Northern Ohio Region weekend disaster report: July 10-12, 2020

By Eric Alves, American Red Cross of Northern Ohio 

July 13, 2020- The coronavirus is a topic that is on the top of everyone’s mind in Northern Ohio. We are all concerned about the new increase in cases, which is why over the weekend the American Red Cross of Northern Ohio lent a helping hand to those helping keep our communities safer.

On Friday, July 10, the Red Cross of Northwest Ohio helped support the COVID-19 testing site on Put-in-Bay by providing snacks, beverages and lunch for the essential workers who were administering the tests to the workers on South Bass Island.

In addition to providing support to the COVID-19 testing site over the weekend, the Red Cross responded to local disasters, such as home fires and storm damage, in Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Lucas, Putnam, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne counties.

In addition to providing comfort and support to 46 residents during their time of need, the Disaster Action Team provided the residents $11,980 in immediate financial assistance.

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To date in the new fiscal year, which began on July 1, the Red Cross of Northern Ohio has assisted 117 adults, 84 children and has provided $44,900 in immediate financial assistance.

Volunteers make up 90 percent of our workforce. Our volunteers are without a doubt the face of the Red Cross. If you are interested in helping your local community, we have a wide variety volunteer opportunities, including important volunteer-from-home opportunities available. There truly is an opportunity for everyone. Find your opportunity today by visiting redcross.org/volunteer.

Furthermore, have you or someone you know recovered from COVID-19 and you would like to help others recover? The Red Cross is calling on individuals who have recovered from the coronavirus to donate convalescent plasma to aid in the treatment of others suffering from the virus.

To donate, visit RedCrossBlood.org and fill out the donor eligibility form.

Red Cross CPR training helps individuals save co-worker in Austintown

By Eilene Guy, American Red Cross volunteer

July 10, 2020- If a loved one or colleague – or even a stranger – suddenly collapsed in front of you, what would you do?

Fortunately for 61-year-old Mark Eitner, his coworkers at Nordson Xaloy Inc., in Austintown, Ohio, knew exactly what to do. They saved his life.

“Thank you doesn’t seem like enough to say,” Mark said, “but on behalf of my wife and my children, thank you!”

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Mark was on hand last week for an American Red Cross ceremony to honor the men who saved his life: Jim Shepard and Richard Santucci.

When Mark went down next to a machine he was working on, Jim immediately recognized the situation was serious and alerted others on the maintenance team to call 9-1-1. Richard – a safety team member who just weeks earlier had taken a refresher for his Red Cross first aid, CPR and AED course – stepped in to take action.

Based on his training, Richard could tell Mark needed CPR, to keep blood flowing, taking oxygen to his brain. He also recognized Mark’s heart needed stimulation from an AED. Richard was able to administer both.

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Virtual award presentation for the Nordson Xaloy Inc. employees

Studies show CPR can double a person’s chance of surviving a heart attack, but only about a third of those who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital receive bystander CPR, according to the American Heart Association. Mark got a fighting chance at survival, thanks to Richard and Jim.

Rachel Telegdy, executive director of the American Red Cross of Greater Akron and the Mahoning Valley, presented Jim with a Certificate for Extraordinary Personal Action.  This certificate recognizes people who step up in an emergency to help save or sustain a life, exemplifying the mission of the Red Cross to prevent and alleviate human suffering in emergencies.

For his part, Richard received the Red Cross Certificate of Merit, the organization’s highest award, given to people who save or sustain a life using skills and knowledge learned in Red Cross training. The certificate is signed by the president of the United States, who is the honorary chair of the American Red Cross, and the chairman of the Red Cross.

“It’s my honor (to receive the award),” Richard said. “Without your support and training, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did.”

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Richard has gone on to get certified to teach Red Cross first aid, CPR and AED, paying it forward to enable others to respond in an emergency. He noted that there was an overwhelming response from the Nordson workforce to get Red Cross training in the wake of Mark’s emergency.

“Heroes are all around us. But they’re not common.  To act quickly and decisively during a crisis takes a level of courage reserved only for a few,” Rachel said.

“It’s our hope your heroic actions inspire others to get trained in skills that save lives.”

To find a Red Cross first aid, CPR and AED course – and be ready to save a life – go to redcross.org/take-a-class.

