Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hollywood Halloween Tips

Photo Courtesy of amuchdeeperlevel.blogspot.com

It's been quite a while since my last post, but I can always count on Halloween to stir up a little creative inspiration. Candy and costumes were my favorite parts of the sometimes misunderstood holiday, but Halloween kid movies were a close third. Here are a few tips I shall carry with me forever:
The Witches: Don't accept candy from strangers. You could end up like this guy. ^ Poor Bruno.
Casper: If your house is haunted, just make friends with the ghosts. 
Ernest Scared Stupid: Milk does a body good AND defeats nasty trolls.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: DON'T mess with Christmas. That being said, there's a time and a place for every holiday. Department stores, take note.
And, of course, if we learned nothing else, every 90s kid knows, NEVER, EVER light the black flame candle. (Although, it could be fun.)

GIF courtesy of redletterdayeblog.wordpress.com
I know there are plenty more out there. Share your favorite Halloween movie tip in the comments and review the tips below for a safe Halloween.
  • Look for flame-resistant costumes.
  • Plan the Trick-or-Treat route and make sure adults know where children are going. A responsible adult should accompany young children.
  • Make sure the Trick-or-Treaters have a flashlight. Add reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing in order to be seen.
  • Visit only the homes with a porch light on. Accept treats at the door. Never go inside.
  • Instead of masks, which can make it hard to see, consider using face paint.
  • Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  • Be cautious around pets and any other animals.
  • Sweep leaves from the sidewalks and steps.
  • Clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over.
  • Restrain any household pets.
  • Use a glow stick instead of a candle in the jack-o-lantern to avoid a fire hazard.
Download the free American Red Cross First Aid App. Features of the app include:
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to handle the most common first aid situations;
  • Videos and animations that  make the skills easy to learn;
  • Safety and preparedness tips; and
  • Quizzes that users can take to earn badges which they can share with their friends on social media. 
People can find all of the Red Cross apps in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Youth Council Brings Water Safety to Joy-Lou

The following was submitted by Louisville Area Chapter Club Council member Reagan Roy.

On June 11, 2013, the Louisville Area Chapter Club Council presented a Longfellow’s WHALE Tales presentation to around 20 children at Joy-Lou Pre-School & Day Care. The WHALE Tales program is derived from water safety classes created by Commodore Wilbert E. Longfellow.

Longfellow started the Red Cross Lifesaving Corps in 1914 to train volunteers in the methods of lifesaving and resuscitation. His next step was to provide large-scale instruction in swimming. The Commodore's teaching philosophy was to "entertain the public hugely while educating them gently." He did just that. In tribute to Commodore Longfellow, the mascot for the program is a blue whale named “Longfellow”. This is because Commodore Longfellow was nicknamed “The Amicable Whale” for his service.

The council members presented water safety rules to the children. Some of the rules presented were:

  • Don’t swim alone
  • Follow the pool rules
  • Look before you leap
  • Think don’t sink
  • Reach or throw don’t go

“Everybody did an outstanding job,” said Council Member Jada Stewart. “The children were great and really seemed to enjoy it.”

To engage the children, the volunteers performed three skits during the event followed by a question and answer session led by the members. Each child in the room had the chance to answer a question correctly and receive a Red Cross bracelet for their participation. The members also told personal stories or lead group discussions around the general pool side rules.

The teacher received WHALE Tales worksheets to work on with the children at a later date, reinforcing the message of water safety. Members who helped present were Taylor Greenwell, Brianna Rodgers, Jada Stewart, Michael Jones and Reagan Roy. Youth Coordinator Kristen Lawrence was in charge of preparing and overseeing the event.

If you are interested in more information on the Chapter Club Council or other youth volunteer opportunities at the American Red Cross Louisville Area Chapter, call 502-561-3601 or visit www.redcross.org/Louisville.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Intern and Youth Volunteer Jocelyn Porter

Jocelyn (right) at 2012 Donorama Blood Drive
Hello, my name is Jocelyn Porter and I am a youth volunteer for the Louisville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. I just completed a five month internship here and am continuing my service through the Chapter Club Council, (Louisville’s chapter club). These past five months have been instrumental to my growth as a high school student. I’ve developed many noteworthy skills and have been given amazing opportunities.

There are three ways to volunteer with the American Red Cross:

  1. in a group such as your Girl Scout troop, church youth group, or school beta club
  2. in a Red Cross club at your school or in your local chapter
  3. as an individual volunteer
I am a member of the Red Cross Club at the Louisville Area Chapter and as mentioned before I am also a student intern. As a part of my internship, I came in three times a week to complete office administrative tasks along with Public Relations related assignments. Some of my office administrative duties included data entry in the volunteer office.

One very important task I completed was to catalog the volunteer pins given out before our newest computer system update. My help in this effort made it possible for seasoned and dedicated volunteers to be awarded for their hard work over the years. I recorded the names of volunteers and the awards they had been given so that we knew when it was time for them to receive another award based on the years of their service. I created a database of this information and cataloged names and awards from 1986 to 2011.

I have also made phone calls to youth in the community who have expressed interest in becoming a youth volunteer for the Louisville Chapter Club like me. I’ve put together bulletin boards in the building elevators that have announcements Red Cross employees should be aware of. These projects as well as the many other activities I do at the Red Cross are important for many reasons--they open the door for more volunteers, allow information to be stored in a more organized form, and contribute to the mission of the Red Cross as a whole.

