Wishing You a Safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer fun and we want everyone to have a safe holiday.  Whether the weekend will involve travel, grilling or swimming, we have safety tips everyone can follow. Have fun and be safe!

SWIMMING SAFETY Learning to swim is one of the best steps someone can take to be safe around water. People can contact their local Red Cross chapter and learn how to swim as well as get the facts about water safety, home pool safety, first aid and CPR classes. Other swimming safety tips include:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

POOL SAFETY It’s important to constantly supervise children when they are near water. Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water. Avoid distractions when supervising children around water. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.

The Red Cross and National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF) have developed an online safety course for pool and hot tub owners. Home Pool Essentials helps people understand the risks of pool ownership, how to maintain a safer and cleaner pool, what safety equipment is appropriate, how to prevent pool and hot tub entrapment hazards, and how to respond to an emergency.

DOWNLOAD FIRST AID APP Another thing people can do is download the free Red Cross first aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergency at someone’s fingertips. The free app is available for direct download from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

DRIVE SAFELY With more people on the roads, it’s important to drive safely. Be well rested and alert, use seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road. If plans include drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink. Other tips for a safe trip include:

  • Give one’s full attention to the road.  Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
  • Use caution in work zones.
  •  Make frequent stops.
  • Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night.
  • Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather. Don’t overdrive the headlights.

GRILLING SAFETY The Red Cross offers these tips to stay safe while cooking those tasty cookout treats:

  • Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use, and make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
  • Keep the chef safe by using the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Be ready to close the lid and turn off the grill to cut off the fuel if necessary.
  • Keep a fireproof pan under the grill to catch any falling ash or grease.
  • Trim excess fat from meat to avoid flare-ups.
  • Wash one’s hands in hot soapy water before preparing food, after touching raw meat and after any interruptions such as using the bathroom, handling pets, stopping to do something with children.

Red Cross Can Help You Be Prepared For Next Emergency

Recent events in Boston and Texas emphasize the importance of knowing what to do when an emergency occurs. Even as first responders rushed into help at both scenes, much of the initial care to the injured was provided by friends, neighbors and bystanders who were trained in CPR and first aid. Whether the emergency is community-wide and involves numerous injuries, or involves a single individual being hurt at home, it is vital that someone close by knows what to do when such an emergency occurs.

Getting yourself and your family more prepared for disasters can bring peace of mind during trying times and can help save someone’s life during future emergencies. Taking an action like downloading our first aid app, taking a first aid class or building a disaster supply kit can help people feel empowered to act when disaster strikes.

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The American Red Cross has numerous ways people can get the information and training they need to be able to help when an emergency occurs.  The Red Cross urges everyone to be better prepared by taking advantage of training and mobile apps available to teach them what to do when someone needs assistance.

FIRST AID/CPR CLASSES The Red Cross has classes available that emphasize hands-on-learning of First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The courses teach someone the skills they need to help save a life. Participants learn how to respond to common first aid emergencies, how to respond to cardiac and breathing emergencies in adults and how to use AEDs. There are also options available to learn how to help infants and children. People can register for these classes at redcross.org/takeaclass or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

ONLINE TRAINING Family and household members can learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies by taking the new Red Cross Family First Aid and CPR online course. The cost is $30. Family First Aid and CPR teaches you how to:

  • Identify signals of medical emergencies.
  • Give appropriate care for common first aid emergencies.
  • Know when to call 9-1-1 and what to do until help arrives for critical cardiac and first aid emergencies.

This course is for people who do not require OSHA-compliant certification. It takes about 2 hours to go through the Adult CPR and First Aid content. Pediatric modules are also available.

DOWNLOAD FIRST AID APP People can also download the free Red Cross First Aid App for iPhone and Android mobile devices which puts simple lifesaving information at someone’s fingertips. Features include step-by-step instructions to guide someone through everyday first aid scenarios, full integration with 9-1-1 to call emergency services from the app and preloaded content to have instant access to information even without device reception or internet connectivity. The app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross.

 

 

Pizza Hut Partners with the Red Cross during April

Pizza Hut

Red Cross month may be over, but April marks the exciting launch of our Heroes Campaign for 2013. “Heroes for the American Red Cross” is a grassroots fundraising and awareness campaign that gives YOU the chance to make a real impact on the community. Heroes pledge to raise a minimum of $1,250 for the Red Cross during the campaign period. Participating Heroes can raise the money personally, as an organization or by hosting a fundraising event.

To help us celebrate this campaign, Pizza Hut will be offering a special meal deal through the entire month of April. A percentage of sales from this deal will go directly to the Red Cross to support disaster relief, health services and education, services to the armed forces and more! If you’d like to contribute to the cause but don’t want the special deal, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase a “Heroes” point-of-sale poster for a minimum $1 donation. This poster will be displayed all month to commemorate your generosity.

Be sure to come out to Pizza Hut this month to support your local Red Cross. You can also click here to order online.  If you or your organization is interested in joining the Heroes campaign, please contact Paula Thayer at Paula.Thayer@redcross.org or (803) 540-1219.

Rachel Hodges takes on National Red Cross Leadership Role

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Local American Red Cross Board Chairwoman and former First Lady of South Carolina (1999-2003), Rachel Hodges, has been named a member of the National Council for the Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders.