Click here to view the virtual awared presentation.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

Tips for keeping your pets safe in the summer heat

By Samantha Pudelski, American Red Cross volunteer

July 9, 2020- During the hot summer months, we’re all looking for ways to keep cool and beat the heat. However, it isn’t just people who need to be safe during hot summer days—our pets need to stay cool as well. Heat and humidity can be dangerous for our pets, so the American Red Cross wants you to know it’s important to follow these tips to keep them safe on hot days.

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  • NEVER leave your pets in the car. This may seem obvious, but you want to make sure you are mindful of this before bringing your dog or pet with you along for a ride. Even just running into the store for 5-10 minutes can be dangerous. On a 75-degree day, temperatures can reach over 100 degrees in a vehicle within 30 minutes, even with a window cracked.
  • If you see a pet in a hot car, take action. Write down the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle and alert a manager in the business so they can assist with finding the owners. If the owner does not return promptly, call local animal control or the police department through their non-emergency number to report the situation.
  • Be aware of hot surfaces your dog is walking on. If it’s too hot for your bare feet to walk on, it is too hot for your dog’s feet too. A dog’s feet pads need to be protected, since dogs sweat through their feet and their pads are sensitive.
  • Give your pet plenty of water. Give your pet plenty of fresh, clean, cool water to drink throughout the day. If you go on a walk, make sure to bring a water bottle and a collapsible pet bowl to help prevent your dog from dehydrating.
  • Find a shady spot. If your pets spend a lot of time outside, make sure they have a cool, shady place to keep cool. An area with good airflow, like a shady tree, will allow your pet to take a break from the sun to cool off.

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If your pet experiences heat stroke, make sure to act quickly. Read these six steps to take if you suspect your pet has heat stroke.

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For more tips on how you can keep your pets safe, or provide first aid to your beloved animal, download the Pet First Aid app from the American Red Cross. The app includes instructions for first aid emergencies and emergency preparedness plans for your pet and more. The Red Cross also offers a free, 35-minute First Aid online course focused on pet first aid and safety at redcross.org/catdogfirstaid.

Red Cross joins forces with WONDER WOMAN 1984 to save the day for patients in need

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Northern Ohio Biomedical Services

July 8, 2020- This July, the American Red Cross and WONDER WOMAN 1984 are joining forces to save the day for patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions. The Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donors this summer, as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented supply challenges amid this uncertain environment. Additionally, despite states lifting stay-at-home orders and reopening, many blood drives at businesses and community organizations continue to be cancelled as these locations remain closed or restrict the number of individuals at any location.

As part of the partnership, the Red Cross is organizing an epic prop replica giveaway from the new Warner Bros. Pictures film WONDER WOMAN 1984, due to hit theaters nationwide on Oct. 2. This giveaway was designed to thank heroes who roll up a sleeve and help patients battling illness and injury. Those who show up to donate blood and platelets through July 31 will automatically be entered for a chance to win an authentic WONDER WOMAN 1984 movie prop replica package, which includes the Golden Lasso and a pair of Gauntlets, identical to WONDER WOMAN’s from the film.*

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Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood—kids battling cancer, accident victims being raced into emergency rooms and new moms with complicated childbirths. The Northern Ohio Blood Services Region needs to collect approximately 500 pints of blood to meet the needs of patients at more than 70 local hospitals. Unfortunately, only 3 out of 100 Americans donate blood.

While tens of thousands of donors gave blood in response to an initial blood shortage caused by this coronavirus outbreak, it’s important to remember that red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days of donation, and platelets within just five days, so they must constantly be replenished. If you are feeling well, please make an appointment to give by using the Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Scheduling Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Blood and platelet donors in Northern Ohio can also visit one of three donation centers, located in Cleveland, Parma or Akron.

Blood Donation during COVID-19

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arrival and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance, as well as following recent mandates from the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.

Donors can save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

In most states, individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

 

*Terms and conditions apply. Valid email address is required. Limit five (5) entries per presenting donor. Winner will be selected and notified via the email listed in their American Red Cross donor profile on or around Aug. 10, 2020. Offer is non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. Void where prohibited. Giveaway begins July 1, 2020 and ends July 31, 2020. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries are not responsible for the promotion, administration or execution of this giveaway.

