Thursday, August 25, 2011

21 Weeks to Prepare

When disaster strikes, there is rarely time to think about what you need to grab in order to survive. If you are lucky, your home and family will walk away unscathed. The next day you'll go back to work, chauffeuring to school and practices, thinking about what to cook for dinner. Others aren't so lucky. The disaster destroyed their home and memories. They don't have food, clothing or shelter let alone a car to get them around or a stove to cook meals.

At the Red Cross, we like to prepare for the worst. You might call us pessimists, but if our knack for getting the community ready for worst case scenarios helps one family recover following a disaster, or, more importantly, survive during a disaster, then we are happy to serve as your glass half-empty friend.

Starting next Thursday, September 1, we will kick off 21 Weeks to Prepare—a social media campaign to help families and individuals build their own emergency disaster kit. Originally created by a team of Red Cross workers in Bowling Green, KY, 21 Weeks to Prepare breaks up the task of building a disaster kit to help everyone prepare in a way that is economically friendly.

On Thursdays leading up to our 21st week (January 19, 2012) we will blog on a group of items you can buy to build your disaster kit. Our twitter page will also post items and tips. Please help us spread the word, and follow our blog and twitter page for weekly updates. Together, we can help prepare Kentuckiana!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chardonnay & Charity

My first interaction with wine was not exactly a positive experience. The astringent, red, house wine of Harlaxton Manor left a bad taste in my mouth, triggering a boycott during my four-months studying abroad. It was during a wine tasting party over a year later that I discovered my love for fruity and crisp Rieslings. Since then, I've even branched out into a few reds. I invite anyone (of age, of course) to expand their own wine boundaries at the August 25 summer gathering of Louisville Uncorked.

Louisville Uncorked is a social event held seasonally in various locations. While it is mainly a great way to have fun and network, the Host Committee of Uncorked also chooses a non-profit to benefit from the proceeds. This time around, the American Red Cross will have the honor of receiving collected donations. If you would like to attend to help support the Red Cross and have a good time, visit Uncorked's website to RSVP (REQUIRED) and learn more about the rules of the event.

With only four events a year, the Uncorked calendar fills up quickly, but the resolve of Crossing Generations member Brian Settles paid off. Brian, an attorney with Fultz Maddox Hovious & Dickens PLC, hopes the event will help promote Red Cross services and expand the membership of Crossing Generations, the chapter's young professionals group.

Crossing Generations is a self-governing society that engages young professionals in the mission of the Red Cross. Member benefits include networking, personal and professional development, and mentorships with board members. Some have even gone on to join the Red Cross Board of Directors. The group is always looking for new members and meets on the second Tuesday of each month. If you or someone you know is interested in joining, please send an e-mail to

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

AmeriCorps team ends Year-of-Service

AmeriCorps members Alissa Harbison and Meghan Powers spent the past year helping the Louisville Area Chapter educate the community on disaster preparedness.

The month of September is quickly approaching, and that means members of our AmeriCorps program are wrapping up another year of service. It seems fitting that the group's term begins and ends in September a.k.a. National Preparedness Month. Throughout the past year, our AmeriCorps have delivered more than 2,500 disaster education presentations at schools, businesses and health fairs, teaching people of all ages the importance of disaster preparedness. All told, the group helped educate 15,000 Kentuckiana residents.

While they are dedicated to preparing the community, our AmeriCorps also help respond to disasters like home fires and floods providing immediate assistance for those affected in the areas of client casework and disaster assessment. They travelled to the far ends of Kentucky, some even to Alabama where tornado struck communities are still recovering.

As a former AmeriCorps, I know serving might not be the easiest thing you ever do, but it can be the most rewarding. Daily tasks can go from tedious to exciting, leisurely to back-breaking, evoking a range of emotions in a matter of days, sometimes hours. That being said, I would like to congratulate the 2010-11 crew on completing all of the above and more. Their hard work has helped create a safer Kentucky and Southern Indiana and I wish them all the success in the world as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.

On Friday, July 29, this year’s team celebrated with a Professional Development Seminar meant to help prepare the group for their next career steps. Speakers from Fifth Third Bank, Red Cross and the Peace Corps focused on financial empowerment, resume writing, preparing for interviews and Peace Corps career options. For pictures from the event, please visit our Flickr page.