Holiday 2008 Issue

Volunteer Voice
Welcome to your Holiday Edition of Volunteer Voice!
We are packed full of information on the happenings with volunteers. We would also like to welcome Blood Service volunteers as we have merged to keep you updated on all volunteer activities. Let’s get started!

Inside this Edition:
College Students Making a Difference Chair’s Corner Conversations in Diversity From the Desk of Disaster Volunteer Leadership Youth in Red Cross DAT Happenings Winter Preparedness Blood Services Volunteer Spotlight Attention: Blood Service Volunteers Season’s Greetings

College Students Making a Difference
On Wayne State University’s campus, you will find several volunteers working to impact our community through the WSU Red Cross Club. They are representing our organization throughout southeastern Michigan from planting trees to staffing community events.

Chair’s Corner
"Volunteering is not something that's just nice to do, it's necessary to solve important community problems." ~ Robert Grimm (2007) Greetings. I do not know about anyone else, but lately I have a need to read a good book, wrap up in a warm blanket and continue to look for reasons to feel grateful for the many positive experiences in my life. I am especially thankful that I chose to be a part of an organization such as American Red Cross which continues to serve the community in the face of local and national financial uncertainty. Although our choices were many, driven by personal conviction, many of us chose to serve the American Red Cross. The other day someone asked me about working for the Red Cross. When we got to the part that I do service not for pay there was a short moment of silence. "Oh you volunteer?” I was a little surprised by their reaction since I knew that service translates into saved thousands of dollars for organizations. As volunteers we know how important the work is we do every day. Money does not equate with value. To everyone -- create a special retreat, take good care of yourself, and remind yourself daily how valuable you are regardless of what anyone tells you to the contrary. Happy New Year.

Victoria H. Steward
Chair of Volunteers

Conversations in Diversity
On Saturday, November 15, 2008, Volunteer Services and our Diversity department facilitated a brief discussion on diversity and its importance in our volunteer work. Tawanna Ward, Manager, Volunteer Services, talked about our Fundamental Principles and how they guide our work, our perceptions and interactions with those we serve. Victoria H. Steward, Chapter Chair of Volunteers, talked about various aspects of diversity and how we might apply them to our volunteer work. The event took place at the Disaster Services Retreat. It was a well-attended event. These conversations will continue at different venues in the future.

From the Desk of Disaster Volunteer Leadership
The winter season will increase the number of fire responses for the DAT teams. Stoves, ovens, and space heaters are very dangerous and are responsible for many fires. Also, faulty Christmas decorations can be very hazardous. Responding to fires by our DAT teams becomes more difficult during extenuating weather conditions. The safety of our volunteers is most important and should be our primary concern. We can only serve our clients if we arrive at the scene in “one piece.” In November, we had a DAT retreat with 50 volunteers attending. Glen Hendricks gave an overview of current Chapter activities, including a program to have laptops in all of the DAT vans, so that the client interview can be directly entered into the CAS system. This will also allow us to issue CAC cards and authorize their use from the van. DAT members have recently been involved in helping with fund-raisers and picking up donations of blankets and comfort kit items. Salutations to our new DAT members as they join forces with a very dedicated group of people and continue to strengthen our DAT teams. As we enter this special season, may the blessing of the Holidays be yours and happiness fills each day of the New Year.

Robert E. York

Ninety-nine and a Half Won’t Do
The following are excerpts from Disaster Specialist, Patrick Holland’s e-mail “Ninety-nine and a half won’t do.” It is a note to disaster volunteers about the impact their service has on our Chapter: Greetings Team, I just wanted to share with you a few things I witnessed recently during my week of being on-call coordinator. I always knew we had an outstanding disaster services program, but please allow me to share with you a few examples: I was called to DAT Happenings a multiple-dwelling fire in Highland Park, with multiple fatalities. I observed one of our volunteers connect with a family that had just lost loved ones and work with them and offer our services in such a clear, caring way…

…There was a small apartment fire in Ferndale, and not only did the team respond to the dwelling and do the assessment, but they also went to Children’s Hospital to service the family so they would not have to leave a child’s bedside… And if that last bullet point did not let you know how strong our teams are…a DAT that was not on call and was driving to Toledo Ohio and re-routed himself and showed up to help with the fire. Another DAT, after spending all day at the fire response, went home, changed clothing, and returned to teach a class that same night. That is why I entitled this e-mail “Ninety-nine and a half won’t do,” because when these teams go out they give only 110% and above. So I salute them and am extremely grateful to have them fighting alongside of me.

