What Have We Done For You Lately? The Central Maryland Chapter is proud to have trained and deployed more volunteers for the Katrina relief operation than any other chapter. Read what some had to say about their experiences below.
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Volunteers Give Speak Out About the Katrina Relief Operation
~January 1 - April 15~
Accepting Hometown Heroes Nominations. If you know someone who performed an act of heroism between 01/01/05 and 12/31/05, submit their story online by visiting us online at
Measles Eradication Week (more info on
March 30, 4 - 5:30
Volunteer Orientation Call 410-624-2023.
April 29th, 8 pm:
Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel
May 1st, 10 am
11th Annual Golf Classic
Chestnut Ridge Country Club
June 12th, 8 am
Hometown Heroes Breakfast
June 26, 10 am
Annual Anne Arundel Golf Classic Old South Country Club
I remember two young women, 13 and 16, who waited in line all day with their parents [for] assistance. We put the girls to work handing out beverages, snacks and lunches. They came back almost every day for a week to continue to help out. I also can't forget "Cindy," an individual that came in for support and came back every day to run a “clothing distribution service.” Joseph Anastasio
My experiences with this great organization have been unbelievable. The passion, caring, love, respect that has been displayed is one experience that will never be forgotten.
Thanks for always being where you are needed in the time of the peoples’ needs. I'm looking forward to working many years as a Red Cross volunteer. Dr. Clarice Thompson
If I put aside my marriage and the births of my children, the privilege of being a part of this effort has been the most meaning-ful and memorable experience of my life. Thank you.
This was such an experience. The people of MS and LA were so nice and positive despite the great losses they suffered. The volunteers I met from all over the world were great people, everyone had a big heart and a helping hand. This was a life changing experience for the volunteers as well as the victims... an experience I will never forget. Emilio Frederick
Central Marylanders opened their hearts and their wallets to victims of the recent devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes. The Red Cross worked with local businesses such as Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse and a group of Annapolis merchants organized by Loews Annapolis Hotel to conduct fundraisers. Institutions of learning that ranged from Johns Hopkins University to Baltimore's Harlem Park Elementary School chipped in to help. Area television and radio audiences were given the opportunity to assist through their favorite broadcast outlets. Every act of charity helped the Red Cross provide relief. Every donation is appreciated.
Did you know...
Everyone knows the Red Cross provides hospitals
with a vital supply of blood and blood products.
But did you know we help service members
and their families keep in touch with each other?
Did you know that our volunteers live alongside
soldiers in harsh conditions and work
around the clock to offer comforts to ease
the strain on those who are serving our nation? More about the Red Cross
The Central Maryland Red Cross enthusiastically welcomed the recent decision of the Diplomatic Conference to adopt a Third Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. This creates an additional emblem alongside the red cross and red crescent and paves the way for Magen David Adom (MDA) to become a voting member in the Red Cross Movement.
MDA is an organization that, like the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, collects blood, assists disaster victims, teaches CPR and first aid, and provides other humanitarian services in Israel. Instead of using a red cross or red crescent, it uses a red Star of David to identify its ambulances and relief workers.
At the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 2006, the Conference will be asked to amend the statutes of the Movement, to take into account the creation of the new emblem, the red crystal, a red diamond shape on a white background.
The Central Maryland chapter, which houses the Holocaust and War Victims tracing Center, has strongly supported MDA inclusion and the recognition of their emblem. Board members and staff visited MDA offices in a 2000 trip to Israel and MDA leadership volunteers, including the former head of the organization, Avi Zohar, have also come to Baltimore to meet with leaders here.
RED CROSS INSTRUCTOR SAVES DAUGHTER WITH SKILLS SHE TEACHES STUDENTS
Adrienne Czechowski was in the kitchen washing dishes while her husband Aaron kept an eye on their children Ezra, 4, and Sophia, 16 months. It was their normal nightly routine: get the kids fed, bathed and off to bed. Sophia, a self-proclaimed "lover of vegetables" shoved a handful of small broccoli pieces into her mouth at one time. Then her father noticed she had stopped making noise and was having difficulty breathing and he called for his wife.
Czechowski, who is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Health and Safety Department at the Central Maryland Chapter and a CPR, AED and first aid instructor, came in the dining room thinking her husband called her to see Sophia "being her usually funny self." Instead she found her daughter wide eyed and panicked.
"I picked my daughter up out of her highchair and performed five back blows the way I teach my students in class," Czechowski recalled. "It took five back blows to dislodge the broccoli. If the fifth blow had not worked I was going to have my husband call 911 and I would have proceeded with chest compressions."
Once the obstruction was removed and Sophia calmed down from all of her crying, “she finished her dinner as if nothing happened. Still to this day she loves broccoli," says Czechowski.
"Knowing CPR and first aid gives a great sense of confidence and helped me be calm even in a situation involving my own child."
