The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that:
· All people affected by disasters across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope
· Our communities are ready and prepared for disasters
· Everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products
· All members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed
· In an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.
We reaffirm our commitment to the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and add to these principles five values that are essential to our continued success in meeting our mission.
Compassionate: We are dedicated to improving the lives of those we serve and to treating each other with care and respect.
Collaborative: We work together as One Red Cross family, in partnership with other organizations, and always embrace diversity and inclusiveness.
Creative: We seek new ideas, are open to change, and always look for better ways to serve those in need.
Credible: We act with integrity, are transparent guardians of the pubic trust, and honor our promises.
Committed: We hold ourselves accountable for defining and meeting clear objectives, delivering on our mission and carefully stewarding our donor funds.
The Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity, Universality
The Red Cross was born in 1859, when Henry Dunant, a young Swiss man, came upon the scene of a bloody battle in Solferino, Italy, between the armies of imperial Austria and the Franco-Sardinian alliance. Some 40,000 men lay dead or dying on the battlefield and the wounded were lacking medical attention. Dunant organized local people to bind the soldiers' wounds and to feed and comfort them. His book, A Memory of Solferino, was read widely in Europe and helped precipitate the First Geneva Convention.
In October 1863, The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was created in Geneva, Switzerland, to provide nonpartisan care to the wounded and sick in times of war. The Red Cross emblem was adopted at this first International Conference as a symbol of neutrality and was to be used by national relief societies. In August 1864, the representatives of 12 governments signed the Geneva Convention Treaty. The extraordinary efforts of Henry Dunant led to the eventual establishment of the International Red Cross.
Clara Barton (1821-1912) dominated the early history of the American Red Cross, which was modeled after the International Red Cross. She successfully organized the American Association of the Red Cross in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 1881. Created to serve America in peace and in war, during times of disaster and national calamity, Barton's organization took its service beyond that of the International Red Cross Movement by adding disaster relief to battlefield assistance.
Today, the Red Cross Movement incorporates the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the International Federation), as well as National Societies in 187 countries, including the American Red Cross of the United States.
The first office of the Red Cross in Connecticut was established in 1898. In its early years, the Chapter funded local, national and international disaster relief and produced items for the military. During its more than 100 year history, the Red Cross provided comfort services to local families affected by fires or weather disasters. It has also been a key responder to major disasters including the Influenza outbreak of 1918, the Flood of 1936, the Hurricane of 1938, the 1944 Circus Fire, the Flood of 1955, the Blizzard of 1978, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York and more recently Hurricanes Irene (2011) and Hurricane Sandy (2012).
Key achievements of the organization
1. The American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter responded to 661 local incidents in Connecticut during FY16 (7/1/2015-6/30/2016), including fires, power outages, hazardous materials releases, transportation accidents and storms. In the footprint of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, referenced forthwith as 'Greater New Haven,' the Chapter responded to 93 incidents. The Region provided immediate disaster assistance to 802 families in the form of emergency shelter, food, clothing, children’s items, and other household needs. In the footprint of Greater New Haven, we provided disaster services to 125 families comprised of 336 individuals.
2. The Chapter taught 69,799 Connecticut residents how to protect themselves and their families or to help others in an emergency through classes in First Aid, CPR, Lifeguard training, Babysitter training, Community Disaster Education programs and more.
3. The Chapter provided emergency communications, counseling services and emergency financial assistance to 581 military families (96 in Greater New Haven). We reached an additional 7,832 military personnel with information about our services through our “Get to Know Us Before You Need Us” programs (1,086 in Greater New Haven). And we helped to gather and send more than 15,000 greeting cards to service members, veterans and military families through our “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.
4. The Chapter serviced 67 international social service cases for local clients (36 in Greater New Haven), including family tracing and reunification services; 1.323 individuals were provided with information on International Humanitarian Law and International Red Cross activities (600 in Greater New Haven).
5. The Chapter helped to support collection of nearly 112,000 units of blood at nearly 4,000 blood drives to provide 99% of the lifesaving blood components, plasma derivatives and transfusion services to hospitals and acute care facilities in Connecticut.
1. Financial resources
The American Red Cross is not a government agency and does not receive budgeted federal or state government funding. IT does receive support from the City of Shelton and the City of Danbury. The Red Cross does apply for government funded grant opportunities through a competitive process. The Red Cross depends on the compassion and generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to support its humanitarian mission. Donors can change lives locally, nationally and internationally by giving to disaster relief or other Red Cross programs. Please visit www.redcross.org to find out how you can support the Red Cross financially.
2. In-kind donations
Although the American Red Cross does not seek or accept collections of donated items, we do seek partnerships with companies who produce products and services needed to fulfill our mission. Please contact Patricia Scharr at Patricia.Scharr@redcross.org or (860) 883-0050 for more information.
