Red Cross representatives share how the Service to the Armed Forces program is making a difference in veterans lives’ through the generosity of the MGM Resorts International grant and the Boots to Business initiative

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On Thursday, July 24, 2014 and Friday July 25, 2014, we had the pleasure of meeting with Boots to Business representatives from all across the country to learn more about how the Boots to Business program is able to help veterans transition from military to civilian life.

Suzanne Burke, Services to the Armed Forces Director, American Red Cross, Southern Nevada Chapter, said the program is close to her heart since she was once in the same position of having to transition to civilian life after serving in the military.

“As a former veteran, I understand how challenging it can be to translate military skills to employers,” Burke said. “And I also know how hard it can be to transition once you get back home because you miss the people who have been through it all with you.”

She said that is why the Boots to Business program is really able to make a difference. “It is easier to assist someone when you can understand where that person is coming from,” she said. “And the support system that Boots to Business provides also makes it easier for veterans to cope after they have been away from home for so long.”

She added that the program is different from other services available for veterans because it offers reconnection workshops. These workshops help veterans form positive reconnections with their loves ones, which helps lead to success in their work lives.

Michael Ryan, Veteran Employment Manager, American Red Cross, Southern Nevada Chapter, said, “Boots to Business helps veterans obtain the opportunities that they have been seeking by giving them the confidence to excel during their interviews with hiring managers.”

“There is no way we can repay veterans for all that they do for us,” Burke said. “But this program is a way to give something back to them to show how much we appreciate the sacrifices that they have to make to defend our country.”

“The Boots to Business program has greatly enhanced the Services to the Armed Forces program for the Southeastern Michigan Region,” Eleanor Ivey, Services to the Armed Forces Director, American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Region, said. “To date, 26 veterans have been hired through the program.”

We would like to end this blog post by saying congratulations to AnneRenee Parks for being awarded with the “Traveling Trophy” award for her accomplishments with the Boots to Business program. We are extremely proud of her, and we are happy to see the Boots to Business program continue to be successful in placing veterans with jobs.

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“The ‘Traveling Trophy’ award means a lot to me because it shows that the program has been successful in all locations,” AnneRenee Parks said. “And it is great to see how the Detroit location has been able to thrive and open so many doors for veterans who went through a hard time finding a job before the program.”

Parks added that her favorite story is how one veteran was promoted after six months of being in an entry level position with MGM Grand.

“It’s great to see how veterans are able to excel in their everyday lives by the end of the program,” Parks said. “And it is also great to see what a difference the program has been able to make by reminding veterans how their skills can be utilized in leadership positions.”

Amanda Phebus shares her Red Cross story

Amanda Phebus, board member and public support committee member, joined the American Red Cross because she believes in the organization’s mission.

She said she has been helping with events ever since she started her journey with the Red Cross. In addition, she added that her favorite one is Everyday Heroes, an annual event held in Monroe County that celebrates local residents and their unselfish acts.

“I always look forward to helping with Everyday Heroes because it is a very heartwarming event that recognizes the people in the community who set out to make a difference in someone else’s life,” Phebus said. “And the stories bring you to tears because it is amazing to hear how a neighbor, a teacher or a child went above and beyond to help out someone else.”

She added that volunteering with the Red Cross has given her the opportunity to see what an impact the organization makes in the community. And she encourages everyone to start their volunteer journeys with the Red Cross to see how they can start making a difference in their communities.

We would like to say thank you to all of our volunteers. And we hope you will begin your volunteer journey with us soon if you have not already.

Lia Jones shares her Red Cross story

Lia Jones, disaster services volunteer, began her journey with the American Red Cross after her mom shared a story with her about how she was able to help those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Jones said she always loved volunteering because it is an amazing experience to know that you are able to help someone else every day.

However, the part she loves most about volunteering is how many people you can touch by helping out one person. Jones said, “The great thing about volunteering is knowing that one moment can lead to so many more people being helped because your actions can motivate others to help people in their communities.”

Jones added that volunteering with the American Red Cross is a great experience because there are many different ways that you can help. She said the wide range of opportunities really allows you to find a position that is the right fit for you, and that there is always the opportunity to do something else if you want to switch positions.

We hope you will join us soon to begin your volunteer journey with us, and then share your story with others to help spread the word that one person can be the reason why others are getting more involved in helping their communities.

Amanda DasGupta shares her Red Cross story

Amanda DasGupta, disaster services volunteer, joined the American Red Cross because she wanted to help people in her community. DasGupta said she treats the people in her community as family members because she would want someone to treat her family as their own family during a disaster. In addition, she said she wanted to help those who are affected by fires in Detroit because the Detroit community is very close to her heart as her family has resided here since the 1920s.