I have acquired 90 hours this year. My favorite project that I have done thus far has been the Pin project. I was able to see just how many people over the years have volunteered their time to help their local Red Cross reach its goal of serving people worldwide and how committed those people have been. Some have been working with the Red Cross for 50 years.

I would definitely encourage other youth in the community to volunteer with the Red Cross because it is a way to help save lives even though you may not be old enough to give blood. It is a group effort, and by volunteering at blood drives or working in the office, you are helping to fulfill the mission of this worthwhile organization

-Jocelyn Porter

Monday, May 6, 2013

Local Volunteers Help Illinois Disaster Relief Operation

Red Cross volunteers Charlotte Surratt, Joe Baird, Carrie Smith and Mike Sewell.

This past weekend, as most Kentuckiana residents prepared for “the greatest two minutes in sports,” four local American Red Cross volunteers were on their way out of the Commonwealth. In the midst of Kentucky Derby madness, Carrie Smith, Mike Sewell, Joe Baird and Charlotte Surratt traveled to Illinois where they will assist with the Midwest flood response in Arlington Heights and Peoria.

The four volunteers collectively have more than 15 years of disaster response experience with the Red Cross. For this disaster operation, each of them will help provide client casework services to people affected by flooding. Client caseworkers work one-on-one with families and individuals to determine what kind of help they need to get back on their feet following a disaster.

Charlotte Surratt is a retired EMT/CNA/Cake Decorator. A jack of all trades, she began volunteering at the Fort Knox Red Cross a few years ago. She assists the Fort Knox office with everything from the Helping Hands program which provides household furniture and goods for soldiers, to meeting with military families before oversea deployments. Along with her weekly responsibilities in Fort Knox, she tries to serve on at least two disaster operations each year.

“This is my heart, going out on disasters,” Charlotte said. “This is what I was supposed to do.”

Charlotte is trained in several disaster response areas. Following Superstorm Sandy, she traveled to West Virginia where the storm dumped 2-3 feet of snow before moving on to the northeast. In West Virginia, she was in charge of ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) dispatch. Drifts of snow along with icy roads and fallen tree limbs prohibited driving in much of the mountainous area, so it was important for Charlotte to send ERVs to central locations that people could travel to on foot.

Charlotte knows it’s important to remain flexible on disaster operations, but she will say that casework is her favorite as she gets to meet people (and pets!) and be there for them when they need it most.

“A lot of times they’re so grateful to see you they burst into tears. They all have a story and they want you to listen to them.”

A total of 15 volunteers from throughout the Kentuckiana Region are in Illinois helping provide food, supplies, emotional support and health services. The Red Cross will be there to support affected communities until well after the flood waters recede. To support Red Cross disaster efforts, please make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief at redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sit and Stay With Us a While at the Pegasus Parade

The Red Cross continued its long-standing tradition yesterday of providing reserved seating for senior adults and individuals with functional and access needs during the Pegasus Parade. This was the 38th year the organization has been providing this service.

Hours before the parade, Red Cross volunteers roped off 200 feet of prime Broadway street side territory, beginning at the corner of Preston and Broadway, and set up more than 400 chairs. The area was specially designated as seating for senior adults and individuals with functional and access needs to give them a great view without needing to jostle for a spot.  Nearly every seat was full Thursday.

Clockwise from left: Robert McNeal, Richard Mart, Sharon Angel and Linda Roberts were the first to take their seats Thursday.

All of the attendees seemed excited for the parade, although everyone had their own reasons.

“I was born and raised in New Albany, and I haven’t been back in over 47 years to go to the Derby Parade,” said Robert McNeal, who came from Panama City, FL for this weekend’s festivities. “There were no celebrities back then. It was mainly bands and horses, so it will be interesting to see what has changed.”

McNeal’s cousin Linda Roberts, a Louisville resident, had a different reason for going.

“I want to see Russ Smith,” said Roberts. “I want to see the whole UofL team. We shot off fireworks after they won the championship. We had all the neighbors over, even though they were UK fans.”

The University of Louisville’s men’s and women’s basketball teams were the grand marshals of the event. Other attractions included marching bands, celebrities and creative booths from local businesses, but there was no doubt that the two teams riding by in fire trucks raised the most cheers from the crowd.

The Red Cross has already committed to continue its seating tradition for next year.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Red Cross Mascots Turn Out for a Day of Fun at the 2013 Derby Mascot Party!

Scrubby Bear posed for many a photo at the 2013 Derby Mascot Party

This past Sunday the Louisville Area Chapter mascots had the pleasure of participating in the 2013 Derby Mascot Party at Kroger Fest-a-Ville at Waterfront Park. Sunday’s theme was Family Day, and the Red Cross mascots were energetic and ready to give hugs and high fives and pose for photos.

However, with a temperature in the low-60s and occasional drizzles, there weren’t that many little ones out and about, but those that were received VIP attention from the mascots. The Red Cross was represented by Sudsy Sam, Scrubby Bear and Buddy Blood Drop.

More than 25 mascots were at the event, representing Louisville’s various organizations and businesses. In the absence of large groups to entertain, Sam, Scrubby and Buddy took to dancing and riding rides with the other mascots in between crowds. The public seemed to enjoy the silliness of seeing the three tumble down the Super Slide side by side and take turns on the carousel.

The day showcased mascot camaraderie and fun at its finest.

Sudsy Sam took a nasty spill on the wet grass while playing soccer with a group of kids. Watch out, Sam!