The American Red Cross is the largest volunteer-led organization. 96% of our work force is volunteers. The Red Cross is always seeking new volunteers. Please visit www.redcross.org/ct to begin your volunteer adventure.
The American Red Cross collects and supplies 99% of the blood needed in Connecticut. One pint of blood can save up to three lives. Please visit www.redcross.org/ct for more information, to sign up to give blood and for information about hosting a blood drive.
1. Disaster Services Cycle has three phases: Response & Relief, Recovery and Preparedness. The goal of Disaster Services is to build resilient communities
·Disaster Response & Relief – Trained Red Cross volunteers arrive on site within one hour of notification. They provide emotional support, comfort kits, and direct financial support for food, clothing and other essential items. Red Cross also provides canteen services for those affected by disasters
Disaster Recovery Each family receives a Recovery Packet that empowers them to plan and implement their own recovery. Red Cross volunteers make follow-up calls to help victims become survivors, Referrals are made as needed.
- Disaster Preparedness- Red Cross works with state and local authorities to ensure that there is a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities during a disaster.
Preparedness Education is provided through several channels
· Presentations and materials: Individuals and families are encouraged to have family disaster plans.
· Digital Access: Information is available via our website, www.redcross.org/ct, free phone apps, and social media.
During FY16, Red Cross chapters across the country noticed that many of the homes they visited for fires did not have working smoke alarms. The American National Red Cross has adopted a nationwide goal to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25% over 5 years. In order to achieve this goal, Red Cross is offering members of the public the opportunity to request a smoke alarm inspection/installation visit. Trained Red Cross volunteers will inspect replace and install additional smoke alarms as needed. They will also work with the family to review a home hazards checklist and discuss the family's fire escape plan.
Short term outcomes
a. People will have access to preparedness information which will help protect their families and mitigate the impact of disasters on them.
b. Families will have disaster plans and emergency supply kits at home to enable them to shelter-in-place
c. People will have working smoke alarms in their homes
e. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, people will receive direct financial support to meet their disaster-related needs.
f. People affected by a disaster that destroys their home will receive a recovery envelope with helpful information to empower them to plan and implement their own recovery plan.
Long term outcomes:
1. People affected by disasters will have their immediate emergency needs met.
2. People regain their pre-disaster state and are better prepared for the future.
On January 16, 2017, Martin Luther King Day, the American Red Cross, in collaboration with the City of New Haven and New Haven Fire Department, held a Smoke Alarm Installation Day. Needs more copy from Stefanie
Services to the Armed Forces
· Emergency Services — When significant family emergencies occur, the Red Cross is a gateway to a network of comprehensive assistance. The U.S. Department of Defense relies solely on the Red Cross to obtain verified reports of family events, such as births, illness or deaths, enabling service members and their commanders to assess the need for the serviceperson to return home. We also help identify and provide access to resources, including financial assistance, in response to a family’s emergency needs.
· Building Family Resiliency — The Red Cross works to strengthen families’ capacities to cope with the unique demands of military life. This is achieved through briefings on services; mental health, preparedness, health and safety courses; health-care job-certification training; and volunteer, networking and support opportunities—all delivered in local communities across the nation and on military installations around the globe.
· Hospital Programs — Red Cross volunteers and employees work hand-in-hand with military and Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and clinics to provide rehabilitation therapy, morale-building activities and material assistance vital to the comfort, recovery and healthcare of service members and veterans.
Military family members have 24-hour-a-day access to the Armed Forces Emergency Services hotline to send emergency communications to deployed loved ones.
Military personnel and their families will have effective communication during times of family crises.
Military personnel, military family members and veterans have workshops and support groups.
A military member’s grandmother sent an Emergency Communications Message (ECM) through the Red Cross about the impending death of his grandfather. The grandfather was terminally ill and unresponsive at home. The life expectancy was hours at the time the ECM was sent. This military grandmother thought the ECM would take at least 24 hours to reach the her grandson and that he would likely not be able to see his grandfather before he died.
Amazingly, however, the service member received the message quickly, spoke to his grandmother within hours, and was home the next day. When the service member saw his grandfather, the grandfather opened his eyes. The Red Cross called the grandmother to follow up several weeks later.
Again amazingly, the grandfather was alert and doing much better. This military grandmother said seeing his grandson gave him the will to go on a while longer and without Red Cross help in sending the ECM so quickly this may not have happened. This grandmother stated she is “very thankful for the wonderful service Red Cross provided.”
· International Red Cross Tracing Service is available to help people locate and reconnect with loved ones separated by natural disasters, civil unrest, war and The Holocaust.
· Education on International Humanitarian Law is offered upon request and via information on our website, redcross.org.
