Monday, April 12, 2021

In Case You Missed It

Volunteers supporting residents displaced by Queens fire.

Over the last seven days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 65 adults and 11 children following 30 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (See below)

Last Week in Review

Upcoming Events and Activities

Monday, April 5, 2021

In Case You Missed It

Long-time Greater NY Red Cross volunteer, Dottie Brier. 

Over the last seven days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 91 adults and 34 children following 49 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (See below)

Last Week in Review
Upcoming Events and Activities

Friday, April 2, 2021

"Three Questions" With Vanessa Diez

by Angelina Vasilevsky, American Red Cross in Greater NY

“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.




Vanessa Diez, from Yonkers, N.Y., is a full time student pursuing her master’s in public administration/emergency management and a full time social worker, helping immigrant youth in NYC. She is a remarkable young woman who, despite a busy schedule, made it a priority to serve through the American Red Cross as a volunteer. She recently joined the Red Cross and just graduated from our Disaster Action Team Academy, a specialized training program for our volunteer leaders. As part of her Red Cross work she helps local residents affected by disasters during weekly takes night shifts.

Where does your desire and commitment to help others come from?

My entire career has been in service, so I’ve always kind of leaned that way. It was not something I necessarily planned on; it’s just something that always felt very natural to me. I also strongly believe that my commitment to service and the need to help others, came from my mom. She had a very rough life, but still managed to help everyone around her. Hearing her life story and the help she didn't get, encouraged me to be a person who is able to help other people, to let them know what services are out there, what they are entitled to, what their children are entitled to, to help people advocate for themselves. I felt like my mom just didn't really know how to advocate for herself, or advocate for my brother or me. Information is power, so if you have the information and you know that there are people behind you supporting you, you’re going to go the distance.

In the middle of the pandemic, you decided to volunteer with the Red Cross. What led you to this decision?

I felt like there was a lot of madness going on in the world. Ever since Covid-19 hit, it almost felt like I wasn't helping enough for my community and my people, so I needed to do more. I realized that I had all of this time working from home, and I wasn't using it productively. So I started looking for volunteer opportunities, in particular with emergency management. I just wanted to help the people that needed help. The Red Cross seemed to offer the ideal opportunities especially once I reached out to the supervisors, saw how flexible they are and how appreciative they are. I was impressed by everything that the Red Cross offers, in terms of training, connections and mostly the people who are providing the experiences and mentorship. The online training was very informative and easy to access. They even provided ways to practice, which is not something that is expected with online training and I thought that was really great.

You have a very busy schedule. When do you find the time to volunteer?

In my day job I work with kids. So most of my work with the Red Cross has been virtual. Now I will be going into the field, and that's something I've been waiting to do. I do overnight shifts, and I don't mind them at all. Sometimes it's quiet, but a lot of times it gets crazy in the middle of the night. I catch as much sleep as I can, and I try to get as much done as I can throughout the day. I think that the most important thing the Red Cross brings and offers is kindness, understanding and patience in a moment when a person doesn’t have any. I am so grateful and so happy to be working with such an amazing organization.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

PODCAST: COVID Conversations

A little more than a year ago, when the pandemic started taking hold here in greater NY, we began recording a new season of our podcast featuring a diverse group of Red Cross volunteers and employees who discuss the impact that the pandemic is having on the communities we serve. The idea was to recognize the stress and anxiety so many of us are feeling and to shine a light on those who are doing all they can to help. Listeners will hear stories of hope and learn about ways to cope with the emotional impact of COVID-19. Thank you to all who have shared with us so far. Let's continue to look out for one another. 

Tune in by scrolling below. You can listen and subscribe on Podbean. Episodes also available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play by searching “Red Cross NY.”










Monday, March 29, 2021

In Case You Missed It

Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in red to celebrate Red Cross Giving Day

Over the last seven days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 111 adults and 36 children following 44 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (See below)

Last Week in Review Upcoming Events and Activities

Friday, March 26, 2021

Celebrating our Legislative Partners During Red Cross Month


March 26, 2021 Albany, NY
– The American Red Cross in New York State today celebrated six state legislators for their distinguished efforts in the State Capital and their partnership with the Red Cross in their home districts.

The 2021 American Red Cross New York State Legislators of the Year are Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Sen. John Brooks, Sen. Patrick Gallivan, Sen. Sue Serino, Asm. Martiza Davila and Asm. Donna Lupardo. The legislators received their awards during a virtual ceremony held this morning.