HELP US HELP OTHERS As the cold weather sets in and the economic crunch continues, more families are at risk of home fires caused by improper heating methods. Now, as always, your financial contributions will help us serve families who have lost everything in a fire. Our dedicated volunteers respond 24/7, 365 days a year, but they need us to provide them with the financial tools and material to provide service to clients. To contribute: Mail check to: American Red Cross – Southeastern Michigan Chapter 100 Mack P.O. Box 441280 Detroit, MI 48244

From a Health & Safety Volunteer Instructor - Moria Austin
I really love being able to go into the community and teach with great enthusiasm what I believe are the most valuable skills an individual could learn -- CPR/AED and basic First Aid skills. It has given me the opportunity to meet many fascinating people from different occupations and walks of life. Teaching in the community classrooms is only part of what I do. I also have had the honor of representing the Health & Safety department in presentations given at local companies & health fairs, delivering our message of preparedness and safety.

Winter Preparedness Winter Health & Safety Winter lies ahead of us and seems to have a pretty good start. Since we are all about assisting others, I thought I would commit some space on: “How to Help Others.”  Infants, seniors, and people with paralysis, diabetes, or neuropathy are at increased risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Check on friends, relatives and neighbors who may need assistance to ensure they are adequately protected from the cold. In these days of financial troubles that abound you should also consider others who may be affected by layoffs, pension reductions, etc. Some may be too proud to say they lost their heat or maybe they are turning their thermostat down to levels that would endanger their health Community members that identify someone on the street they believe needs assistance should call 311 and ask for the Southeast Michigan Emergency Shelters Hot Line 1-800-A-Shelter/(800)2743583. Detroit Homeless Hotline provides transportation if you are inside the City of Detroit between 8:00 – 10:00 p.m., (313)963-STAY/(313)963-7829

 Recognize symptoms of cold weather illnesses such as frostbite (gray, white, or yellow skin, numbness, and waxy-feeling skin) and hypothermia (slurred speech, sluggishness, confusion, shallow breathing, unusual behavior and slow, irregular heartbeat.  For further information and on how to prepare for a winter disaster, go to http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/wntrstm.htm Don Northrup Disaster Services, Health & Safety Services

Blood Services
Hello to all of our readers!! I am so excited to have the privilege to work for you. Being a volunteer is the best way to help our community. Some may not have a lot of money; some may not be eligible to donate blood. But everyone has time…..that they can give to others. It is my mission to bridge the gap between the Great Chapter Volunteers and our Wonderful Blood Region Volunteers. Please feel free to call me or any one of my Volunteer Specialists in the Southeastern Michigan Region to get involved in all of the opportunities and the fun of being a volunteer! Sincerely,

Heather Johnson
Volunteer Administrator Blood Service Region

Volunteer Spotlight: Pat Zaleski – The Boss of Riverview
Pat Zaleski has been a champion of the Riverview District for over 30 years! She is currently the Chair of Volunteers for the Riverview District. Her warm smile and passion for helping run a successful office has made the difference. She is diligent regarding record keeping, staffing and reports. The partnership of Pat and Betty Poole helps keep blood on the shelves and saves lives. While Pat only has use of one arm, she overcomes challenges, including staffing shortages, to make sure things run smoothly. All volunteers appreciate her focused and passionate way of running a productive office. Thanks Pat! Continue to champion our Riverview office, we need your leadership...and you.