On October 22nd, over 2,500 Boy scouts and their families gathered at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium at an event sponsored by the American Red Cross of Central Maryland and the Baltimore Area Council of The Boy Scouts of America. It focused on disaster preparedness, response, recovery and health and safety. One hundred seventy-five troops, packs, and adventure crews, 286 Cub Scout dens and 481 Boy Scout patrols participated. The scouts collected nearly a ton of food for the Maryland Food Bank, awarded 26 CPR certifications and collected over 400 units of blood in their month-long blood drive. Congratulations to The Central Maryland Chapter and The Boy Scouts for a successful event!
Did You know...
Founded by Clara Barton in 1881, and chartered by Congress in 1905, the Red Cross today responds to as many as 70,000 disasters nationwide, including natural and man-made disasters. The Red Cross also provides assistance during international emergencies--rushing medical aid and other items to countries devastated by disasters, and helping people around the world battle malnutrition and life-threatening diseases.
A WATERSHED MOMENT IN HISTORY The statistics speak for themselves: In response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the America Red Cross has provided 3.42 million overnight stays in nearly 1,100 shelters across 27 states and the District of Columbia. More than 1.2 million families (including 1,646 people who evacuated their homes to come to Baltimore) received emergency financial assistance. The Red Cross, in coordination with the Southern Baptist Convention, served more than 27.4 million hot meals and 25.2 million snacks to hurricane survivors. And the organization expects to spend in excess of $2 billion for a disaster that was nearly 20 times larger than anything we had ever faced before. Joseph Becker, Senior Vice President for Red Cross Response and Preparedness called the disaster a "watershed" moment in the history of the American Red Cross as well as the country. "Hurricane Katrina produced human needs exceeding those presented by all previous natural disasters in this country, including the Johnstown Flood in 1882, the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918, Hurricanes Camille and Andrew, or manmade events such as the Oklahoma City bombings in 1995 and the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The needs created by Hurricane Katrina exceeded even those posed by the four back-to-back hurricanes last year." Just as we learn from every disaster response, locally and nationally, we'll take the lessons of Katrina and Rita as a blueprint for future improvement. Helping us to learn will be the 550 new Central Maryland volunteers who traveled to help their fellow citizens in the Gulf Coast. They're part of a groundswell of almost 220,000 volunteers from all over the country in what might well be the largest mobilization of Americans helping each other in history. The selfless work of these volunteers and the incredible generosity of the American people helped the Red Cross mobilize the largest operation in our history.
Painful lessons were learned. We need, all of us, to work much harder to be prepared. As an organization, we must examine every aspect of our response and, unfortunately, get ready for even bigger disasters, greater challenges.
Francine Stokes is a member of the American Red Cross National Board of Governors and a former Chair of the Central Maryland Chapter. She is also the Assistant to the President of Morgan State University.
ELDERLY BALTIMORE COUPLE NEEDS YOUR HELP
Without health or homeowner's insurance, Henry and Wilhelmina Heathcote were barely making ends meet when disaster struck and their home of 30 years was destroyed by fire.
The elderly Baltimore couple lost everything they cherished, including their beloved dog.
Red Cross volunteers mobilized quickly and were on the scene providing comfort, food and clothing to the Heathcotes before the home stopped smoldering. Henry, who was recovering from bypass surgery, was also provided heart and diabetes medication. A Red Cross mental health professional was there to listen and help them cope with the challenges of rebuilding their lives. The Red Cross also assisted in paying the security deposit on their apartment and gave the couple clothing and furniture vouchers.
Your help made it possible.
Your gift of $10, $25, $50 helps to meet the emergency needs of disaster victims in our community. Won't you continue your support by contributing to our disaster relief fund?
Tsunami survivors from one of the deadliest natural disasters in recent history faced unthinkable tragedy and loss on December 26, 2004. The American public donated time and money to the American Red Cross at unprecedented levels, helping to bring food, water, tents, medical and sanitation supplies and other necessities to millions of people in Asia and East Africa.
The American Red Cross remains an active partner in the relief effort, working to:
Improve community health and prevent disease outbreaks through mass immunization campaigns, health and hygiene education and restored water and sanitation systems.
Support communities as they rebuild their lives and reestablish their livelihoods.
Help affected Red Cross/Red Crescent National Societies, their branches and communities develop disaster preparedness capabilities.
Find a comprehensive list of American Red Cross Tsunami Recovery Program projects and statistics online at www.redcross.org.
What you can do to help: Donate Funds:
· The Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes. In Central Maryland, the Red Cross generally responds to three disasters daily costing an average of $2400 each day.
· Most disasters don’t make the news, but are just as devastating to someone who loses everything or worse, someone they love.
· The Disaster Relief Fund is nearly empty. Funds are urgently needed so that the Red Cross can continue to respond to every disaster immediately. Volunteer - We depend upon volunteers to provide disaster relief to all who need it when they need it.
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