Community recognizes ERV drivers for dedication

September 7, 2007
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Rex Thorpe on his first national relief mission with the Red Cross (Photo by Aaron Litwin)

 

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Kevin Connell and Shoba Brown, ERV Volunteers, show off their plaques given to them by appreciative clients in Minnesota (Photo courtesy of Angie Springs, Midland Empire Chapter)

 

 

By Glenda Plunkett
American Red Cross

Rex Thorpe just finished his first national assignment on an ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) at the Minnesota-Wisconsin Flood. He didn’t know what he was getting into when he said he would ‘try ERV work’.

He climbed on board with two Red Cross veterans, Shoba Brown and Kevin Connell, both from the Midland Empire Chapter in St. Joe, MO. They took him under their wings to teach him the best tips for mass feeding and delivering meals to those affected. The route started first in Vernon County and then continued on to Money Creek, MN. There the last two days, the ERV team visited a campground where displaced people had gathered in tents.

Thorpe said, “The Red Cross volunteers were fantastic people and made a terrific team. They made my experience extremely positive. They knew the subtle things to do that mean so much and they graciously taught me. The way they connected with the clients was so special. They didn’t treat the people like clients but more like old friends. It didn’t take long for the clients to pick up on it too.”

Thorpe continued, “People in the neighborhood presented each of the ERV drivers with a plaque. It was a nice plaque with gold letters engraved on a black surface. It was a nice thing to do. These people lost everything. They lost their homes and for them to go out of their way like that, it showed how much they appreciated what these ERV volunteers did. These folks also gave Shoba and Kevin homemade pickles and hugs. They invited the Red Cross volunteers to come and attend a picnic a year from the date of the flood (August 19th). They told us the landscape would look differently by then. It would look like a neighborhood and not a disaster site.”

Thorpe summed it up by saying, “This was my first Red Cross disaster response but I would do it again. I hope people are never flooded out of their homes again. It would be nice to say that we will never have another disaster, but I know it will happen and I will want to help when it happens. I am glad my first disaster was not a huge hurricane like Katrina. This was a good experience. It amazes me how you take two strangers like Shoba and Kevin and in two weeks they are functioning as a very tight team. It is a very rewarding experience to a guy like me.” 


Tzu Chi Foundation Partners with American Red Cross to provide flood relief

September 7, 2007
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By Stephanie Carter
American Red Cross 

The Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, U.S.A. set-up shop in the Old TRW building in Rushford over the Labor Day weekend, complete with soothing music. 38 volunteers were on an emergency relief mission in Minnesota focusing on Winona and Rushford.

Residents were eligible to receive financial support; $500 for homes which were destroyed and $300 for homes with major damage. Disaster victims received referrals from the American Red Cross.

Tzu Chi, meaning compassion relief, is an international charitable organization based out of Taiwan with over 5 million supporters and 30,000 certified members. The foundation provides charitable and medical services, humanitarian aid, and offers the largest bone marrow registry in Asia.  According to their website, http://www.tzuchi.org, their ultimate goal is for each person who receives relief, be inspired to give comfort and companionship to other disaster victims in turn.

Amy Chong, a Tzu Chi volunteer said, “I quit my job 10 years ago and have traveled to 14 countries. I just want to help people. My heart goes out to these people.”

They were packing up and heading out the door when one last person stopped by and asked for consideration. Without hesitation, a Tzu Chi volunteer sat down and said, “I’ll wait for you.”

Amy Eden, Red Cross Service Center Manager for Rushford, said, “Clients are receiving assistance from the Red Cross. To receive further assistance from the Tzu Chi Foundation is good. They connect with people one-on-one. All Tzu Chi volunteers pay their own way and take time off their jobs to help people in need. They are very friendly and dedicated.”

 

 Written by Stephanie Carter, a volunteer with the Rappahannock Chapter of the American Red Cross assisting with the Minnesota/Wisconsin floods.