· International Disaster Relief (on an episodic basis)
People seeking information about a loved one separated by natural or man-made disasters have access to the International Red Cross Tracing Service.
be reunited with loved ones or find out the status of loved ones separated by
war, civil unrest, natural disasters and The Holocaust.
International Services: Restoring Family Links
A New Haven woman came into the New Haven Red Cross office looking for Red Cross help. She had recently settled in Connecticut after escaping with her daughter from a highly-volatile conflict situation in Ethiopia/Eritrea, but her husband and son had not been lucky enough to escape the conflict in their native country. She had not spoken to them in 15 years, and had no idea whether or not they were alive.
The Red Cross opened a tracing case for the family, which involves conducting an in-depth interview with the family and contacting our Red Cross partner in the necessary country through The International Coalition of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The case broke recently when the daughter found her brother through Facebook. The Red Cross was able to send a Red Cross message with the approved Refugee Asylee Relative Petitions attached. The ICRC will deliver the Red Cross message with the documentation and hopefully begin the process to fully reunite this family here. When the woman left Ethiopia, her son was just five years old. He is now a grown man of 20.
Sr. Director, Military & International Services, Jan Radke says, “She is very excited at the thought of having her family reunited here. She showed me a picture of her son that her daughter had printed out from the internet. I told her we would have a party to celebrate when they get here. She understands that it may still take a while, but the fact that she now knows they are alive is more than she has known for 15 years! She was crying while writing a message to her husband after I told her she should absolutely write it in her native language – that it would be delivered in person to him. It really touched her that he would soon be holding that very piece of paper.”
· Safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products is available in Connecticut.
· Meaningful volunteer opportunities are available in Connecticut.
Residents have opportunities through workplace and community blood drives to give the gift of life by donating blood at blood drives.
Blood collected at drives is processed and screened for diseases according to federal guidelines to prevent the transmission of diseases through transfusion.
Preparedness Health & Safety Programs
· Provides state-of-the-art training in CPR, AED use, First Aid
· Provides career training in Babysitter training, Life Guarding and Water Safety Instructor Training, Connecticut Child Care, Certified Nurse Assistant Training and Phlebotomy.
· Provides full service training to corporations to meet OSHA training requirements
People have the knowledge, skills and confidence to save a life in an emergency.
People know how to protect themselves from transmittable diseases.
Using a combination of abdominal thrusts and back blows,
Zack dislodged the food from his mother’s airway. The training was helpful as
was good placement of safety information at his school. Zack says he remembered
details from the choking safety poster hanging in his school cafeteria.
When Guilford Police arrived at the scene to verify that
Zack’s mother was indeed okay, the responding officer learned the details of
Zack’s assistance and decided to nominate him for recognition.
For his part, Zack says he is flattered but “I was just present
in my mom’s time of need. I’d hope anyone would react as I did.” He was also
quick to praise his younger sister, who called 911. “She did a great job
· Red Cross has a web-based platform, Volunteer Connection – a self serve website for volunteers to register, sign up for training, and review/apply for positions.
· Meaningful volunteer opportunities in your area and across the country
· 96% of the Red Cross workforce is comprised of volunteers
People have meaningful volunteer service opportunities through the Red Cross.
Red Cross volunteers are involved at all levels of the organization including leadership.
On January 6, 2014, a large building on Howe Avenue in Shelton, which included 24 apartments and several businesses, was completely demolished in a fire. Residents were sent scrambling for their lives as firefighters battled an enormous blaze for hours long into the night. After a couple of hours, firefighters knew a collapse was imminent and cleared all emergency personnel out of the building. Minutes later, the roof gave way.
Residents included 22 families, consisting of 27 adults and one child. Residents were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and that’s when the Red Cross stepped in.
Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers provided food and shelter to those displaced in the wake of the fire.
Ten dedicated Red Cross casework and mental health volunteers worked tirelessly for three days after the fire on this response. Six volunteers did casework on the first day. On the second day, four additional Red Cross mental health volunteers stepped in to provide emotional support for the families. On day three, five people were released from the hospital with nowhere to go. Our volunteers stepped in yet again to facilitate financial assistance and hotels for these families until they had enough time to plan their recovery.
The Red Cross partnered with several agencies in Shelton for this response. One of those partnerships was with Echo Hose Company (the Shelton Fire Department). The Red Cross used their facility for three days for our client meetings. People from the department brought in food and clothing. Other important partnerships included the TEAM community action agency, United Way, Spooner House Shelter, and town officials in Shelton.
Today, in addition to domestic disaster relief, the American Red Cross offers compassionate services in five other areas: community services that help the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; the collection, processing and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs.
The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors—across the street, across the country, and across the world—in emergencies.
The very nature of the Red Cross is built on collaboration.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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