DasGupta said volunteering with the Red Cross has been more rewarding than what she expected it to be. She said she loves that her volunteer experience with the Red Cross has allowed her to meet the people who she helps and hear their stories, which is something that is unique about the Red Cross since the experience allows you to have more of a personal connection to the people who you are helping.

DasGupta said she hopes her story will encourage people to take time for others because they would want someone to help them during a disaster. In addition, she would like to remind everyone that we are all capable of helping someone else and the help we give is more meaningful than anything else because there is nothing quite as amazing as knowing you have made a difference in someone else’s life.

“Once you start your journey with the Red Cross, you will understand why everyone at the Red Cross puts their time and effort into helping communities near and far,” DasGupta said. “It’s a life changing experience, but you have to experience it for yourself to understand why it is an experience like no other.”

We would like to say a big thank you to all of our volunteers. In addition, we hope you will begin your journey with us soon if you have not already!

American Red Cross Issues Fireworks Safety Tips

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While firework displays put on by professionals are safer, many people will celebrate the Fourth of July with firework displays at home.

“This Fourth of July weekend, please help your family members, friends and neighbors have a safe holiday by taking simple precautions when handling fireworks,” said Steve Bosau, Regional Disaster Officer, American Red Cross, Southeastern Michigan Region. “Most firework injuries can be prevented by remembering to take simple safety measures and being mindful of those around you too.”

Here are seven safety tips you should follow if you are planning to set off fireworks at home:

  • Only light one firework at a time
  • Never light fireworks on the street
  • Never re-light a firework that fails to fully ignite
  • Always keep the hose nearby in case of an emergency
  • Always pour water over fireworks before discarding them
  • Wear safety glasses if you are the person who is lighting the fireworks
  • Make sure fireworks are kept in a secure place away from children at all times

In addition, the American Red Cross would like to remind everyone that even fireworks that may not be perceived to be dangerous can result in injury. According to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 600 injuries associated with sparklers in July 2012. Therefore, we would like to advise parents to not give sparklers to children to help avoid injuries.

Lastly, we would like to encourage everyone to be careful when viewing fireworks at local events and to remind others to be careful as well. We hope everyone has a great Fourth of July, and please stay tuned for more safety tips.

American Red Cross Offers New Advanced Child Care Training for Older Sitters and Nannies

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The American Red Cross is now offering Advanced Child Care Training, a course for people 16 years and older who are or plan to become nannies, sought-after babysitters or who are caring for kids for the first time in a residential setting.

“Parents often have a tough time finding good child care, and the Red Cross makes it easier to spot the best sitters,” said April Rice, Training Specialist of the Southeastern Michigan Region. “The new Red Cross Advanced Child Care Training course helps people become the best sitter they can by teaching exactly what to do in emergencies and typical child care situations.”

Parents value a well-trained sitter, as more than 80 percent of parents say they would pay more for a sitter who is trained in CPR, first aid and child care skills, according to a 2012 Red Cross survey. The course is also a good option for grandparents and other relatives who might want a child care refresher before watching young children.

This Red Cross course enables people to learn while having fun by blending tried-and-true information with digital learning techniques. Participants will learn the most common child care routines and behavior along with safety inside and outside of the house. The course also includes Pediatric First Aid, CPR and AED training and certification.

Other features of the training include:

• 24/7 access to the self-paced, online training portion
• Hands-on skills training and assessment
• A resource center with downloadable skill sheets on child care subjects, lesson summaries, fact sheets, templates for résumés and business cards, administrative forms and age‐appropriate activity ideas.

People who would like to sign up for the program should visit for more information. The course is eight and a half hours and costs $129. It combines two hours of self-paced online learning and six and a half hours of in-person training and skills testing. Upon completion, course takers will receive a two-year certification in both Advanced Child Care Training and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED.

Advanced Child Care Training is not a licensing program and does not meet all state requirements for child care centers or day care providers.

Going to the Belle Isle Race? Prepare for High Temperatures with These Safety Tips



The American Red Cross would like to encourage families who are going to the Belle Isle race over the weekend to take precautions against the heat.

As temperatures rise over the weekend, it is important to remember to slow down and prepare to ensure the heat will not stop you from having a good time with family and friends.

  • Try to choose loose-fitting clothing that is light-colored and lightweight. However, remember to avoid wearing dark colors because they will absorb the heat.
  • Remember to bring water with you if you are going to be outdoors for an extended time. Stay away from all beverages that are high in caffeine because they cause dehydration and they will leave you feeling tired.
  • Try to balance out your lunch by adding just as much fruit to your plate as meat. It is important to limit the amount of high protein foods you eat when it is hot because it takes more energy to break them down.

We hope everyone has a great time at the race this weekend!


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