Mayo pledges $100,000 to Red Cross

September 6, 2007

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September 5, 2007, ROCHESTER, Minn. –Mayo Clinic announced on Friday, August 31, 2007, it will be making monetary donations to the agencies that have been heavily involved with the flood relief effort:

 

  • $100,000 to the Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross;
  • $100,000 to the Northern Division of the Salvation Army;
  • $100,000 to the United Way of Olmsted County;
  • And joining with other local organizations in making a contribution of $25,000 to the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s Business Recovery Fund, which will make grants available to local businesses to assist in their recovery.

 

Mayo Clinic officers, Glenn Forbes, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, and Jeff Korsmo, Chief Administrative Officer, were inspired by the overwhelming need in the affected communities and moved by the response of the employees and generous spirit of their willingness to help those affected by the floods.

 

The Mayo Clinic also delivered stethoscopes, insulin and blood pressure cuffs along with other supplies and services for the relief effort to the Red Cross shelter in Rushford. 

 

Melanie Tschida, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Southeast Minnesota Chapter said, “We are continually amazed by the generosity of the Mayo community.  They have been working with us side-by-side since day one of this disaster, and now they have also made a very generous financial gift to support our relief efforts.  We are proud to call them our partner and grateful for their support.”

 

To date, the American Red Cross has distributed 51,632 meals, 115,891 snacks, and 3,763 clean-up kits to the Minnesota and Wisconsin flood victims.


RED CROSS CLOSES SERVICE CENTERS

September 4, 2007

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RED CROSS CLOSES SERVICE CENTERS IN SOLDIERS GROVE and WINONA

Attention News Directors: Please air this announcement immediately through September 4, 2007

0:30 SECONDS

This is an IMPORTANT message from the American Red Cross for THOSE AFFECTED BY THE RECENT Minnesota/Wisconsin floods. The Red Cross will close its disaster relief Service Center IN soldiers grove (crawford county), WISCONSIN today at 3pm. and the service center in winona, minnesota will close on Tuesday, september 4th at 5pm. If you have been affected by the floods and STILL need assistance but have not been to a Red Cross Service Center, please do so as soon as possible. or call the Red Cross TOLL FREE at 1-866-GET-INFO.


September 4, 2007

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Contact: Laurel Goforth, 571-226-8267

RED CROSS SERVICE CENTER CLOSING IN RUSHFORD

Rochester, MN, September 4, 2007 – The American Red Cross is moving from the emergency phase of the flood disaster to the recovery phase. The Service Center in Rushford (Filmore County), MN, will close tomorrow, September 5, 2007 at 5pm. The American Red Cross will continue to help families affected by the flood by providing assistance and referrals. Red Cross operators are available 24 hours a day by contacting 1-866-GET INFO.There is absolutely no charge for any Red Cross disaster assistance. All disaster assistance is free — a gift from the American people. No repayment is required or expected.If you have been affected by the flood and need assistance, please contact the American Red Cross at 1-866-GET INFO.


September 4, 2007

News Release Header

 

RED CROSS CLOSES SERVICE CENTER IN RUSHFORD

Attention News Directors:

Please air this announcement immediately through September 5th, 2007

0:30 SECONDS

This is an IMPORTANT message from the American Red Cross for THOSE AFFECTED BY THE RECENT Minnesota/Wisconsin flood. The Red Cross will close its disaster relief Service Center IN RUSHFORD (Filmore county), minnesota tomorrow at 5pm. If you have been affected by the floods and STILL need assistance but have not been to a Red Cross Service Center, please do so as soon as possible. or call the Red Cross TOLL FREE at 1-866-GET-INFO.


Update for Minnesota/Wisconsin Relief Operation

August 31, 2007

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Shelters/Evacuation Centers Open: 0 

Fixed Feeding Units: 5 Mobile Feeding Units/ERVs

11 Service Delivery Sites: Two (2) closing today (Northrop and Steele). Three (3) remain open (Soldier’s Grove, Rushford & Winona)

# of EOCs Open: 0

# of EOCs w/ Red Cross: 0

Emergency Aid Stations: 1 (Rushford)