Saturday, February 27, 2010

American Red Cross Responds Internationally and at Home to Chile Quake

Commits Initial $50,000 to Chile Relief and Prepares for Tsunami in Hawaii

WASHINGTON, Saturday, February 27, 2010 — The American Red Cross is responding to the strong 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile, making $50,000 available for relief operations in Chile while also helping people in Hawaii prepare for a possible tsunami.

The Red Cross regional disaster management center in Panama is in contact with Red Cross staff and volunteers on the ground to monitor the situation and further assess needs. Regional Red Cross disaster experts from Latin America are also en route to Chile to support the response.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross is coordinating with the state of Hawaii and the federal government to ensure an appropriate response to the impending tsunami that is expected to strike Hawaii later in the day Saturday. The local Red Cross chapter is readying volunteers and supplies in Hawaii to support any response that may be needed.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Chile as they struggle to deal with the immediate aftermath of this earthquake and the many aftershocks that are continuing,” says David Meltzer, Senior Vice President of International Services at the American Red Cross. “Thanks to the generosity of the American people who previously donated to our International Relief Fund, we’ve been able to release an initial pledge of $50,000 to help the Chilean people in their hour of need and we stand ready to provide additional assistance.”

Chilean Red Cross disaster teams have been activated and are working in close coordination with the Chilean government and their National Emergency Office. The Chilean Red Cross is a member of the Chilean government’s emergency response group, which is leading the emergency operations and has a great deal of experience and systems in place to manage response to major disasters. Although there is a blackout in Santiago, the Chilean Red Cross headquarters is able to operate through use of a generator.

At the same time, the American Red Cross is continuing to support the relief operations in Haiti, where 1.3 million people have been helped since the January 12th earthquake in that country.

“As the largest humanitarian network in the world, the Red Cross has both the experience and the capacity to respond to multiple disasters at the same time,” Meltzer said. “Today, we are supporting the Chilean Red Cross in their response to the earthquake while chapters in Hawaii are preparing for the possible tsunami, and relief operations continue in Haiti.”

Disasters frequently separate loved ones, and there are ways that people can help reconnect with their families and friends.

For inquiries about relatives living and who have citizenship in Chile, we urge you to contact them by telephone, monitor their social networking profiles or contact other family members who live nearby. Telephone, Internet and other communication lines are often disrupted in times of disaster. People trying to locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Chile should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225.

The Red Cross encourages people in Hawaii, Guam or American Samoa to make contact with their families as they evacuate. An easy way to notify loved ones is to register on the Safe and Well feature of or by calling 866-438-4636.

You can help the victims of countless crises, like the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation by either contacting 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish), or mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Meadow Elementary School Holds Olympic Event for Service and Helps Haiti!

Meadow Elementary School Holds Olympic Event for Service and Helps Haiti!

Photo Op !!! Medal Awards Ceremony Tomorrow at 12:45

Lehi, Utah (February 23, 2010) — There are two big events on television these days, the Olympics and the disaster relief efforts in Haiti. Students in grades kindergarten though 6th at Meadow Elementary School in Lehi have been watching these events unfold and they wanted to make a difference on an international scale… in their own way. The student council decided to hold a “Service Olympics.” They are competing for gold, silver and bronze medals in a tri-fold campaign. The three service events include 1) Collecting coins to help in Haiti. They raised $1,526.18 for the cause, 2) Recycling for a better planet, and 3) Reading.

The student “Service Olympics” were underway for one week and the awards ceremony, complete with medals and a giant check presentation to the American Red Cross will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, at the school located at 176 S. 500 W. in Lehi from 12:45 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Bill Hamelau of the American Red Cross said, “The students’ efforts are heartwarming and we are very proud to accept their donation for the Red Cross International Response Fund which is helping the disaster relief efforts in Haiti. I’m proud of these kids. Every donation, big or small, goes a long way to provide services and supplies for the people who need it so desperately right now.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Run for Red 5K!

All Utahns Invited to Participate in Provo Event For the American Red Cross

Provo, Utah (Wednesday, February 10, 2010) — The Mountain Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross is hosting its annual Run for Red 5K & 1 Mile Walk fundraiser on Saturday, March 6, 2010. This event begins at Independence High School in Provo at 10:00 a.m. All Utahns are invited to participate. Registration for this event is available at Admission prices are $20 for adults, $15 for students with a valid student ID, and $12 a person for a group of 12 or more. Admission includes a free t-shirt and breakfast.

Participants can choose between running the 5K and walking the 1 Mile as this event is for everyone -- focused athletes, social exercisers and families. Race Volunteer, Natasha Alarid said, “The objective of Run for Red is to raise funds and create public awareness for your local American Red Cross programs. We also want to bring members of the community together to have a fun time while they’re helping out a great cause.”

All proceeds from the Run for Red event will go directly to Red Cross Disaster Services. This program responds to local disasters and emergency situations. It provides services such as shelter, food, medical assistance, utility support, counseling, as well as emergency messaging to military personnel and their families.

For details: or 801-373-8580

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Local Chapter of the American Red Cross Announces 2010 Red Cross Heroes

Ordinary local citizens who have done something extraordinary to save a life or make the community a better and safer place to live.