Heather Johnson
Volunteer Administrator If you want to be a Riverview volunteer, give Pat Zaleski a call at 734-282-4289.

Blood Services: Reaching Our Staff
The following are the names and phone numbers of Blood Services Volunteer staff: Volunteer Administrator - Headquarters Heather Johnson: 313-576-4186 Macomb Carriece Williams: 313-578-4619 Bloomfield Ani Garabedian: 248-322-4659 Dearborn Merlean Cavitt: 313-278-5494 St. Clair County Debby Wolfe: 810-985-7117 Detroit Nicole Brady: 313-494-2862 Livonia Debbie Berens: 734-542-0459 Riverview Debbie Berens: 734-282-4289

ATTENTION: Blood Service Volunteers
Join our First 48 Campaign! Be one of the first volunteers to sign up for this new campaign. Work 48 hours between December 1st and February 1st (at least one blood drive per week), and you will be entered to win a special GRAND PRIZE! For more details, contact your volunteer specialist. Blood Service Volunteers are Needed! Bloodmobile/Donor Center Volunteers:  Registration Volunteers - Greet and register blood donors, provide necessary procedural information and manage appointments.  Canteen Volunteer - Following donation provide refreshments and watch donors for reactions.  Pack Volunteers - Assemble and label blood collection sets at the donation site.  Clerical Volunteers - Assist various departments by making phone calls and light computer work.  Transportation Volunteers - Drive volunteers to area bloodmobiles or transport vital blood supplies to area hospitals.  Teen Volunteers - If you need to fulfill community service hours for school or if you want to help out your community, check out the American Red Cross. Blood Service Volunteers: Updating our Records Have you volunteered within the last year? If not, please give your volunteer specialist a call and update your records. You may also want to come in for a retraining on some old information or to learn something new. We are constantly upgrading our systems and we want to include you. Give us a call. We really need you! Help us update your records and receive a special token of our appreciation.

What is an American Red Cross Blood Services Volunteer? An American Red Cross Blood Service Volunteer is a community member 14 years of age or older who has received training in the volunteer areas of the collection process; made the necessary time commitments, and who develops and maintains a strong sense of helping those in need. What type of training is involved? As a bloodmobile volunteer, you may choose to train in any or all three volunteer areas of service: registration, labeling collection sets or in canteen/refreshments. (Please note that volunteers do not work with the actual collection process.) Transportation or clerical positions are job specific and are determined at the time of the assignment. What type of time commitment will I need to make? The amount of time you commit to the Red Cross depends on you! And depending on the opportunity you select. Bloodmobile volunteers may work 3 to 4 times per month and a clerical worker may work 1 day per week. I would like to be an American Red Cross Blood Services Volunteer, now what? Call the Red Cross office nearest you. Call the offices and direct phone numbers of the Volunteer Specialists on the previous page. They will be able to guide you on your next step.

Because the goodwill of those we serve is the foundation of our success, it's a real pleasure at this holiday time to say

"Thank You"
as we wish you a full year of happiness, good health and prosperity.

Youth in Red Cross
Answers to last month’s crossword: Across: 3. Diane - (First Name of Director of Volunteer & Youth Services) 5. McGovern - (Last name of President & CEO of National American Red Cross) 6. Alice - (First name of new Youth Coordinator) 7. May - (Month American Red Cross was started by Clara Barton) 8. Volunteers - (The people that help realize the mission of American Red Cross) Down: 1. Victoria - (First name of Chapter Chair of Volunteers) 2. March - (Month for Red Cross month) 3. Detroit - (Office Location (city) where you will find Tawanna Ward, Manager, Volunteer Services) 4. Gonyea - (Last Name of your Community Liaison in Volunteer Services)

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is quickly approaching us. On Saturday, January 17, 2008, we will be canvassing a local neighborhood and engaging community members in fire safety and prevention dialogues. Our goal is to distribute 10,000 fire safety and prevention door hangers. To get involved and make MLK Day a day on not a day off, please contact Alice Powell at 313-494-2855.