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Tuesday June 1, 2010

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Schools Raise $16,000 Dollars for Disaster

Savannah, Georgia, March 10, 2011 Home fires are the number one disaster we face locally. On average, local Red Cross volunteers respond to two home fires every single day. Just since the first of January, the Red Cross has responded to 105 home fires. When a home fire or other disaster strikes, it is the mission of the American Red Cross to provide emergency assistance (food, shelter, clothing and other basic necessities) to affected individuals. We never charge for the services we provide. All assistance is made possible by generous contributions from the public.

On Monday, January 28th, 2011 participating Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools and Domino’s Pizza teamed up with the Savannah Red Cross to kick off the 5th annual “Dollars for Disasters” campaign.  The campaign was only a week long running January 24th-28th. All funds raised go toward helping victims of local disasters like home fires.  This year thirty-nine schools participated in “Dollars for Disasters” and by the end of the week almost $16,000 had been raised!

Again this year, Domino’s Pizza partnered with the Red Cross to give the class that raised the most money in each school a pizza party. “We’ve worked with the Red Cross on previous projects and are excited about continuing our involvement to support such a worthy cause,” said Jennifer Wyne, marketing coordinator for Cowabunga, Inc., the franchise that owns the Domino’s stores in Savannah.  “We’re excited to team up with the Savannah Red Cross not only to help the families that suffer from these home fires, but to give the kids an extra incentive to donate money.”

The school that raises the most money overall and each top elementary, middle, and high school fundraiser gets to have ownership of a Red Cross Dollars for Disaster trophy for the year of 2011 to proudly display in appreciation of their effort. This year we are pleased to announce the school that raised the most to help those affected by disaster out of all thirty-nine schools was West Chatham Middle School! We would also like to congratulate the schools that raised the most money in their category:

                                    Elementary School                  Hesse Elementary School
                                    Middle School                         West Chatham Middle School
                                    High School                             Savannah High School

The Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross would like to thank the Savannah Chatham County Board of Education, the thirty-nine participating schools, and all the children who gave so generously during “Dollars for Disasters Week”.  We would also like to thank Dr. Quentina Fields who chaired this year’s campaign, and Domino’s Pizza for providing the pizza for the winning class in all thirty-nine schools.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feed and provide 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



Red Cross Encourages Residents to Prepare Now for Hurricanes

Hurricane Season is here and the Savannah Red Cross encourages families to take action now to prepare. The best time to prepare is now when we have no storms, said Robin Wingate, CEO of the Savannah Red Cross. It will ease your mind knowing you have your family's supplies and plans put together ahead of time. More than 35 million Americans live in regions most threatened by Atlantic hurricanes. Residents in our area can take the following steps to be prepared:

1.Build a disaster supply kit or check the kit you prepared last year. Include a three-day supply of water and ready-to-eat non-perishable foods. Don't forget a manual can opener, battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries. The kit should also have a first aid kit, prescription and non-prescription medications, and copies of important documents.

2. Prepare a personal disaster and evacuation plan. Identify two meeting places; one near your home, and one outside your area in case you can't return home. Make plans for your pets. Select an out-of-area emergency contact person.

3. Be informed. Know what a hurricane WATCH means. If a hurricane WATCH is issued:

**Listen to weather updates from your battery-powered or hand-cranked radio.
**Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, hanging plants, bicycles, toys and garden tools. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
**Close all windows and doors.
**Cover windows with storm shutters or pre-cut plywood
**If time permits and yo live in an identified surge zone, elevate furniture or move it to a higher floor to protect it from flooding.
**Fill your vehicle's gas tank.
**Check your disaster supply kit to make sure items have not expired

If a hurricane WARNING is issued:
**Llisten to the advice of local officials and leave if they tell you to do so.
**Secure hour home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve. If you are not advised to evacuate, stay inside away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
**Do NOT use open flames such as candles and kerosene lamps as a source of light.
**If power is lost, turn off appliances to reduce damage from a power surge when electricity is restored.

Visit to read more about preparing for the 2010 hurricane season.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feed and provide emotional support to victims of disasters; provides 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


Red Cross Dedicates New ERV!

erv people
This ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) is our newest asset to be deployed to Screven County. "We have 20 counties in Southern Georgia where we are required to respond," said John Wright, Emergency Services Director.The use of tapentadol in an emergency setting isn't well studied, with most published trials assessing its efficacy and tolerability in postoperative or dental models. "We are constantly building our resources and stationing them strategically in our service area. This locally owned ERV is a retired Nationally owned unit originally stationed in Pascagoula, MS. It has been refurbished and restocked and will serve Screven and surrounding counties very well."

Pictured: (L to R) J.C. Warren, Screven County Commission Chair; John Wright, Savannah Red CrossDirector of Emergency Services; Mark Tretheway, Screven Disaster Action Team Captain and retired Sylvania Police Chief; Lynette Greene, Savannah Red Cross Evans County Branch Coordinator; Millie Douglas, Savannah Client Casework Leadership Volunteer; George Jones, Savannah ERV Coordinator Leadership Volunteer; Wanda Scott-Bragg, Screven 9-1-1 Coordinator and Harvey Cryder, Jr., Screven County Fire Chief.

Preparing for US Citizenship Training

In 2008, more than 525,000 people applied nationwide for U.S. citizenship.  Saturday January 30th 49 people registered and took the first class in this 10 week series, sponsored by the International Services Committee of the Savannah Red Cross. "We hope everyone who came out today will stick with it," said Mark Stall, Savannah Chapter Caseworker. "We are very happy with this initial turnout and hope to grow the program from here.".

