Oso’s Red Tide Community

IMG_20140406_161740_200Recently, our own Todd James was deployed to the Oso, Washington, community in the aftermath of the ruinous landslide on March 22. The strength of community is a powerful healing tool. Having the help of friends, family, neighbors, and even complete strangers has a way of giving people hope through tough times.

Two weeks ago, he spent the day at an emergency shelter in Darrington, Washington. The mudslide cut off the route to the city of Arlington which serves as a hub for shopping, laundry, and other essentials. Resources like food for families and their pets, water, and clothing are all invaluable items that the affected families worried about attaining. We assisted the families in their time of need, showing they were not alone.

“Everyone was affected by the landslide, many losing family and friends. The Red Cross team leader was telling us today that the evening meal at the shelter has become a community event, bringing the residents and the responders together for fellowship and support.”

In addition, with the help of Red Cross partner Tide, Todd joined Loads of Hope members and gave people a means to have their laundry cleaned and returned. Not only does this return the comfort of their clean clothing after having gone so long without them, but imagine the sensation a child feels when they finally have their favorite, clean blanket to keep them warm at night.


Helping O-so Much

Last month, we told you about Red Cross relief efforts in Oso, Washington, and thanked you for supporting the victims of that tragic mudslide. We are one Red Cross and during disasters like this, volunteers respond from around the country. Todd James – executive director of American Red Cross of Hancock, Seneca, and Wyandot Counties – was recently deployed to Oso to to help with communications on the scene.

Today, we visited the site of the SR530 slide. Finding the words to describe the enormity of the event and the devastation is difficult. I am still having a hard time comprehending this disaster, it’s far outside my scope of experience. The one aspect that I do recognize is the sight of hundreds of dedicated people working to provide relief and recovery to the families affected. Please, continue to keep these families and communities in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.” – Todd James, April 9, 2014.

We will be taking a special look into Todd’s journey this week as he weighs in on Oso, shares his experience, and offers a view first-hand perspective from the front lines of disaster response.

Rising from the Ashes

13abc's story

Toledo 13abc’s story on the Secor fire that took place early morning on April 12, 2014.

We assisted more than 50 people involved in a large fire at Secor Terrace Apartments on April 12 by providing emotional support, food, clothing, infant supplies, comfort kits, medical needs, and temporary shelter. Moving forward, we will continue to help the families with direct recovery assistance including support for security deposits at new rentals, bedding, and linens.

“You see hurricanes, tornadoes and fires and the Red Cross always pops up to help. You never think you are going to need that kind of help but I am so glad they were there for us. They sure have been wonderful.” – Linda Bliss, client.

Recovering from a disaster is never an easy process, but it doesn’t have to be one our clients do alone. Of all the disasters we respond to, home fires are the most common. It’s thanks to the commitment and generosity of our community that we can provide hope to these families.

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!