Red Cross Volunteer Moved by Veteran During Home Fire Campaign Event

Red Cross Volunteer Rich Peloso with
Glassboro homeowner and Vietnam
War Veteran John Campbell during a
Home Fire Campaign event on Saturday
November 2, 2019.

At a Home Fire Campaign canvassing event in Glassboro on Saturday, November 2, Red Cross volunteer Rich Peloso and the other members of a smoke alarm installation team were welcomed into the home of John Campbell and his wife of 50 years to provide a fire safety visit and install free smoke alarms as needed. 

When John was asked if anyone in the home was ever in the military he told them about his military service in the Vietnam War. He added, “I even wrote a book about the military members who were killed in action from Gloucester County, as a way to pay tribute to the 43 men who didn’t make it home. It took me seven years to write it.” 

Rich and the other volunteers were impressed with John’s service in the military and the dedication he demonstrated to fallen military members by carefully writing a book about the men.  John went to a small table drawer and took out a copy of his book, personally signed it, and gave it to Rich. 

Rich finished the day with his team and 9 other teams installing more than 230 smoke alarms while making 87 homes safer; another successful event! 

When Rich went home and shared this story with his wife Sandy, she was so moved she had tears in her eyes. She wanted to do something nice for the veteran.  Sandy called a friend who makes wreaths and asked her to create a veteran’s wreath.  Two days later, Rich drove over to John’s house and presented the wreath to be hung on John’s door.  The veteran was so pleased when he saw the wreath. He said, “You really made my day, thank you so much!” 

Positive volunteer experiences happen every day at American Red Cross.  You never know who you will meet or help within our communities.  If you would like to become a part of American Red Cross, we welcome you to join us.  BECOME A VOLUNTEER  It is through the time and care of ordinary people that we can do extraordinary things.  The Red Cross is always looking for people with various backgrounds, talents and skill levels.  For more information or to find a volunteer orientation near you, visit redcross.org/volunteer.

Holidays for Heroes

Send a Touch of Home to Deployed Service Members

LaTanya Adams helps her 5-year-old daughter McKenzie write a note of appreciation to a soldier during a Comforts of Home packing event last year. McKenzie’s card was shipped with others to deployed service members, bringing a touch of home for the holidays.

A simple card can have a profound impact. Show your support with an encouraging note for the holidays to the brave men and women who serve our country.

The American Red Cross New Jersey Region invites you or your group to send cards of thanks and holiday cheer to military members, veterans and their families.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Address cards to “service member” or “veteran.”
  2. Write a note! Keep your message positive and upbeat.
  3. Avoid cards containing glitter.
  4. Do not enclose any items with your holiday cards. Any items enclosed will be removed.
  5. Include your name and where you’re from, but do not include additional personal information such as email, phone number or address.
  6. Do not put cards in envelopes. Individual cards in envelopes cannot be accepted.

Cards for Holidays for Heroes should be packaged and mailed to:
American Red Cross House
Holidays for Heroes
6051 Doughboy Loop
JB MDL, NJ 08640

Cards can also be dropped off at Red Cross locations in New Jersey. Visit redcross.org/NJ.

Give something that means something. Send some holiday cheer to the
servicemen and women who help defend our freedom.

For more information about Holidays for Heroes call: 609-562-2258.

How to Become Red Cross Ready for an Emergency

Everyone knows the Red Cross helps people during emergencies. But you may not know that it’s also part of our mission to help you help yourself! Becoming “Red Cross Ready” for an emergency means following our simple steps in advance to ensure you can weather a crisis safely and comfortably. Being prepared may not prevent a disaster, but it will give you confidence to meet the challenge.

Be Red Cross Ready

It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Getting prepared may sound difficult or time consuming but – with a little help from the Red Cross – its actually very doable. Click on the links below for helpful tips in this three-step process for becoming Red Cross Ready.

1

Get a Kit – Learn the essential supplies to put in your family’s survival kit.

2

Make a Plan – Plan effectively for you and your family in case of an emergency.

3

Be Informed – Understand which disasters are likely to occur in your area and what you must know to stay safe.

Ten Ways to Keep Trick or Treaters Safe This Halloween

Even with children dressed up as ghosts, goblins and ghouls, Halloween doesn’t have to be so scary. The American Red Cross has ten tips parents can follow to help keep the kids safe while enjoying the festivities.