The only prerequisite for the course is a status of permanent legal resident alien, a refugee with official status with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, or asylee with official status with the USCIS. Classes began January 30, 2010, and continue for ten Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the new Southwest Chatham Branch Library, 14097 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA 31419 (behind Target at Savannah Mall).

Weekly topics to be covered include: Welcome to America, American Places, Thirteen Colonies, The New United States, The Civil War, Later History, The Constitution, Congress, The President, and A Country of Laws.  Each week’s curriculum also includes a ‘Ready for the Interview’ component.

All class instruction will be in English, although interpreters to help individual students quietly are welcome.          “We hope these classes give participants the confidence to be successful at the interview through a lot of practice with the questions and reviews of standard English,” said Carol Anderson, AASU instructor and ISC Committee member.  Recent changes in the interview and exam for the naturalization process are reflected in the course content.

“Each two-hour class is divided into three sections,” she noted.  “The first hour will be civics/U.S. government.  For the next thirty minutes we’ll practice for the actual interview, then in the last 20 or 30 minutes work with flash cards on the 100 questions people have to know.”

More information about citizenship through naturalization process and the new test is available at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Website,  The American Red Cross is not a government agency but a private, non-profit humanitarian organization To register. Written by Barbara Baker, updated by Dan Kurtz

Chuck Schauss Heads Georgia JFSAP Effort

His new duties are focused on the Joint Family Support Assistance Program (JFSAP), a Department of Defense initiative which partners with the Red Cross to provide information and resources to military families.  Its primary focus is on those who are geographically distant from a military installation, such as the National Guard and Reserves. 
“These families are often unaware of the services and resources available to them” Schauss said, or that they can request an informative pre-deployment briefing, “Get to Know Us Before You Need Us,” which the Red Cross provides. 
The briefings emphasize the 24-hour Armed Forces Emergency Services Message Line as well as resources such as confidential counselling and financial relief funds.  Local briefings will also include information about two of the Savannah Chapter’s unique programs, The Landings Military Family Relief Fund and the Adopt-A-Soldier program, “which are among the most pro-active programs in the United States,” Schauss said.
Schauss will serve as a liaison between the JFSAP and Georgia’s statewide Red Cross chapters “to provide a single source base where these (National Guard and Reserve) families can go to get financial or behavioral assistance, or just a kind word,” he said.  The JFSAP began in 2008 for 15 prototype states and expanded to Georgia in April of this year. 
“I am educating regions in the state about the fact that this program is now in Georgia,” as well as recruiting more volunteers to add to the 15 or 20 now doing the Red Cross’s statewide informational briefings, Schauss said. 
Schauss also ensures that each Georgia Red Cross region has the $5,000 of government-reimbursed funding which will enable military dependents to take any of the educational courses offered in the chapter – including CPR, First Aid, Babysitting Certification, Water Safety, etc.  The Red Cross opens its chapter buildings to Armed Forces personnel and their families for these courses, counselling sessions, and meeting space. 

Stimulus Act benefits Local Youth, Red Cross

Taronn, a tenth grader at Johnson High School, is in the ROTC and hopes for a career in the Navy.
Aquille, a ninth grader at Jenkins High School, wants to study engineering in college and dreams of being a pro football player. 

Aquille and Taronn stocked Red Cross trailers with essential disaster relief supplies, packed hundreds of warm blankets into waterproof Space Bags, prepared mass mailings, and generally helped wherever they were needed in the busy Savannah Chapter Office.

“We appreciated having Taronn and Aquille with us for several weeks this summer,” said Alison Maruca, Director of Volunteers, who oversaw many of their work projects.  “We’d love to have them back as future volunteers.”  

In addition to gaining experience in the world of work and earning money which they plan to spend on school clothes,   the students also learned more about their employer.  “Before being at Red Cross this summer, I just knew about donating blood,” Taronn said. “I found out it is a global organization and that young and older people can volunteer.  I learned about Clara Barton and how the Red Cross got started.”

“I knew that the Red Cross is there to comfort people,” Aquille said, “but I didn’t know about all the history, like all they did in WWII.  And now I know about all of their service programs.”


Red Cross Dedicates 270Kw Generator!

The Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross today took delivery of a 270Kw Portable Power Pack capable of running a small city block. The Power Pack is a generous donation from The Georgia Ports, Big Red Incorporated and Big Red's Employees. In his remarks to the crowd gathered for the event Robert Morris, Director of External Affairs for Georgia Ports said "This is an example of what can happen when people work together. We didn't know the Red Cross needed until they contacted us and asked us. Once we realized the need was there it was a simple task to partner with Big Red who sold us the generator originally and arrange for it to be put back into working order." Rodney West, Director of Maintenance for Big Red said "It was our pleasure to help. We know what the Red Cross does in times of disaster and we were happy to help and give this asset to the community." Robin Wingate, CEO of the Savannah Chapter said "In times of Disaster the Red Cross needs to be able to communicate and work with local government and emergency agencies, our national organization to get that pipeline of supplies and people opened, and continue to do what we do. With this generator we will be able to get help to people much more quickly. It really is an amazing gift."

The Generator has been completely rebuilt and refurbished by the employees of Big Red -- who undertook the project on their own time!! Big Red, Incorporated donated the parts; Georgia Ports donated the Generator and the trailer on which it sits. The generator outputs 270kw , 413 amps at 277/480 volts and holds 1200 gallons of diesel fuel, about a 5 day supply running 24/7. The Savannah Chapter may be the only Red Cross chapter in the country with a portable power pack of this magnitude. Thank You Georgia Ports, Big Red, and your employees!


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