This is the third year the Red Cross in New York State presents this award to legislators representing its three New York State regions – Greater New York, Eastern New York, and Western New York.

“We are so grateful for the partnership we share with our legislators across the state. Their commitment to improve the lives of their constituents aligns with the Red Cross’ mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. They each share in our humanitarian spirit and we are honored to recognize them for their efforts to help build more resilient communities,” said Mary Barneby, Kevin Coffey and Alan H. Turner II, the CEO of the American Red Cross Greater New York, Eastern New York, and Western New York Regions in New York State.

“It is a true honor to be recognized by the American Red Cross as a 2021 State Legislator of the Year. I am blessed to be able to partner with this great organization on their Sound the Alarm campaign to bring fire safety and fire alarms to my constituents, as well as helping to deliver boxes of food to the community. Helping people remain safe — especially during an  emergency situation — is one of the cornerstones of my job as an elected official. I look forward to continuing the great work that we do together,” said Senator Joseph Addabbo.

"I have worked alongside the American Red Cross countless times both as a New York State Senator and as a lifelong volunteer firefighter; and I am honored to be recognized by their organization in this manner. The Red Cross is the gold standard in relief and aid organizations, and I am grateful for our effective partnership. I look forward to continuing our work together in accomplishing our shared goal of helping those in need,” said Senator John Brooks.

"I am grateful to the American Red Cross for its dedication to our community and its willingness to partner with my office to better serve the residents of New York State.  I have seen, firsthand, the important work the Red Cross and its team does in responding to a crisis and helping those in need of immediate assistance.  I know that thousands of residents throughout the district have benefitted from the professional training, emergency preparedness and blood donations the agency provides.  I am proud to work with the Red Cross and to support its humanitarian mission.  Thank you for this special recognition," Senator Patrick Gallivan.

"To be honored by an organization whose own mission is so rooted in community service is truly humbling. The heroes at the Red Cross have long been a beacon of hope in the face of extreme emergencies here in the Hudson Valley and beyond, and we are grateful for their efforts and dedication. I cannot thank the Red Cross enough for the work they do, and for this honor, and I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure that our neighbors in need always have a place to turn," said Senator Sue Serino.

"I was extremely devastated and heartbroken for the people of Puerto Rico when the island was so severely affected by Hurricane Maria.  It’s a place that is very close to my heart and seeing the devastation hit very close to home for me. There is still more work to be done in rehabilitating Puerto Rico but I am truly honored and humbled to receive such a prestigious award from the American Red Cross, an institution that has been at the forefront of disaster relief throughout the world. I look forward to continuing to work side by side with the Red Cross team to ensure that wherever there is devastation we are there to offer support,” said Assemblywoman Maritza Davila.

“I am honored to be recognized by the American Red Cross as one of its Legislators of the Year. NYS has faced its share of emergencies in recent years and the ARC is always there to respond to the unique needs of every resident dealing with disaster. The Southern Tier Chapter continues to be a reliable resource at a moment’s notice, helping my constituents recover from two historic floods and other crises. Working together, we have been able to help countless New Yorkers and I’m proud to be their advocate at the state level,” said Assemblymember Donna Lupardo.

About the 2021 State Legislators of the Year



Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.
(Queens) was recognized in part for his efforts to aid residents whose lives were deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy in late October of 2012.  As a member of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy, Senator Addabbo worked to help his community recover and rebuild from the devastating storm.

Senator Addabbo also distinguished himself by partnering with the Red Cross to deliver food and essential supplies as part of a critical mission in Queens during the height of the COVID pandemic. Senator Addabbo worked alongside Red Cross volunteers to personally deliver boxes of fresh food to the some of the most vulnerable in our society. 

The Red Cross further noted Senator Addabbo’s efforts to prepare his constituents for the event of a disaster by co-hosting a series of virtual Citizen Preparedness Corps emergency preparedness presentations, and promoting the Red Cross Home Fire Safety campaign by encouraging them to sign up for free smoke alarm installations.



Senator John E. Brooks
(Long Island), Chair of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, was recognized for decades of work to protect the people of Long Island.

For more than 50 years, Senator Brooks has been an active volunteer firefighter with the Seaford, Medford and Lindenhurst Fire Departments and previously served as Seaford Fire Chief.  Prior to Superstorm Sandy, Senator Brooks served as the Chairman of the Long Island Hurricane Symposium Program where he partnered with hurricane experts and the National Weather Services to evaluate risk on Long Island.