Edited By Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

Northern Ohio Region weekend disaster report: July 3-5, 2020

By Eric Alves, American Red Cross of Northern Ohio

July 6, 2020- The Fourth of July is a significant time in Northern Ohio. Despite the coronavirus changing or putting a hold on many traditions, it is still an opportunity to relax and create some memories.

However for some in Northern Ohio, the tranquility of the holiday weekend was disrupted by a disaster.

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Luckily, the dedicated members of the American Red Cross of Northern Ohio Disaster Action Team were ready to help residents in need at a moment’s notice, to provide support and comfort, despite their own plans.

Over the holiday weekend, the Red Cross of Northern Ohio responded to several local disasters, including five multi-family home fires in Akron, Cleveland and Toledo, a water main break in South Euclid and a fireworks explosion in Toledo.

During the active weekend, the DAT team assisted 109 individuals in Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Lucas, Mahoning, Seneca, Stark, Summit and Trumbull counties, and provided more than $22,800 in immediate financial assistance.

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As the largest humanitarian organization in the world, the Red Cross has the ability to use your donation to reach more people in need, more quickly. Your donation to the Red Cross helps provide food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance during disasters.

To help the Red Cross provide hope and comfort to individuals following a disaster, please visit redcross.org/donate to provide a financial donation. Any amount donated truly helps with their recovery.

Volunteers, such as members of the DAT team, are the face of the Red Cross. Without their tremendous and selfless dedication, we would not be able to serve the 31 counties and 5.3 million residents of Northern Ohio.

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Be one of the many volunteers that make up 90 percent of the Red Cross’ workforce and help others in need in your local community by becoming a Red Cross volunteer today. Visit redcross.org/volunteer to learn more and to apply.

Don’t put yourself and others at risk: avoid or be cautious around backyard fireworks

By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer

July 3, 2020- Fireworks have been part of Fourth of July celebrations since 1777; unfortunately, so have injuries. This year may pose increased risks, as many have responded to the cancelation of professional community displays by purchasing consumer fireworks.

Cleveland.com reports that fireworks complaints in our area have surged, with Cleveland alone seeing a 461% increase. Many regions in the U.S. are seeing similar increases, according to CNN, while the American Pyrotechnics Association anticipates this year will set an all-time high for backyard consumer fireworks sales.

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The number of injuries caused by fireworks in a typical year, however, is sobering. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states that, in 2019, about 10,000 injuries and 12 fireworks-related deaths were reported, 73% of which occurred from June 21 to July 21. During that period, sparklers alone caused 900 injuries, many of them to children. (The full report is here).

Andrew Neading, burn program coordinator at Cleveland’s MetroHealth System, said that MetroHealth anticipates an increased number of burn injuries this year.

“MetroHealth treats approximately six burn and blast injuries related to firework use every year,” he said. “Although most of these injuries can be treated as an outpatient, some do require an inpatient stay. Inpatients may require skin grafting and reconstructive work given the extent of injury.”

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Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Andrew also mentioned the risk posed by sparklers as their high burning temperature can cause deep burns. He advised close parental supervision, as well as keeping fireworks in a secure location away from children. Andrew also noted that alcohol is often a contributing factor in both traumatic and burn injury and to please consume it responsibly. He added, “Be safe and enjoy the holiday!”

Given the risks of injury and fire, particularly during a time when medical professionals and facilities are stressed, and that most fireworks are illegal in Ohio, the Northern Ohio Region of the American Red Cross recommends avoiding backyard fireworks to help ensure a safe and happy Fourth holiday.

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

If you decide to light fireworks anyway, the Red Cross recommends that you:

  • Check first if it is legal in your area. (Only “trick and novelty” fireworks that smoke, pop, and/or sparkle are currently legal in Ohio).
  • Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight a “dud.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

These and other July Fourth safety tips are available here.

Fireworks are especially stressful for pets. The American Veterinary Medical Association offers suggestions here.

However you celebrate this Independence Day, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

Sizzling hot tips to stay safe this summer

By Jason Copsey, American Red Cross volunteer

July 1, 2020- It will be an Independence Day like no other this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted normal routines in countless ways for Northern Ohioans. However, one thing that should not change – no matter how you will be celebrating this Fourth of July – is a close consideration for safety. And, the American Red Cross of Northern Ohio is here to help you enjoy the holiday as safely as possible.

