November 14, 2012
Story written by Dick Fernandez
In the lower floor of the Nassau Community College shelter we found Wanda King, Greg Miller and Linda Watson setting up for another day of servicing the children who are staying at the shelter. When the parent of a child needs a break, they bring their child to this area. Upon sign-in, both the parent and child are issued the same color band for identification purposes. In this area the child has the opportunity to play, read books and play various games with the trained personnel.
If the child expresses anxiety or sad thoughts through his/her drawings, the trained personnel will work with the child. The parent has the ability to have lunch with their child and then return them to the play area for the rest of the day. This service is available from 10:00am until 4:30pm, everyday. Since November 3, 2012, this service has supported between 15 to 20 children per day or 200 children in a two week period. This special group of volunteers have been providing this service for over 30 years and have been to every major disaster during that time. Our hats are off to these very special volunteers and the service they provide.
October 21, 2009
Red Cross Strives to Help Disaster’s Vulnerable Population
WASHINGTON, Tuesday, October 20, 2009 — In testimony to a U.S. House of Representatives Committee, the American Red Cross offered recommendations on ways to better meet the needs of every community member affected by disaster, especially those with special requirements.
Trevor Riggen, Red Cross senior director of disaster services testified Tuesday as to how the Red Cross is meeting the needs of the very young, the elderly, and those with disabilities. While there is no “one size fits all” answer, the Red Cross has put in place plans to help this most vulnerable population.
“Our nation continues to make improvements in our ability to respond to and recover from disasters,” Riggen said. “As a nation, we are better prepared for disasters than at any time in our history.”
During a disaster, children may feel ill at ease in a shelter. Their daily routine is disrupted. The Red Cross has special help for children during this traumatic time, such as special areas for families to sleep, and space in the shelter for family interaction and child care.
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October 20, 2009
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009 — On Saturday, American Red Cross Jumpstart Kits arrived in American Samoa, an area that is recovering from the September 29 tsunami. The kit has items to help disaster victims with their short-term, immediate requirements, as well as aid for the long term. Each kit contains two blankets, a combination hand-crank radio, flashlight and cell phone charger, a mesh laundry bag, a first aid kit, note pad and pen, work gloves, face masks and a bath-in-a-bag all in one convenient, durable Red Cross backpack.
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October 19, 2009
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The American Red Cross has teamed with partner organizations to specifically address the needs of children after disasters, whether those needs are for physical safety, specialized food and clothing, or attention to mental health and spiritual care. On American Samoa, the Red Cross and Save the Children—a partner organization for more than two years—stocked and staffed a “Safe Space” play area in the convention center where families lined up to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Catholic Charities, a long-time partner of the Red Cross, is sorting and distributing clothing donations. Red Cross workers are working to repackage specialty supplies that arrived Saturday evening, including diapers, baby formula, school supplies and Mickey Mouse dolls.
And with members of the faith-based community on American Samoa, Red Cross specialists in mental health and spiritual care are working with children—from preschool to high school—to deal with the losses of family members and classmates who were among the reported 34 killed in the tsunami.
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