A Spring In Your Kit

Now is the time of year when you’ll want to start making the switch from your cold weather kit to your warm weather kit in preparation for those 80-degree days. They have to happen SOMETIME, right? With the sun shining down, heavy emergency blankets may not be as useful (or practical). The same can be said for hand warmers; extra scarves, hats, and gloves; and snow boots. Granted, we just recently had a snow day in the middle of April…but that’s the Ohio we’ve come to know and love, yes? Hopefully, it will prove to be the last snow day of the season, but it definitely reminds us to Be Red Cross Ready for anything!

For the warmer weather, consider adding battery-powered fans, ice packs, sunglasses, a poncho (for our unpredictable, stormy spring seasons), and SPF lotion to your kit. A little creativity goes a long way too. An umbrella becomes doubly useful not only for the sudden downpours, but also as a shield from the heat of the sun. Isn’t that genius?

If you don’t have a disaster kit that you’re switching from, we encourage you to build one now to fit your everyday needs. You can also visit our Red Cross Store to purchase ready made disaster kits. Stay safe and enjoy the weather!

Awarding Invaluable Efforts

According to recent survey, a volunteer’s time is worth $21.40 an hour in Ohio. Since July 2013, our volunteers have provided our Red Cross with $406,086.40 worth of assistance. Isn’t that amazing? We honored some of their efforts on April 10th at a volunteer award luncheon in Allen County. Here’s a list of the award recipients:


Larry Flick – Clara Barton Award
Carole Hume and Janet Eilerman 
Volunteer of the Year Award
Jasmine Binod – Youth of the Year Award
Paul Brown – Frances Miller Award
Timothy “Bo” McComas – Flickinger Leadership Award
Your Hometown Stations – Organization/Business of the Year Award

The event provided volunteers with door prizes and desserts while recognizing service tenures ranging from 5 years up to 70 years (incredible, VaLaire Orchard!) You can read this article for more information about our awards or check out additional photos from the event here. Congratulations to all of the winners and a special thank you for all you do to support our mission.

Don’t miss out! See how you or a friend can become a volunteer too.

Calling All Cars

To honor our local fire, police, sheriff, and EMS/rescue units, more than 220 people were in attendance this past Sunday, April 12, at the Napoleon American Legion for our Hometown Heroes event. We work hand-in-hand with different emergency personnel who help us respond to a disaster every 19 hours. Fire, flood, or tornado, we can always find those flashing lights and sirens nearby, assisting families in need. We provide canteening services – that is, beverages and sandwiches – to these brave men and women, but this event gave us all a chance to really show how much we care.  Our 2014 celebrated heroes are:

HH_icesculptureMike Smith – Deshler Volunteer Fire Department
Jeff Brubaker – Hamler Volunteer Fire Department
Bradley A. Strickland – Napoleon City Police
Tracy Busch – Henry County Emergency Management Agency
Dave Samlow – Florida/Flatrock Volunteer Fire Department
Rick Spiess – Liberty Center/Washington Township
Volunteer Fire Department
Eileen Stough – Ridgeville Township Volunteer Fire Department
Jerry E. Wolf – Holgate Volunteer Fire Department
Tim Cereghin – Napoleon Fire & Rescue
Larry Aelker – New Bavaria Volunteer Fire Department
Marc Ruskey – Henry County Sheriff Office
Janine Reimund – South Joint Ambulance District
Eric Klein – Malinta Volunteer Fire Department

Guests enjoyed a personalized cake donated by Chief Supermarket, an ice sculpture by Chad Hartson of Ice Creations, and a variety of raffles and prizes. The Henry County Volunteer Fireman Association also surprised us all with a very generous donation. It was a spectacular evening! Check out some cool photos from the event and thank you to our heroes and everyone who came out.


I-rish You Were Here

Looking for a great way to spend Friday, April 18th and eat for a good cause? Look no further than downtown Toledo!

