Thursday, October 27, 2011

It doesn't have to be a "dark and stormy night"!

It's been pretty gloomy when you look out the window lately. Cloudy, chilly, rainy, maybe even some snow! Some might say that's perfect weather for the upcoming Halloween weekend. While it may be true that many ghost stories begin with a "dark and stormy night", it's not so fun when you have to walk the kids up and down the street to trick-or-treat!

The Red Cross has a way for the kids to get their goodies, stay warm and dry, and pick up some important safety information this Saturday! Join us at "Eerie" Community College's North Campus from 11am-3pm for "Safe & Seen Halloween!" Your little ghosts and goblins can trick or treat for ghoulish goodies along the Haunted Hallway of Treats. While they're filling their pumpkin with treats, you'll also pick up some important family safety tips from local first responders and law enforcement organizations. You'll then work your way to the Creepy Kidzone, filled with Halloween fun and safety-themed interactive activities. Billy Buffalo, the Buffalo Jills, and Sabretooth will be there, along with a local Star Wars fan club and dozens of others, all in bright, colorful costumes.

All the fun costs just $2.00 per trick-or-treater, and all children under 12 are invited to come and scare up some goodies! "Safe & Seen Halloween" is presented by First Niagara, and sponsored in part by Erie Community College, The Buffalo News, WKBW-TV, Classic Hits 104.1 FM, Wegmans, and National Fuel, with all proceeds benefitting the American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties. Click here for more information and directions to ECC's North Campus.

Of course, even after joining the fun at "Safe & Seen", you may still want to take your family out for some traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night! The Red Cross has some safety tips to make this Halloween a little less scary, although we can't promise that seeing our staff in costume on Saturday won't be a frightening experience!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No, Joe. Thank YOU!

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that we are constantly thanking our amazing Disaster Action Team volunteers for the all work they do for us and our community.  Not everyone would be willing to take that late night phone call to help the family who just lost everything in a house fire.  However, it can be difficult for even these wonderful people to make such sacrifices of their time and talents.

Joe Long has been volunteering with us throughout his time as an undergraduate student, but has recently decided that as he studies for his CPA exam he no longer has the time to give, and November will be his last month as a DAT volunteer.  You may wonder why someone taking such a difficult course load would ever be willing to spend some of his precious free time helping strangers he's never met.  Without even being asked, Joe answered that question in his resignation letter to our Emergency Services department:

"However in the times I have responded to the calls, I have been truely touched by what a great volunteer opportunity the DAT team is. Its unlike any other volunteer opportunity, because it really, really does make such a positive impact on families in need. It is for that reason that I stayed on the schedule for so long."

Joe went on to thank us for our patience with his schedule.  Well, Joe, we thank YOU and all our volunteers for taking time out of your busy lives to help us help our neighbors in need.  We couldn't do what we do without you!!

Want to experience that great feeling of helping others Joe is talking about for yourself?  We're always looking for volunteers!  Contact Volunteer Coordinator Christine Petre at or click here for a schedule of training classes.