  1. Trick-or-treaters need to see and be seen.
    – Use face makeup instead of masks which make seeing difficult.
    – Give trick-or-treaters a flashlight to light their way.
    – Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
    – Have everyone wear light-colored clothing.
  2. Use flame-resistant costumes.
  3. Make sure adults know where the kids are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children door-to-door.
  4. Be cautious around animals, especially dogs.
  5. Walk, don’t run.
  6. Only visit homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.
  7. Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street.
    – If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic.
    – Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner.
    – Don’t cut across yards or use alleys.
    – Don’t cross between parked cars.
    – Drivers – use extra caution. The youngsters may forget to look both ways before crossing.
  8. A grown-up should check the goodies before eating.
    – Make sure to remove loose candy, open packages and choking hazards.
    – Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.
    If you are planning to welcome trick-or-treaters to your home, follow these safety steps:
  9. Light the area well so young visitors can see.
  10. Sweep leaves from your sidewalks and steps. Clear your porch or front yard of obstacles someone could trip over.

Download the free Red Cross First Aid App for instant access to expert first aid advice right at your fingertips. Use the free app Emergency for weather alerts and to let others know you are safe if severe weather occurs. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Red Cross Helps Those Affected by Large Fires in Paterson and Mount Laurel

Massive Paterson fire destroys half-way house in Paterson, displacing more than 200 people.

On Saturday afternoon, August 24, a large fire affected the Straight and Narrow Halfway House run by Catholic Charities in Paterson, New Jersey. The fire temporarily displaced more than 200 people, including those evacuated as a precaution from neighboring facilities and homes across the street.

American Red Cross New Jersey Region disaster workers responded to the scene to provide comfort and care to those affected by the fire. Working together with local officials and Catholic Charities, a reception center was opened at a Paterson elementary school while plans were made to accommodate the needs of those affected.

The 44 men who were displaced from the halfway house (main fire building) were moved to another Straight and Narrow facility in Passaic. Red Cross caseworkers provided emergency assistance for food and clothing needs to these 44 individuals who lost everything in the fire.

A Red Cross shelter was opened at International High School for those residents who were evacuated for their safety from the homes across the street. The Red Cross provided meals to 14 people who stayed overnight at the shelter. Due to medical issues, Red Cross emergency assistance for temporary lodging needs was provided to one family of six unable to return to their home.

The Red Cross supported two additional shelters opened by Straight and Narrow to accommodate those evacuated their neighboring facilities. One shelter was opened for 59 women and ten children; the other shelter was opened for 89 men. Red cross cots, blankets and comfort kits were supplied at these shelters.

During the two-day response, more than 30 Red Cross disaster workers (mostly volunteers) helped those affected by this fire in Paterson.

Large Mount Laurel Fire

On Tuesday, August 27, five Red Cross disaster workers responded to provide comfort and care to people displaced by a large condo building fire on Auburn Court in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. After meeting with the families, Red Cross emergency assistance for temporary lodging, food and clothing was provided as needed to 35 people in 15 families.

All emergency assistance is free to those affected by disasters and is made possible through the donation of time by dedicated Red Cross volunteers and the generosity of the American public.

To learn more about volunteering: redcross.org/volunteer

Help people affected by disasters big and small with a financial gift. To donate: redcross.org/donate

What to Include in Your Emergency Preparedness Kit

Disasters can happen anywhere, at any time, even in your home. As we approach National Preparedness Month this September, take these 3 action steps – get an emergency kit, make a plan and be informed.

  • Build a kit – Build an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you if you must evacuate. Include items such as water, non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, first aid kit and medications.
  • Make a plan – Talk with members of your household about what to do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case everyone is separated and choose two places to meet—one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.
  • Be informed – Know what kinds of emergency situations may occur where you live, where you work, and where you go to school. Get trained in First Aid and CPR/AED so you’ll know what to do in an emergency if help is delayed. Don’t forget your pets, plan for them too.

When putting together your emergency preparedness kit, there are many things to consider including. Here is a checklist to help you.

Battle of The Cities Blood Drive: Vineland vs. Millville

When New Jersey first responders compete to collect blood, everyone wins! First responders from Millville and Vineland will compete to see who can recruit the most eligible blood donors in the community during their first-ever American Red Cross Battle of the Cities blood drive on Wednesday, Aug. 14.   

Which city will you support?

Schedule an appointment

Community members are needed to roll up their sleeves and donate blood for their cities on Aug. 14 between 10 a.m.-8 p.m. at the John F. Scarpa Technical Educations Center of Cumberland County. 3400 College Drive, Vineland, New Jersey.

Appointments are strongly encouraged. To schedule an appointment, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code CityBattle  or call 1-800-REDCROSS.

Presenting donors will have access to several incentives. Everyone who comes out to donate will receive a free T-shirt, while supplies last. Donors will also receive a voucher for a free Medium Iced Coffee and a free Classic Donut, redeemable at participating Dunkin’ restaurants in the Greater Philadelphia Region, while supplies last. Vouchers are not redeemable for cash.

Also, in thanks, all those who come to donate blood or platelets July 29-Aug. 29 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)

This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces an emergency need for blood donors to give now to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients this summer. Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. More donations are immediately needed to help replenish the blood supply.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.