Blarney Lent Image NEW DATE

You can donate to our mission just by eating! If you show this image to your server on April 18th, 10% of your food bill goes to support the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio. That’s right – you get a chance to make a charitable donation just by ordering some of The Blarney Irish Pub’s famous fish & chips, chocolate cake, or any number of delicious items that are available on the menu. For those of you recognizing Good Friday, bring a friend to support our efforts.

We put a few of these flyers in circulation at the rockin’ Toledo Free Press Mud Hens opening day event downtown. If you have one of those, come on down! The Warehouse District is home to places like Fifth Third Field (to stock up on your Mud Hens gear for their next home game), The Art Supply Depo (for art supplies and Toledo memorabilia), Huntington Center (to buy tickets for upcoming events), and The Blarney - for really amazing eats and beverages! Every 19 hours we respond to a disaster – take one or two of them and visit The Blarney this Friday!

#NVW – Bo Knows Humanitarianism

It’s Friday and the last day of our National Volunteer Week highlight. This time, we’re featuring someone who knows a thing-or-two about helping people: Bo McComas. Bo knows.

Bo_McComas“I just really enjoy helping people. … I really like going to schools and talking to kids about disaster preparedness. Veterans need things that they’re not getting. The Red Cross is doing their part to help. I wanted to be a part of that.”

We’re honored to have Bo as a compassionate disaster volunteer. He understands the importance  of disaster response as well as spreading awareness and being prepared before they happen. He’s also part of our regional Speaker’s Bureau and enjoys giving presentations to local schools and daycare programs on disaster preparedness.

In addition to all this, Bo follows our commitment to America’s military members, veterans, and families as a caseworker for Services to Armed Forces (SAF). He follows-up with families after we have assisted them with emergency communications to make sure they have everything they need and find out how we can further help them.

You can join Bo and our other volunteers as part of our SAF volunteer team. It’s a very personal and rewarding position, plus, you get to work with one of our best staff members! For more information, contact Karen Jantzi at 419.227.5121 ext. 8 or email her

#NVW – Phylling All Roles

Day four of National Volunteer Week provides a glimpse of someone who fulfills multiple roles for American Red Cross of Hancock County: Phyllis Davis!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“The rewards of helping people is much better than a paycheck and I’ve been able to meet many people over the years!”

Phyllis has been called a key disaster volunteer for the American Red Cross of Hancock County. In all stages of disaster and disaster recovery, Phyllis is the key ingredient for our neighbors and friends and we’re privileged to have her assistance. As a Hancock County Disaster Action Team Leader, she responds to any number of disasters in our area and schedules all the volunteers each month for their on-call service hours. She is the face of hope as she helps to facilitate the operations of disaster shelters and manages the immediate needs of families in response to local disasters such as home fires and flooding.

Are you already committed to taking the first step forward to become a volunteer? Get started by watching a few videos!

#NVW – Mary of all Trades

The hits just keep on coming for National Volunteer Week. It’s Day Three, Wednesday, which means we get to celebrate the efforts of Mary Cooan! Mary is from Lyons, Ohio and is always active in all of our community events. She’s like a jack-of-all-trades volunteer! You might catch her one moment at a fundraising event sharing smiles and a day later with the Disaster Action Team responding to those in need. Don’t blink though or you’ll miss her assisting Blood Services! She joined the American Red Cross of Fulton County Advisory Board in 2010 as has been a valuable member since.


Oh, you’re probably wondering about the picture? It was taken at the Swanton Corn Festival. The float was designed and built by Mary and her husband with materials they donated. Mary’s efforts didn’t go unrewarded as the float helped us win the grand prize. Isn’t that grand? Thanks for all of your work, Mary!

What about you? Are you a Red Cross volunteer? Tell the world (or at least your friends) by sharing one of these Facebook badges to your wall. We’re always looking for volunteers. To learn more and sign up, go to redcross.org/volunteer.