The Tiffany Circle is a society of women leaders and philanthropists from across the country that commit a minimum of $10,000 a year to support the important work of the Red Cross. As a National Council Member, Hodges will help ensure the future success of the Tiffany Circle program as the group embarks upon their eighth year in 2013-14. Since its inception just seven short years ago, the Tiffany Circle has grown from eight to 60 regional chapters throughout the country and is also expanding internationally into countries such as Canada, Mexico, France, Great Britain and Australia.

“The Tiffany Circle reflects a growing movement across the United States that women are leading the way when it comes to philanthropy,” said Rachel Hodges. “Women are the economic powerhouse of the 21st century and will be the primary holders of the wealth in America in just a few years. I am proud to serve on the National Council of the Tiffany Circle and continue mobilizing the power of women in philanthropy.”

Rachel Hodges welcomes Red Cross volunteers and staff at the Rachel Hodges Leadership that was held in May 2012 at Francis Marion University.

Rachel Hodges welcomes Red Cross volunteers and staff at the Rachel Hodges Leadership Institute that was held in May 2012 at Francis Marion University.

Rachel Hodges is a Pee Dee native and currently serves as the Chairwoman for the American Red Cross, Central South Carolina Chapter and the Chairwoman of the American Red Cross, Palmetto SC Region’s Advisory Council. In 2012, Hodges was instrumental in bringing the Rachel Hodges Leadership Institute to the campus of Francis Marion University. The six-day institute gave over 300 Red Cross staff and volunteers the opportunity to develop the necessary leadership skills to respond to small and large scale disasters throughout South Carolina and along the East Coast.

Hodges is a founding Bonnie McElveen-Hunter Lifetime Member of the Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders. Additionally, she and her husband, former Governor James H. Hodges, are members of the Clara Barton Society. In 2010, Hodges was presented the Clara Barton Society Award in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the Red Cross as a volunteer and philanthropist.

For more information on becoming a Tiffany Circle member, please call (803) 540-1220 or email Adrienne.Bellinger@redcross.org.

Groundbreaking in the City of North Charleston

From left to right: Jerry Tekac (NBSC), Sid Boone (Red Cross Board Vice Chair), Mason Holland (Red Cross Board Chair), Mayor Keith Summey(City of North Charleston), Louise Welch Williams (Red Cross Regional CEO) and Bob Behringer (Mall Drive 2424, LLC) break ground on future home of the Red Cross.

From left to right: On March 6th, Jerry Tekac (NBSC), Sid Boone (Red Cross Board Vice Chair), Mason Holland (Red Cross Board Chair), Mayor Keith Summey(City of North Charleston), Louise Welch Williams (Red Cross Regional CEO) and Bob Behringer (Mall Drive 2424, LLC) break ground on future home of the Red Cross.

March 6th was a very exciting day for the Carolina Lowcountry Chapter and the City of North Charleston!  

Mayor Keith Summey and the Red Cross joined Owner, Mall Drive 2424 LLC and Lender, National Bank of South Carolina as they broke ground on their new building that will be the future home of the Red Cross in the City of North Charleston.

The new building will be centrally located in the City of North Charleston at 2424 City Hall Drive and will provide the us with over 10,000 square-feet of office, educational, training and storage space to better serve its clients across the Lowcountry.  The new building is scheduled to open in December 2013.

“The new facility will be a place for our volunteers to come together and learn,” said Mason Holland, board chair, American Red Cross, Carolina Lowcountry Chapter. “The opportunity to expand our volunteer base and their knowledge will increase our capacity to support our Lowcountry 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through lifesaving education and response. The centralized location in North Charleston will allow for a more efficient response to disasters across our region and will allow us to better serve our community.”

March is Red Cross Month – Join the Movement!

March is American Red Cross Month and is a time for community members and businesses to join the Red Cross movement and help us carry out our lifesaving mission with a gift of time, money or blood.

Red Cross volunteers and staff members kick-off Red Cross Month by building a human red cross

Red Cross volunteers and staff members kick-off Red Cross Month by building a human red cross

March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by resident Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.

We  respond to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. We provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collect and distribute about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and train more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

Last year in our community, the we provided emergency assistance to 5,041 adults and children that were affected by a disaster, handled 5,594 military emergency communications, trained 38,227 people in lifesaving skills and collected 109, 881 red blood cells and 27, 677 platelets. The Palmetto SC Region is made up of seven Red Cross chapters, serving 35 counties in South Carolina.

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need.

To learn more about how you can get involved visit Redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Give Something that Means Something this Holiday Season

This holiday season we are asking you to “give something that means something” by purchasing gifts from the 2012 Holiday Giving Catalog in honor of family, friends or colleagues.

You can support Red Cross programs by purchasing a variety of symbolic gifts. You can buy food and shelter for a disaster victim, phone cards for members of the military, vaccinations for an entire village and many other gift ideas. Catalog purchases come with greeting cards shoppers can send to a friend or loved one, letting them know a donation has been made in their name.

The purchase of each gift item is a tax-deductible contribution and provides support to the mission of the Red Cross. The catalog gifts are contributions toward a Red Cross program area, not a donation to a specific project or item.

Click here to start shopping our 2012 Holiday Giving Catalog.