Thursday, January 27, 2011

Surprise message for NAT program

As most non-profit workers can tell you, working for an organization that focuses on serving the community is a reward in itself. Each and every day, Red Cross workers help people who have been affected by disasters and members of the armed forces experiencing family emergencies. They also train community members in preparedness and response to emergency situations.

That being said, every now and then, a little positive reinforcement helps remind us of the importance of our mission. Members of the Louisville Area Chapter's Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) program got just that on Monday when they received an e-mail from Jack McMaster, President of Preparedness Health & Safety for the American Red Cross.

In the e-mail, he thanked Sarah Ivers, NAT Coordinator, and Susan Crowell, NAT instructor, for their dedication to the program. McMaster's e-mail came as the result of a message his office received from a recent NAT student, Sheila Meadors. Her e-mail read the following:

I just wanted to take a moment to thank the Red Cross for having such wonderful staff. At my local chapter in Louisville KY, I have been attending [NAT] classes. Ms. Sarah Ivers (class coord.) and Susan [Crowell](instructor) have been outstanding, supportive, and professional. There is just not enough good things to say about these ladies.
Thank You for all your help. I have been blessed by such great people. Could someone please forward this to the highest level? Complaints are frequent these days...compliments are rare.. Pass this one on.

Sheila Meadors

Kudos to Sarah and Susan for their hard work, and congratulations on their recognition from national! For more information on the Red Cross NAT program, call 561-3605.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First time blood donor

You know that feeling you get when you've done something good? It's like nothing anyone says or does can set you off in the wrong way, not quite walking on air, but there is that added jump and maybe even the hint of a smile for the rest of the day. That is exactly how I felt today after I donated blood for the first time.

Having been at the Red Cross for over a year now, my blood donation was long overdue, but that didn't make me any less nervous. Luckily, the greeter, canteen worker, and ... blood collector? collections assistant? resident vampire? I'll have to ask for a title next time. They all made me feel at ease with their smiles and friendly dispositions. The warm bowl of chili they served also helped.

After filling out the paperwork and doing a short questionnaire, I was ready to roll up my sleeves. I've heard people tell stories about getting stuck a few times before they find a good vein, so I braced myself for the worst. I barely felt the poke when it was inserted. Actually, the worst part was when she removed the tape holding down the tube. It took my tiny veins a while to fill up the bag, but eventually I had donated my first pint of blood.

It made me feel even better when I learned that there is currently a blood shortage due to blood drive cancellations caused by winter storms across the U.S. If you would like to add a little hop to your step by donating blood, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit to schedule an appointment.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crossing Paths

At last month's Donorama, 1,500 people donated over 1,300 pints of blood to help save lives. While the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood in the United States, what many people don't know is that it is congressionally chartered to respond to all Americans struck by disasters and provide emergency communications and support to military families stationed all over the world. The Red Cross also offers training in life-saving skills including First Aid and CPR.

If you would like to learn more about the Red Cross and its work in the Louisville community, please attend one of our free Crossing Paths luncheons at the Louisville Area Chapter, 510 E. Chestnut Street. The luncheons are held at noon the second Wednesday of each month and are open to the public. Food is served at noon followed by a presentation and tour of the Louisville Area Chapter. The program wraps up at 1pm. Below is a list of upcoming dates.
  • January 12
  • February 9
  • March 9
  • April 13
  • May 11
You can register for a luncheon at or RSVP to Lynn Romans at 502-561-3626 or

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Haiti: One year later

A week before the one year Anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, the American Red Cross continues to maximize usage of donor dollars to help re-build the country. Last year the American Red Cross raised over $475 million. More than half of that has been committed to assisting in the following areas:
  • Food
  • Water
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Livelihoods
  • Health Services
  • Disaster Preparedness
Moving forward, the Red Cross is looking at assisting with long-term recovery especially in terms of permanent housing.

An added challenge to recovery is the cholera outbreak, which the Red Cross has spent $4.5 million on to purchase soap and chlorine tablets to hand out while training individuals in cholera treatment and prevention. This, along with other obstacles, has made progress much slower than initially anticipated, but the Red Cross will be in Haiti until the last donated dollar is spent. For more information on Red Cross work in Haiti, go to