pizzarelli, yet another Red Cross volunteer who passed her Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) road test. She’s now a member of our team of volunteers ready to take one of our ERVs out to a local disaster at a moment’s notice.

Upcoming Events and Activities



Monday, July 26, 2021

In Case You Missed It

The Red Cross of Greater New York's disaster preparedness PSA in case of a Sharknado.

Over the last seven days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 85 adults and 36 children for 49 local disaster responses. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (See below.) 

Last Week in Review
  • We interviewed Red Cross volunteer and retired nurse Neale Sanchez for our blog. He discussed how surviving a car accident, which left him hospitalized for seven months, motivated him to help others through nursing. Check out the full story here.

Upcoming Events and Activities
  • The American Red Cross has issued a call for blood. We are experiencing nationwide blood shortages and are in dire need of donors to help us save lives. Find a blood drive near you today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

"Three Questions" with Neale Sanchez

"Three Questions” is an American Red Cross in Greater New York blog series featuring staff, volunteers, and partners who help carry out our humanitarian mission. Through these short interviews, we hope to shine a light on our different programs and get to know those who make this work possible.


by Xavia Malcolm, American Red Cross in Greater NY

American Red Cross Health Services volunteer Neale Sanchez takes great pride in helping others. This is one of the reasons he decided to become a nurse. Today, although he is semi-retired, Neale continues to utilize his experience in healthcare to provide support and assistance to individuals affected by disasters. Neale is known by many for his ability to adapt in stressful situations, roll up his sleeves and serve in multiple roles.

Why did you pursue a career in nursing?

I survived a life-changing car accident. Having been hospitalized for almost seven months and undergoing eight surgeries, I know what it is like to be on the receiving end of the kindness of nurses. This was an inspiration. I actually wish I became a nurse sooner in life.

When did you join the Red Cross, and how has becoming a volunteer impacted your life?

I joined the Red Cross the summer of 2019 . So far, I have done many DHS [Disaster Health Services] local responses for fire, several virtual responses for DAT [Disaster Action Team] and Disability Integration. Before the peak of the COVID pandemic I deployed to Tennessee in response to the tornadoes that wreaked havoc in the lives of many people. I was there for three weeks, and it was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I was a little nervous at first but when I met my supervisor who trained me in multiple positions, I became more confident. What has been the most impactful is being able to work with families and providing resources to help them during disasters. There are always moments that stick with you. I remember during a response bringing a CAC card [Red Cross financial assistance on a debit card] to a woman who was really in need; she was so appreciative that she started crying the moment we arrived. Her gratitude just really solidified my commitment to the Red Cross.

The pandemic has changed the lives of many, and presented many challenges, what has it been like for you?

It has been very challenging for multiple reasons. It’s been difficult not being able to deploy. However, I‘ve had the opportunity to work with the national Red Cross and help manage agency nurses. I also got to meet Red Crossers virtually from almost every state, and I have met many DHS leaders. Virtual responses sometimes can be heartbreaking because you can’t physically comfort clients but I am able to assist them immediately with RC Care [Red Cross tracking and assistance software]. This has proven to be very efficient. I know how difficult this has all been, especially when faced with a disaster. But if there was something that I could tell clients is that they are in the arms of the Red Cross. We are here to help them with all their disaster-related needs, and we will do all that we can to get them back on the road to recovery.


Monday, July 19, 2021

In Case You Missed It

Red Cross volunteer Erica McKenna and her daughter supporting the need for blood drives.

Over the last seven days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 73 adults and 22 children for 27 local disaster responses. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (See below.)

Last Week in Review 

Upcoming Events and Activities
  • The American Red Cross has issued a call for blood. We are experiencing nationwide blood shortages and are in dire need of donors to help us save lives. Find a blood drive near you today.

Monday, July 12, 2021

In Case You Missed It

Red Cross of Greater New York volunteers at a ticker tape parade for #HometownHeroes.
(Photo: Vivian Moy)

Over the last seven days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 148 adults and 57 children for 43 local disaster responses. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (See below.

Last Week In Review
Upcoming Events and Activities 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

In Case You Missed It




Red Cross volunteer Lipica Shah sets up the shot for her TODAY Show segment. 

Over the last seven days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 61 adults and 24 children following 45 local disaster responses. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (See below.) 


Last Week In Review 
  • As the Daily Voice reported last week, the Long Island Red Cross provided assistance to evacuated residents after a car crashed into a utility pole, causing a gas leak and power outage in Bethpage. 

Upcoming Events and Activities






Wednesday, June 30, 2021

"Three Questions" with Sally Nielsen

"Three Questions” is an American Red Cross in Greater New York blog series featuring staff, volunteers, and partners who help carry out our humanitarian mission. Through these short interviews, we hope to shine a light on our different programs and get to know those who make this work possible.


by Xavia Malcolm, American Red Cross in Greater NY

Sally Nielsen has dedicated her life to helping others. She has cared for many people over the span of her career as a nurse. Today, although she is retired, Sally continues to apply the noble principles of nursing to her role as a health services volunteer with the American Red Cross. Since joining our team in January of 2018, she has provided assistance to countless individuals, and has exemplified compassion.

Why did you pursue a career in nursing?

I fell in love with the Florence Nightingale [founder of modern nursing] story, and nursing has always been a part of my life. My mother was a nurse, I became a nurse, so did my daughter. It is an amazing career that allows me to do what I love the most which is to help others.

How has becoming Red Cross volunteer impacted your life?

I have always admired the work of the Red Cross. What we do is truly unique. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to see resilience and grace at its best, in times of adversity. In 2018, I deployed to Florida following the devastation of Hurricane Michael. The level of destruction was one that you could not imagine. You would have to see it to believe it. Homes were leveled and acres of forest were destroyed. Everything was demolished. Yet people were so grateful that we were there with them. I find it important to let people know that we are truly there to help in any way that we can. One of the first things I say to clients when we arrive is, “You are not alone. The Red Cross is here for you.” With these words people often break down and cry. What we do makes a difference in their lives. I have had clients contact me months after a response saying: "thank you for helping my family find a safe place to stay," "thank you for helping me secure a generator to run my medical equipment," and so on." I admire these people; they are the amazing ones.

The pandemic has changed our way of life, what has been like for you as volunteer?

It’s been hard. The human touch just means so much and it has been challenging in some ways to not physically touch someone to reassure them or make them feel them feel supported. However, I take comfort in knowing that I can still provide assistance by speaking with clients on the phone, offering virtual support and providing referrals online. I am looking forward to the day when I am able to give hugs again- I can’t wait!