Salt Lake City, UTAH (Wednesday, February 03, 2010) — The American Red Cross Greater Salt Lake Area Chapter announces the 2010 Heroes have been selected and will be awarded at the American Red Cross Heroes Event sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, one month from today, on March 3rd at the Salt Palace Convention Center in the Grand Ballroom at 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

And the 2010 American Red Cross Heroes are…

Tanya Shroeder – Imagine throwing yourself in front of a train to save the life of a child. But the train is a 90-pound pit bull. Tanya disregarded her own personal safety to save a four-year old and her own two children from an angry dog that broke through their fence and waged war on them in their backyard. At one point, the pit bull had the four-year old pinned to the ground by the neck. Tanya pried the dog off of the child. The brave mom suffered many bites and braved a series of attacks from the pit bull, but in the end, they all reached safety. She earns the Family Hero Award.

Fire Station 8’s 100 First Aid Kits – Salt Lake City Fire Station 8 joined the International Aid Servicing Kids to assemble 100 First Aid Kits to give to locals in Haiti. Captain Rick Black travelled to Haiti where he delivered the kits, treated 1300 villagers (57% of them children) and instructed first aid to locals. This group receives the International Good Samaritan award. At the time, they had no idea Haiti would soon suffer a devastating earthquake.

Shooting Victim - Rueben Martinez suffered from a life-altering incident. He was mistaken for a gang member and brutally shot. After months in the hospital and multiple surgeries, he could have retaliated with anger, but instead joined efforts to help troubled youth in his community. He diligently served as a leader for other teens at Youth Works. He is the Youth Good Samaritan.

Radio to the Rescue - Hal Whiting was in the middle of nowhere near the Arizona border when someone flagged him down for help. An ATV accident victim was seriously injured, help was far away and cell phones were out of range. Hal used his ham radio equipment and his training to get help and save a life. Hal receives the Wilderness Award.

Teen Rescue - JJ Larson and six friends performed an emergency medical rescue at a private swimming pool, saving the life of Bailee Robinson. The girl suffered a seizure and sank to the bottom of the pool. The group of friends pulled her out of the water, called 911 and JJ put her in a rescue position. Others guided the EMTs to the pool. The youth win the Medical Rescue Award.

The Park City 5 –Coincidentally, five moms in Park City lose their teens to a variety of unexpected deaths in a short period of time. They band together to mourn and to honor their lost children. The moms raise funds and build a needed school in Ecuador. Now, the group has raised enough to build a total of five schools. They receive the International Good Samaritan Award.

Kathy Jo Hall – 911 dispatcher Kathy Jo Hall helped two men whose boat capsized on the Great Salt Lake in January 2009. Hall’s calming influence in a dramatic 911 call made it possible to get GPS coordinates to the rescuers. Kathy Jo is the Law Enforcement Hero.

On the Road – Driving home from work, Jason Day saw a car on fire with a woman inside. He braved the fire and a possible explosion to pull her from the car to safety. He and another unidentified man on the scene tried to put out the fire, but four minutes after the woman was free from the car, it erupted in flames. Jason receives the Adult Good Samarian Award.

School Bus Nightmare – A school bus loaded with children on a field trip is rolling down the interstate in the St. George area. The bus driver has a medical emergency. An adult chaperone and a teacher pull the driver from the front seat and another chaperone steers the bus to safety. Children’s lives were saved. Jan and Laura Graf and Ben Smith are awarded the Adult Good Samaritan Award.

Preparedness Team – Taylorsville Volunteers Donna Pitman & Lisa Schwartz prepared their community for a large catastrophic disaster. Donna led the efforts and serves as the volunteer chair for public safety and Lisa divided the city into sections and prepared a team of individuals to be able to respond when needed. They win the Community Safety Hero Award.

Military Might – Sgt. Brady Johnson was headed for a family picnic in American Fork Canyon, when he came upon an emergency in the midst of a bike racing event on the road. He helped save the life of cyclist Dave Collins after a bicycle/SUV accident. Others on the scene thought Dave was deceased. But Brady and others used medic skills to assess his injuries and to get the man breathing again. Dave had a gash from his jugular all the way to his sternum. Brady packed Dave’s wounds with gauze and held them in place to prevent him from bleeding to death until medics arrived. Brady receives the Military Hero Award.

Lifetime Achievement – Each year several heroes are honored by the American Red Cross. Only one of them receives a special award for a lifetime of heroic achievement. This year, that award goes to Paula Green Johnson who has served her community for 25 years as a volunteer. Paula has helped several worthy causes. She has personally led major projects, taken on leadership roles, and helped save many children in Africa by supporting the International Red Cross Measles Initiative. She even travelled to Ghana to help with the project. She serves by leading and mentoring. She was selected as this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner for sharing her time, treasure and many talents with the American Red Cross and other local nonprofit organizations.

Selection Information - The finalists were chosen by a special Selection Committee made up of the following members: Governor Gary R. Herbert, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Carroon, Pastor France Davis -Calvary Baptist Church, Natalie Gochnour - COO Salt Lake Chamber, and Lynn Samsel - Director of Emergency Services, LDS Humanitarian Services.