By now, most are very familiar with the guidelines established by public health officials regarding precautions in public settings. Keeping at least six feet between you and others, wearing a facemask, washing or sanitizing your hands frequently, limiting time spent in social settings and being sure to stay home if you are feeling sick have all become part of how we reduce risk for ourselves and others.

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As communities reopen, it is important not to take loosening restrictions as a signal to return to normal. If your local pool or beach is open, maintain social distancing both in and out of the water. Also, be sure not to share goggles, nose clips, snorkels or other personal items.

The same safety priorities around the water are as critical as ever. Before heading to
the pool or beach, be sure to download the Red Cross Swim App and take our new free Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers online course.

GRILLING SAFETY

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

In northern Ohio, summer grilling season is never cancelled. And, with people doing their best to limit exposure to public places and maintain social distancing, it’s certainly a popular time for grilling family meals at home.

Remember, grilling is an activity that calls for strict adherence to safety. In fact, grilling fires spark more than 10,000 home fires on average each year. Be sure to always supervise a barbecue grill when in use, and never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. Keep the grill away from the house or anything that could catch fire.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES The Red Cross has several resources to help protect yourself, your loved ones and your community:

  • Learn how to save a life with the Red Cross First Aid App and training courses.
  • Receive customized weather alerts and warnings with our Emergency App.
  • Enable the Red Cross skills on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices for valuable first aid information, to schedule a blood donation, receive warnings about an approaching hurricane or make a financial donation to the Red Cross.

Red Cross offering virtual safety courses for all ages

Learn how to prepare for disasters like tornadoes and flooding at no cost

By Eric Alves, American Red Cross of Northern Ohio

June 25, 2020- As Northern Ohio, like the rest of the world, is adjusting to the new reality caused by the coronavirus, it is often hard to find ways to entertain ourselves, despite businesses slowly reopening.

The other reality is, as more Ohioans stay home in record numbers, including the fact we are now in the volatile summer storm season, there is a higher risk for disasters to occur.

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Safety is the number one priority for the American Red Cross, may it be ensuring the safety of residents from disasters, such as home fires, through safety courses, or preventing the spread of the coronavirus. This is why the Red Cross of Northern Ohio is offering virtual disaster safety preparation courses.

Each course is free to the public, lasts approximately an hour and covers a range of various disaster preparation topics.

Here is a list of the upcoming Be Red Cross Ready virtual sessions that is sure to have a topic of interest for everyone:

General Preparedness & Fire Safety

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This presentation will focus on actions that you can take now, before an emergency happens, to make you and your family safer. The fire safety presentation discusses how you can avoid home fires, actions you can take if a fire occurs in your home, actions you can take to escape a fire and ways to make you and your family safe.

Tuesday, June 30- 3 PM

Tuesday, July 7- 3 PM

Wednesday, July 15- 3 PM

Thursday, July 23- 3 PM

Tuesday, July 28- 3 PM

Virtual Pillowcase Project

 

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The Pillowcase Project is a preparedness education program for grades 3-5 that teaches students about personal and family preparedness, safety skills, local hazards and basic coping skills. Red Cross volunteers lead students through a “Learn, Practice, Share” framework to engage them in disaster preparedness and survival skills.

Wednesday, July 1- 3 PM

Wednesday, July 8- 3 PM

Thursday, July 16- 3 PM

Tuesday, July 21- 3 PM

Wednesday, July 29- 3 PM

General Preparedness & Tornado Safety

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It is summertime in Northern Ohio, which means it is tornado season. This presentation will cover the concept of “Build a Kit, Make a Plan and Be Informed.” It will also share tornado safety information and steps you can do to protect you and your family.

Thursday, July 2- 3 PM

Thursday, July 9- 3 PM

Wednesday, July 22- 3 PM

General Preparedness & Thunderstorm Safety

This presentation will share suggestions on how you and your family can be better prepared for all types of emergencies. It will also cover thunderstorm safety preparedness information, share information on how thunderstorms develop and steps you can take to be prepared.

Tuesday, July 14- 3 PM

General Preparedness & Flood Safety 

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This presentation will share suggestions on how you and your family can be better prepared for all types of emergencies. It will also cover flood safety preparedness information, share information on how flooding can happen and steps you can take to avoid being trapped in your home if flooding occurs.

Thursday, July 30- 3 PM

To join each presentation, click on the date of the presentation you are interested in to register and use the password Prepare20.