Senator Brooks also worked to better prepare his community in the event of disaster, by serving as a Red Cross Champion for the Sound the Alarm campaign on Long Island, and has co-hosted a virtual Citizen Preparedness Corps. emergency preparedness event, which helped to prepare residents for hurricanes, fires as well as other natural and man-made disasters.



Senator Patrick M. Gallivan
(Western New York), was recognized for his strong partnership with the Red Cross in his district as well as his distinguished service in the State Senate. 

Notably, Senator Gallivan has hosted several disaster preparedness programs in his district helping to train more than 600 individuals through the Citizens Preparedness Corps program. Under the Senator’s leadership, schools in his district have also participated in Hands Only CPR, Prepare with Pedro and Pillowcase Project programs.

Prior to his election to the State Senate, Senator Gallivan served as Erie County Sheriff from 1998-2005, and before that spent 15 years as a State Trooper. Senator Gallivan is a graduate of both the prestigious FBI National Executive Institute and the FBI National Academy, and is a past member of the New York State Executive Committee on Counter-Terrorism.

Senator Gallivan has used his extensive background in law enforcement to help secure funding to provide Resource Officers to school districts and has supported community-based programs to combat domestic violence.



Senator Sue Serino
(Hudson Valley) was recognized for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Red Cross during several major disaster response operations.  When her district was hit by two Nor’easter snowstorms, Senator Serino made sure her constituents knew where Red Cross shelters were located and shared timely and vital safety information to help people weather the storms.

And in October 2017, when fire ripped through the Rip Van Winkle Apartment Building and affected more than 400 individuals, Senator Serino was on the scene and took action to connect with community leaders throughout Dutchess County to help secure in-kind donations for the clients impacted by this fire. The Senator helped secure pillows, hygiene products for adults and babies, water, and critical supplies for displaced residents.

Senator Serino also hosted several youth preparedness courses in her district and helps lead outreach efforts in the community including using her social media presence to share the constant need for blood donations.



Assemblymember Martiza Davila
(Brooklyn), was recognized for her efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island of Puerto Rico in 2017 and for working to prepare the residents of her district for disaster.

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Assemblymember Davila, a native of CataƱo, Puerto Rico and the current Chair of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, was one of the first people on the ground surveying and offering relief to the devastated island and its people. Providing direct information on the needs of particularly hard-hit areas, and working alongside the Red Cross, she was an invaluable partner for the Red Cross and her efforts resulted in more efficient and immediate service delivery to those in need.

Having moved to Bushwick in Brooklyn as a young girl, Assemblywoman Davila has also served as a Red Cross Champion for the Sound the Alarm campaign in Brooklyn, encouraging residents to sign up for free smoke alarm installations and helping protect community members from the dangers of home fires.



Assemblymember Donna A. Lupardo
(Southern Tier), was recognized as a 2021 New York State Legislator of the Year by the American Red Cross for her ongoing support of the Red Cross and assistance during natural catastrophes the region has faced.

As the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Assemblymember Lupardo has prioritized food security for vulnerable populations, and for those effected by supply chain problems and job loss during the COVID pandemic. Assemblymember Lupardo has authored numerous pieces of legislation which were signed into law during her time in the state legislature earning her a well-deserved reputation as a tireless and effective leader. 

Each year, Assemblymember Lupardo sponsors the designation of March as Red Cross Month in the State Assembly and she has served as member of Southern Tier Sound the Alarm.Save a Life. Campaign Cabinet for many years.  In addition, Assemblymember Lupardo was recognized for supporting Red Cross disaster preparedness initiatives and campaigns; helping to recruit new Red Cross volunteers; and promoting blood drives. 


During its most recent fiscal year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020) the Red Cross performed the following services in New York State:

 

  •          Responded to 3,473 local emergencies and assisted 7,901 families;
  •          Provided fire safety education in 15,779 households;
  •          Installed 45,382 new smoke alarms;
  •          Collected 110,618 units of blood through 5,591 blood drives;
  •          Educated 5,344 grade school children in emergency preparedness;
  •          Assisted more than 7,465 members of the military and their families;
  •          Maintained readiness of 9,284 volunteers;
  •          Trained 27,450 people through the NYS Citizens Preparedness Corps program.


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

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Monday, March 22, 2021

In Case You Missed It

Red Cross Volunteer Vanessa Diez features on the newest episode of our podcast.

Over the last seven days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 178 adults and 82 children following 71 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (See below)

Last Week in Review

Upcoming Events and Activities