Thursday, April 12, 2012

That's what we like to hear!

If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you know that we are constantly preaching "preparedness." We're always reminding people of the importance of preparing ahead of time so you're able to respond appropriately to an emergency situation. But you may ask, why is it so important to be prepared? Well, you're probably sick of hearing it from us, so consider this note our Health & Safety team received earlier this week:

Dear American Red Cross,

I just wanted to let you know that we had our first “real” emergency in the building today, and thanks to our Red Cross training, our employees had the confidence and skills to react when a co-worker collapsed and showed signs of having a cardiac event. Luckily, we did not need to use our defibrillator, but we had one on-scene and our trained staff members were ready to take action if necessary. Please let you instructors know that their students did an outstanding job!

We are so thankful that we set up the Adult CPR/AED training with you, and we highly recommend this program to other companies. Today was a great example of how successful and important this life-saving training can be.

Best Regards,
Serena Lubacz
Human Resources Manager
Delta Sonic

Fortunately, this story had a happy ending. But who knows what might have happened had the folks at Delta Sonic not taken the time to prepare for such a situation by having the proper equipment on hand and training their employees how to use it!

Don't wait until it's too late to learn these life-saving skills yourself. A full list of our CPR/AED, First Aid and other Health & Safety courses is available here. You can also set up an on-location training for your staff at your facilities by contacting Jill Gregory at (716) 878-2382 or

Thanks to Serena for sharing this experience with us. We'd like to hear your Red Cross Story as well! There's still time to win a pair of free tickets to BASH*2012!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Like walking through history!"

We often mention the fact that our volunteers benefit from the their time with the Red Cross as much as the people they serve. But what exactly does that mean? Here's a first-hand account from Grace Barczykowski, who's a relatively new volunteer with our Services to Seniors department:
"While serving as caregiver to my mother, I noticed that there were several other residents in the nursing home that she lived in who didn’t have family and needed someone else to look out for them. That may be what initially drew me to the American Red Cross Ombudsman program, but I have discovered that the best part of my four months as a volunteer is the opportuntiy to meet and get to know to meet so many interesting people with so many stories.
As the residents at The Courtyards in Hamburg get to know me, they begin to share stories about their lives and experiences. One resident is a concentration camp survivor. Another  worked as a cook during his teenage years at a restaurant in the Catskills, meeting celebrities like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. My weekly visits have been like walking through a living history lesson, with a personal touch.
Once the residents realized I was going to be a regular visitor and someone they could trust, they began to share a few issues they had with their specific situations. The staff and administration at The Courtyards has been extremely supportive, open to listening and working together to improve the quality of life for each person living there.
The staff at the American Red Cross has also been extremely helpful, providing excellent training and then supporting my efforts once I began volunteering. Ongoing, monthy inservices are also offered that provide information and address topics that an Ombudsman may be asked to deal with. There are training sessions for new Ombudsman volunteers scheduled later this month, and I would encourage anyone who cares about our area’s seniors to visit or call (716) 878-2351 for more information. You’ll not only be an advocate for them, but you’ll enrich your own life through the stories you’ll hear."

Sound like something you'd like to experience for yourself? The next training program, a total of 28 hours, is scheduled for April 30th-May 3rd. If you're at least 21 years of age, contact Melanie Keem at the number above or and sign up today!