For more disaster safety tips, visit redcross.org. Be sure to also download the free Red Cross mobile apps, available in the Apple App Store or Google Play, for tools and preparedness information you need every day.

 

 

Red Cross supports global partners to battle coronavirus pandemic

By Eilene Guy, American Red Cross volunteer

June 22, 2020- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the globe, the American Red Cross is actively supporting its sister organizations that are working to prevent and respond to the health disaster.

The Red Cross has donated $720,000 to bolster virus-related activities of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the globe.

Red Cross COVID-19 Response in the Bahamas 2020

Trumbull County native Jenelle Eli is part of the International Services division at Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“I want everyone to understand that not only is the American Red Cross actively responding to needs here in the U.S., but we’re also working with long-term partners around the world to ease the burden of this outbreak,” Jenelle said.

Jenelle often travels abroad to monitor the impact of Red Cross humanitarian activities. Currently, those trips are on hold.

Red Cross COVID-19 Response in the Bahamas 2020

But if she were in Haiti, for instance, she would see local Red Cross volunteers distributing masks, gloves and sanitizer—partially funded by the American Red Cross—along with accurate information about keeping safe from the disease.

In Colombia, she would see a widespread hand washing campaign and antibacterial gel dispensers at community gathering points. She would also see basic health services being provided to refugees from neighboring Venezuela.

On the other side of the world, in the giant refugee camp at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, she would witness 3,400 Red Cross volunteers teaching their fellow residents how to spot the symptoms of COVID-19 in order to reduce the spread of infection. Meanwhile, refugees who have begun a cottage industry of sewing are being paid to make vitally needed masks.

In nearby Myanmar, Red Cross support is funding a massive hygiene education effort with posters and stickers, as well as temperature screening checkpoints and services at community quarantine facilities.

Red Cross COVID-19 Response in the Bahamas 2020

Back on our side of the world, in the Bahamas, Red Cross support is making it possible for the Bahamian Red Cross to deliver food and clean drinking water to residents who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus.

“These are just a few of the activities that Red Cross and Red Crescent societies have identified as local needs. We’re making it possible for teams to increase their lifesaving efforts all around the globe,” said Jenelle, who also spoke of American Red Cross team members’ efforts in Indonesia , Mexico, Panama and El Salvador.

Read more about these international activities here.

Red Cross COVID-19 Response in the Bahamas 2020

“Americans can be proud to be supporting these humanitarian efforts through the extraordinary reach of the Red Cross and Red Crescent network,” Jenelle said.

Jenelle isn’t the only northern Ohioan involved in this outreach. Every supporter of the Red Cross makes these efforts possible. To support the international team, make a donation by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-REDCROSS or texting Red Cross to 90999.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

Take a step on World Refugee Day

By Olivia Wyles, American Red Cross volunteer

June 20, 2020- Refugees come from all around the world, each with an incredibly complex story and unimaginable struggles that have brought them to the areas where they have resettled. According to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, 500 to 700 refugees arrive in Cleveland every year. They arrive with hope, seeking an opportunity for a new, safer life.

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You may be wondering, “Is there anything that I can do to help?”

The biggest difference you can make is by standing in solidarity with refugees. Learn the stories of those displaced, and if you know someone who has been displaced, reach out to them to ask how they are doing. Every step—big and small—counts. On this World Refugee Day, we challenge you to take a step-in solidarity with the refugees of our communities.

 

Another thing you can do is to assist refugee service organizations throughout northern Ohio by dropping off supplies they are collecting or making a donation to a center. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer who works directly with refugees, there is an abundance of opportunities to serve as a youth mentor, adult/family mentor, an English tutor, or to assist in moving individuals into new apartments or houses. If you have a business background, you could educate on financial literacy or serve as a business development consultant or mentor to help men and women trying to start a new business. The opportunities are endless.

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One initiative run by the American Red Cross to help refugees is Restoring Family Links.

“The American Red Cross helps to reconnect families separated by war, disaster, migration and other humanitarian emergencies,” said Jessica Tischler, regional International Services program director for Northern Ohio.

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Requests can be made directly to the Red Cross to try and locate family members who they were in contact with before an emergency situation occurred. If you would like to initiate an international search for a family member, you can contact the Northern Ohio Region Director for International Services at 216-496-2998 or the helpline at 844-782-9441.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer