Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer fun calls for water safety

I read an article today in The Chicago Tribune that focused on suburban Chicago police efforts to crack down on irresponsible driving this summer. The story included a section about departments’ efforts to enforce laws on lakes, including those laws which prohibit operating boats and other watercraft under the influence of alcohol. This stimulated my thinking about water safety in general.

The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago offers tips to ensure you and your family avoid tragic accidents in and around the water on our Web site. I think it’s important to mention that avoiding alcohol use is definitely crucial to having a safe time on the water. But while the police are working to prevent irresponsible driving and boating, we think there are other precautions swimmers and boaters should take to be as safe as they can. Water safety is especially important for parents to know – I learned from our Web site that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children between the ages of 1 and 4. It’s also the second leading cause of accidental death among children between the ages of 1 and 14.

Everyone should enroll in an American Red Cross certified water safety course or Learn-to-Swim class. One of the best things one can do to stay safe in and around the water is learn to swim. My parents made me take swimming lessons as a young child. They tell me this is not only because they thought I would enjoy swimming, but also as a safety measure for the future. I’m now a very confident swimmer – confident enough to become scuba certified last December (that’s a different story, but let me know if you need a scuba buddy. I’m still looking for one).

Other water safety tips include swimming in supervised areas, obeying “no diving” signs and maintaining constant supervision over children when they’re swimming. I have always loved getting out on the boat and enjoying time with friends and family on the lake. Being unprepared and experiencing an accident could ruin that attitude completely. Be safe this summer and take some of our classes. When you’re out on the water this weekend, exercise some caution and bring along your safety bag with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and plenty of drinking water. Wear a personal floatation device (PFD) and ensure there is always basic lifesaving equipment at pools or on boats. Here's the link again if you want to check out other water safety tips on our Web site.

Of course, it’s always important to be prepared in a worst-case scenario: Learn Red Cross first aid and CPR. While knowing how to minimize the likelihood of emergencies is important, it is equally important to know what to do if a situation arises.

That being said, have a great time on the water - be safe and be prepared!

Gentry Lassiter is an intern in the Marketing & Communications department of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Today’s blog is dedicated to recruiting runners to our Run Red Team to join the Red Cross the Back of America Chicago Marathon, Chicago 13.1 and Chicago Half Marathon.

Join runners from all over the country and become part of a growing community of philanthropic athletes. Our Run Red Team members are generous runners who raise much-needed funds for the Red Cross as part of their marathon preparation.

Join the team to train and participate in the following events. You can sign up for:

Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Chicago 13.1
Chicago Half Marathon

Since its inception in 2001, the Run Red Team has raised more than $300,000 for the Greater Chicago Chapter and has run nearly 300,000 miles in their training. In exchange for reaching runners’ fundraising goals, we provide expert training, team gear, and the support of a cohesive team.

As a team member, you’ll support our services. The Red Cross helps disaster victims avoid hunger and homelessness and also brings CPR and other preparedness classes to more than 250,000 people each year in our area. Learn more about the Red Cross here.

Our runners are generous individuals who train together for the Bank of Chicago Marathon to raise much-needed funds for the American Red Cross to help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

Visit www.chicagoredcross.org/runred to learn more.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

United We Stand, United We Serve

I am a firm believer that nations are, and will always be, strongest when they unite as one and stand together. When we stand united we have the power to impact one another, our communities, the nation and the world in ways we would not have otherwise been able to dream of. As we face trying economic times, it is now that we should stand together to make a change, and to make a difference.

President Barack Obama has implemented a summer service initiative, United We Serve, that calls upon every individual to join together to serve and better their communities.

United We Serve is a national service initiative asking us to make volunteerism and community service a part of our everyday life. United We Serve kicked-off June 22, and will continue for 81 days, as we all join together to renew our community, and our nation, together.

I do not claim to be an avid volunteer, but I think this initiative is a great idea. I think it can bring people together for a better cause. There is no better time than now to volunteer in your community, to join others in an effort to better your community and our nation. I encourage you to join me in an effort get out there and volunteer in your community.

The American Red Cross has been helping communities since the 1800’s, so it should come as no surprise that we were ecstatic to hear about this initiative.

In response to United We Serve American Red Cross of Greater Chicago has initiated a youth service project for high school students.On June 26, AmeriCorps VISTA members and high school volunteers will distribute flyers and door hangers about fire safety in the Humboldt Park Neighborhood.

We would love to have you join the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago by volunteering with us. Find out more about how you can volunteer with the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The tables have turned. We need your help!

I’m not a runner. I’m not sure why, but I have never reached what some people refer to as a “runner’s high.” It might have something to do with me coming from the south, where it is simply too hot to run in marathons or other long-distance races. Sure, there are some marathons in my home of Little Rock, but the turnout doesn’t compare to that of the marathons in Boston, New York and Chicago.

However, a friend of mine recently gave me a new perspective on running marathons. As I said, I’ve been averse to the idea for quite some time (and although I attribute my distaste for running to conditions of my upbringing, it’s probably all because I used to find running boring). My friend Bob told me to look at running the same way I view cycling – with a goal or event to aim toward.

This new pattern of thought has gotten me thinking: how great would it feel to complete even a half marathon? There would definitely be a feeling of physical accomplishment – one that I’m not sure I’ve achieved (sure, I earned an undergraduate degree and have been working toward my master’s at a well-regarded school, but that’s a different type of accomplishment). Training for a huge event like the Chicago Marathon would be a fantastic way to see the city, meet some fantastic folks and develop some healthy habits all at the same time.

Although marathon training offers many benefits, there are more that can be attached to a training program. For example, signing up for the Run Red Team, the official marathon training team of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. This team provides support to members who choose to commit to certain fundraising goals.

We need your help this year to fill our spots on the Run Red Team. The deadline to sign up is next Tuesday (June 30), so there isn’t much time to act. We know there are a lot of teams that have open spots, but we think our cause is one that could benefit from having such dedicated team members helping us to raise funds. Your support in helping us find team members to help raise funds for the Chapter would go a long way toward helping us develop much needed funding so we can continue to help people in the community.

So, please, give us a hand. Sign up for our team. If you can’t sign up for the team, help us recruit people. Link to this blog, fire up that Twitter account of yours and shoot out some updates on your Facebook account. Thanks for your support!

Gentry Lassiter is an intern in the Marketing & Communications department of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chicago Flooding

Hello Chicago – this is Lily reporting to you after a very wet weekend!

I woke up Friday morning and prepared myself for a job interview downtown. As I left my apartment, however, I discovered that getting downtown – a relatively easy adventure from my Lincoln Square apartment – was going to be tricky. Water was everywhere - the cars parked on the street had water halfway up the tires, a fire hydrant was just short of being completely submerged and I was ankle deep on the sidewalk!

My shifts with the DAT team do not begin until Saturday evening, but I said a small prayer for my co-workers as I knew how busy this weekend was going to be – and was it ever!

But never fear – the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago Disaster Services crew works best under pressure and came to the rescue in several communities this weekend!

The city of Zion opened a shelter for residents who experienced rain water gushing into their apartments and homes. The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago assisted the city by providing food, cots, blankets, and staff.

During this time, Disaster Services also addressed the needs of families affected by flooding in the city limits, Elgin, Marengo, and Waukegan!

Thankfully enough, things seem to be quieting down once again here in Disaster Services.
If you happen to run into a DAT or Mass Care volunteer or staff member, be sure to give them a thumbs up or pat on the back – most of the work we do, especially with flooding is rewarding, but challenging. I hope everyone was able to catch up on sleep and relax a bit.

If you have been affected by flooding this past weekend, please contact us at (312) 729-6100 for information about organizations that may be able to help.
To address the next bit of extreme weather Chicago will be experiencing (90 on Tuesday, 92 Wednesday with a warning of an 100 degree heath index), please check out these Red Cross tips regarding being safe in the heat!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Griffin Lounge was the latest site of the Red Cross of Chicago’s most successful social event series for young professionals, Flirting for Disaster.

Yesterday’s event raised several thousand dollars and was host to almost 100 coquettish Chicagoans in an event created to support chapter functions and provide tips for a trendy Chicago summer.

The night was filled with playful chatter, the usual lively atmosphere of all our flirting events, and amazing drink specials all night. But it didn’t end there…There was a fashion show featuring the latest apparel from AKIRA draped over gorgeous models, complimentary appetizers for the most discerning taste buds, and a raffle with special prizes provided by our generous donors and sponsors.

The night kicked off with a Red Cross-sponsored Smirnoff cocktail reception from 6-7pm followed by a Sake tasting and the fashion show while DJ Huu T. Ly provided live music all night to set the stage for the intimate gathering of the friendly locals that migrate to our mixers.

Special thanks to Red Eye, our Media Sponsor, for getting the word out about the event. Thanks to Griffin Lounge for providing the perfect venue, great drink specials and Smirnoff for the complimentary cocktail reception. Thanks to DJ Huu T. Ly for donating his talent and providing the great beats, District 5 jewelry for displaying their gorgeous accessories, Ra Sushi for appetizers, as well as Tamarind Sushi and Southern Wine & Spirits for providing the sake tasting.

The AKIRA fashion show, with hair and beauty by Zazu Hair Salon & Day Spa really made the event come alive. Thanks to our volunteer models and the planning committee—your tireless efforts were much appreciated and truly made this a successful event!

Photos of the night’s events will be available soon at www.chicagoredcross.org/flirtingfordisaster.

Join us on August 14, 2009 at 8 p.m at the Chicago Cultural Center for our newest event, Mission: Red, The Experience Auction. You can purchase discounted tickets online if you picked up the flier at last night’s event. Or, you can purchase tickets for a discounted rate at our Pre-Sale Happy Hour next Wednesday at Goose Island, starting at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.chicagoredcross.org/missionred.

Also, become a fan of our Facebook fan page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn group!

World Refugee Day: Saturday, June 20.

We often become so involved with our immediate communities that we forget to take a look at humanitarian aid from a global perspective. I recently heard about tomorrow’s World Refugee Day and did a little research about people who have been displaced from or fled their homes. I found some startling facts:
  • There are about 14 million refugees and asylum seekers across the globe. (2008 World Refugee survey)
  • The number of refugee admissions to the United States was set at 80,000 last year. The policies regarding refugee admissions to the United States are designated by the State Department. Refugees are entitled to refugee status here for one year. After one year, refugees are eligible to become legal permanent residents, and after five years, they can apply for citizenship.
  • There are 2,800 refugees expected to settle in Chicago this year. There were 2,412 refugees who settled here last year, according to the World Refugee Day Web site

If you do the math, considering there are more than 6 billion people in the world, 14 million refugees is a significant part of the Here are some observations to put it into a better perspective:

  • If all refugees came together and founded their own city, it would be the eighth largest city in the world – larger than Dhaka, Bangladesh and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • The number of refugees in the world is greater than the population of the entire state of Illinois. In fact, the population of refugees is greater than the population of any state, except for California, Texas, New York and Florida.

Refugees across the world are helpless – but not hopeless. We can work together to recognize their hardships and help them rebuild their lives after having experienced such unimaginable circumstances. World Refugee Day takes place every year across the globe (this year it’s Saturday, June 20 in Chicago), and American Red Cross chapters across the country will be taking part to show their support for the cause. World Refugee Day draws attention to the plight of refugees, celebrates their courage and renews commitment to solve refugee problems. We’ll also recognize the contributions refugees make to their communities.

The Greater Chicago Red Cross does work with refugees on a daily basis through our International Tracing work. Our highly trained team of tracing volunteers works with national societies around the world to help reconnect families that have been separated by war, civil disturbance or natural disasters. For more information, or to locate a family member, contact our International Services department at (312) 729-6100 or visit the Red Cross International Committee Family Links website.

Gentry Lassiter is an intern in the Marketing & Communications department of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Ways to Support the Chicago Red Cross

The Chicago Red Cross has recently partnered with AT&T!

When you order AT&T Advanced TV, Local Phone Service, or High Speed Internet service, you can simultaneously help raise money to support the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. AT & T offers a variety of services and each purchase you make through this link will aid the Red Cross in serving local disaster clients because AT&T will donate a portion of your costs to the Red Cross!

AT&T is one of many partners supporting the Red Cross every day and you would be surprised at how many ways you can help support the Red Cross through your everyday activities. Things like banking, dining out, purchasing flowers and even searching the internet can benefit the Red Cross.

So, keep doing what you're doing, but help the Red Cross at the same time??? Yes, really, it's that simple! You can check out the full list of partners and start helping the Red Cross today by visiting www.chicagoredcross.org/fundraisers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tweet, Blog and Follow the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago’s Annual Meeting

As an avid Facebook user throughout most of college, I did not look at Facebook as much more than a way to procrastinate when doing homework or planning a party. Shortly into my discovery of Facebook, it became something more than that. It became a way for me to talk to friends, and to share inside jokes. It became a way for me to contact my brother in Iraq when he was overseas. It helped me contact family members I had not seen in years, and for us to become reunited. It became a way to identify myself, a way to show who I am, but more importantly it became a way for me to become part of something bigger.

As a new member to Twitter, I have recently begun to realize how these social mediums have shaped our recent culture. Social media has helped interconnect to people across the globe. It helps bring a divided world together, through the sharing of information, ideas and thoughts. It unites people across the world.

For instance, working at the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, I have the opportunity to Tweet about lifesaving efforts of volunteers and let people know that there are people out there making a difference in their community. I am personally able to help connect with the local community and unite the Greater Chicago Red Cross with the people around the Chicagoland area.

Tomorrow the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago will be hosting their Annual Meeting, and will host a live tweeting of the discussion. We want you to join us in this discussion. You can join American Red Cross and those in attendance in a Live Tweet that will discuss the events of the evening.

The Annual Meeting will include a rundown of what the American Red Cross has done over the past year, how the Red Cross has helped local communities, and a look at how social media campaigns will help change the way non-profit organizations communicate with supporters in the future. Thomas Gensemer, Managing Partner at Blue State Digital, and President Obama’s “secret weapon” in the digital media campaign, will lead the social media discussion.

The Annual Meeting will be held Wednesday (tomorrow) June 17, 2009 at 6 p.m. We are inviting you to join in to our discussion on twitter.com by searching #annualmtg, or to post to our discussion on our American Red Cross of Greater Chicago Twitter page.
This is a great way for you to unite with your local community and the Greater Chicago Red Cross. So come online Tweet, Blog and Follow the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago’s Annual Meeting.

~Megan Wallace~
Marketing and Communication Intern with American Red Cross of Greater Chicago


Hello all!

I write to you, my avid readers, with a heavy heart. This is my last blog entry for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago because my AmeriCorps program has come to its completion. I would like to make this short and sweet because it is surely not the last time I will be contributing to the mission of the American Red Cross, as I will continue to volunteer in some capacity.

I would like to thank all of my coworkers (especially my partner extraordinaire Lily) and everyone else who contributes to the success of Disaster Services. This office truly exudes the compassion needed to work in emeregency management and I know everyone will continue to do their best to serve the communities of Greater Chicago.

I would also like to acknowledge AmeriCorps as an organization. By participating in this program I have learned so much and have been exposed to so many news things. Without AmeriCorps I would not be the person I am today, and would not have the goals I hope to accomplish.

Finally, to all of you readers, I appreciate you checking in on what the DAT members are doing and the issues that we feel are important.

This organization will not succeed without the tireless help from its volunteers so my biggest thank you goes out to all the people I have had the privelage to respond with. There are too many people to name, but I feel lucky to have met so many great people. Please keep up the good work and know that you are making a huge difference in peoples lives.

Thanks again for reading, its been fun writing!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Get out there and meet some people this summer!

Summer is a great time to get out and meet people, but it’s not always the best time to network. Many young professionals are going on vacation and working to spend time outside in the warm summer weather (albeit Chicago’s recent dismally frigid temperatures) rather than at networking events. Considering there have recently been a lot of soon-to-be young professionals graduating from universities throughout the greater Chicago area within the last couple of weeks, this is quite a shame. Professional networking is one of the most powerful tools in getting a job these days.

I’ve personally found both social and professional networking to be one of the most gratifying practices available. Most jobs I’ve gotten – including the internship here with the Greater Chicago Red Cross – have been the results of some form of networking. It’s not only a great way to meet potential coworkers and employers, but it’s also a fun way to make new friends, particularly if you’re new to an area like I am.

The Auxiliary Board of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago is teaming up with the National Association of Asian American Professionals to help facilitate some personal and professional networking this week with Flirting for Disaster at Griffin Lounge (324 Chicago Avenue downtown). It’ll be a great way to meet new people and check out one of Chicago’s hottest venues for cheap – ticket prices are just $20 if you order in advance and $25 at the door.

The night kicks off with an hour-long Smirnoff cocktail reception until 7 p.m., sponsored by the American Red Cross. Come out, bring your friends and enjoy the event!

Gentry Lassiter is a Marketing and Communications intern with the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

H1N1 pandemic: Don’t panic – prepare!

The World Health Organization declared H1N1 – also called swine flu – a pandemic today. This means that there is large-scale transmission of the virus among humans in at least two of the designated WHO regions.

We’ve seen the H1N1 issue evolve over the last few months into a serious situation, but it isn’t one to panic over. Although there have been many cases in Chicago and Illinois, it seems like the worst of the cases grew out of underlying medical conditions. If you want to find more information on H1N1, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site.

I did some research on H1N1 to find out more about how to protect yourself and your family and how to prevent infection. Here are a few tips to help prevent infection by maintaining proper hygiene and self care:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and place used tissues directly into the trash.
  • If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve.
  • After coughing or sneezing, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent germs from entering your body.
  • Stay at home if you are ill.
  • Talk with your family and friends and make a plan for taking care of one another should any of you become ill.

It’s important to know what you’re going to do in the event of a critical pandemic situation. The time to prepare is now, not during a situation that has reached emergency status. In addition to your disaster preparedness kit, we recommend keeping a two-week supply of materials for pandemic flu care-giving. These supplies will help you take care of yourself or your family if a case is confirmed and you or family members must remain inside while recovering. You can find this list here.

For more information on H1N1, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. For more information on how to prepare for and prevent H1N1 infection, see the Greater Chicago Red Cross Web site.

Gentry Lassiter is a Marketing & Communications intern with the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Quick Quiz - Do You Know What The Red Cross Can Do For You?

Being volunteers with two organizations (The American Red Cross and AmeriCorps) that people know little about, it really tries the patience when catching up with old friends or meeting with new ones to try to explain what exactly it is we do? Quite a bit of times, people assume we’re nurses or take blood – a very silly assumption considering Sam doesn’t like to be around blood and I am no where near nice enough to be a nurse.
To be quite honest, when we are on scene at a fire it is quite common that someone gets frustrated with us, not because we are not helping, but because their expectations of the Red Cross do not coincide with what we actually do.

So we are going to use today to have a quick review of the services the American Red Cross is able to provide – feel free to shout it from the roof tops, tell your friends, your neighbors, or just some strangers.

- Provide temporary financial relief for immediate clothing, food and shelter needs for an emergency timeframe (48 hours).
- Help to replace lost/damaged medications.
- Assist in connecting clients to other organizations for long term assistance.
- If necessary, Mass Care Sheltering
- Provide flood clean-up kits
- Provide lost toiletry items.
- Help with funeral expenses.
- Provide Mental Health support

I feel that it is important to note that the American Red Cross recieves all of its funding from generous donations from people like you.

Thank you.
~Sam and Lily

Friday, June 05, 2009

No good at golf? The Red Cross Classic still has something for you!

I’m not much of a (good) golfer. My family and friends find this incredibly surprising because I used to work for attorneys – who do tend to spend their fair share of time on golf courses when they aren’t working. I don’t know why I never got into golf; all of the developmental factors are there. I absolutely love putt-putt and going to the driving range. I suppose it’s the middle of the course that usually gets me.

You might be wondering what all my issues with golf have to do with the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. Well, they relate to the Red Cross Classic – an annual golf outing that benefits our chapter. This year it’s happening at Wynstone Golf Club.

While this is sure to be a great event for those of you who are blessed with a hook-less drive off the tee, you don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy the outing. There’s a spectacular raffle taking place this Monday, but if you’re interested, you’ll have to register before the deadline at 5 p.m. this Sunday, June 7.

After reading the release for the Red Cross Classic raffle registration deadline, I was shocked at the opportunities available: first prize is a private skybox party at the Sept. 9, White Sox game against Oakland. This includes 14 skybox tickets, three parking passes and food and beverages (beer, water and soft drinks). Second prize is $500 cash and third prize is a women’s Gucci wallet (a $250 value).

So, now that I have your attention, go to our raffle registration page and enter for your chance at those aforementioned envy-inducing prizes. There will be only 500 tickets sold, so your chances of winning are much better than the lottery. The price of a ticket is $50, but you can buy three for $100. All of the proceeds will benefit the Greater Chicago Red Cross.

The drawing will be held at the golf outing on Monday, June 8, but no worries, you don’t have to be present to win. We’ll let you know if you’re among the winners.

Gentry Lassiter is a Marketing & Communications intern with the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Have a Drink for Your Health

With the weekend quickly approaching, many people may be thinking they need a drink after a long week at work. Instead of heading to your local pub to unwind, why not head out to your neighborhood Jamba Juice and drink for a cause?

This weekend, all 35 Chicagoland Jamba Juice locations will be donating 20 percent of all their sales to the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. These proceeds will help support the necessary funds needed to provide disaster relief and other services that the Chicago Red Cross provides to the local community every day.

For those of you thinking, Jamba Juice doesn’t have anything that you would like, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Jamba Juice has something for everyone. Personally, I like the Jamba Classic menu, especially the Strawberry Surf Rider. Along with smoothies, and fruit-juice drinks, Jamba has a low-calorie menu, nutrition drinks and baked goods. Believe me, there is something out there for everyone. Take a look at the Jamba Juice Menu, to discover all of the drinks yourself.

You can drink Jamba Juice Friday through Sunday and know that you are making a difference in your community through the benefits provided to the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. So come on in, unwind, and enjoy your weekend by experiencing Jamba Juice, and having a drink for a cause.

Jamba Juice can be found across the Chicagoland area, so there is sure to be one near you. Check out the Jamba Juice Locations to find one close to you!

~Megan Wallace~
-Photo courtesy of Terri Swallow

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

What’s Good in Chicago

That’s right, Red Cross readers, summer is swiftly approaching and the weather has cleared the way for a plethora of fun and exciting events for us to enjoy in our favorite city. What’s your fancy? Whether it is music, dance, art, shopping, theatre, bike rides, conferences, nightlife, or anything else that stirs your interest, Chicago can offer it to you 1000 times over. But always remember to be safe and to be prepared before heading out to enjoy life. Not sure how? Check out our store for a preparedness kit or take a class so you can save a life.

Thursday, June 11
What: Chicago Summer Dance Festival Kick-Off
Get free professional dance lessons and enjoy a huge open-air dance floor at this 11
week fest every Thursday through Sunday until August 23.
Where: Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan Ave.
Time: Thursday - Saturday,
6 pm - 7 pm: Dance lessons
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm: Live music and dancing
4 pm – 5 pm: Dance lessons led by professional instructors
5 pm – 7 pm: Live music and dancing

Friday, June 12 - September
What: Movies in the Park
See 170 current and classic movies throughout the summer. You bring a blanket, chairs,
snacks, they bring the entertainment.
Where: Your neighborhood park
Time: Dusk

Saturday, June 13
What: World Naked Bike Ride
Celebrate the end of the oil era and promote positive body image. Enjoy a 20 mile bike
ride and bare as you dare for this risqué peoples’ movement.
Where: Staring location TBA, see Chicagonakedride.org
Time: Gathering from 6 pm - 9 pm
Ride from 9 pm - Midnight

Wednesday, June 17
What: Chicago Red Cross 2009 Annual Meeting
Topic: The Not-So-Secret Weapon: Social Media Campaigning and the Future of Nonprofits.
Join us as the Obama Presidential Campaign's "digital secret weapon" shares how
strategies used on the campaign trail are now being put to work to support the American
Red Cross, and how social media may change the way nonprofits communicate with
Guest: Thomas Gensemer, Managing Partner at Blue State Digital
Where: Loyola University of Chicago Water Tower Campus - 25 E. Pearson
Time: 6 p.m. Meeting & Presentation
7 p.m. Reception
The RSVP deadline is June 15

Thursday, June 18
What: Scarlet Rhapsody: Paint the Town RED in Fashion!
Join NAAAP and the Red Cross Auxiliary Board for this second annual event filled with
tips for a trendy summer. Red Cross sponsored Smirnoff cocktail reception 6-7pm
Fashion show featuring looks from AKIRA Drink specials all night Complimentary
appetizers Raffle DJ Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more
information, please call (312)729-6130 or Click here to buy tickets!
Where: Griffin Lounge 324 W. Chicago Ave.
Time: 6 - 9 pm

Friday, June 19 - Sunday, June 21
What: Chicago Peace Festival
Enjoy a lively festival featuring a wide variety of local music and performing artists and
showcasing the richness of our city’s cultural diversity.
Where: 1700 N. Stockton
Lincoln Park, Chicago
Time: Noon - 9 pm
Info: 708-795-1146

Sat, June 20 - 21
What: Chicago Summerfest
Come for live music, an upscale art show, food and drink, and a family area for the kids.
Where: Lincoln Park Cultural Center
2100 N. Lincoln Park
Time: Saturday, noon - 10 pm
Sunday, 11 am - 9 pm

Sat, June 27
What: Randolph Street Market
Find vintage and modern decorative objects, home furnishings, art, fashion and jewelry
at this outdoor/indoor event.
Where: 1340 W. Washington
Time: Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday, 10 am - 4 pm

Now get out and go have some fun! Safely!

George Hofmann
Development Operations Intern at the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Would You Know How To Save A Life?

My last semester at college I enrolled in a CPR course, not because I thought I could save a life, or because I thought that I it would be a useful tool. I needed two credit hours to fulfill my undergraduate degree and thought of no better way to fulfill them then by taking a “blow-off” course. What is easier than a two-hour CPR/ AED class, to finish up college? It wasn’t until half-way through the course when I realized the use that would come from this class, besides simply fulfilling class credit.

I remember distinctly the moment I realized this class should not only be mandatory for students, but a class that everyone should take at some point in their life. It was a Tuesday in class when we were told we were going to learn about Infant and Child CPR. I quickly remembered a day when my 18-month old nephew was eating a piece of candy and began to choke. His face looked panicked and he could not whisper even a sound. I had no idea what to do. I had never taken a CPR, First Aid, AED or similar course. My only nephew was choking and I could not help. This is a fear I hope no one has to ever feel. Luckily, he began coughing on his own and was able to cough up this candy. While my nephew was perfectly fine, walking away as nothing had ever happened, I felt a sense of terror. I was left wondering, if something had happened, would I have been able to help?

Thankfully, American Red Cross of Greater Chicago offers CPR, AED and First Aid classes that can help prepare you for these situations.

CPR is not a class that should be taken lightly. It is a class that may help you save a life. If I had taken a class sooner I may have been able to help my nephew, and I wouldn’t have been left wondering ‘what if something happened?’ Taking a CPR or AED class could help you save your father, sister, daughter, friend, neighbor, stranger or even your own life.

Irving Ibarez, a local Chicago hero, utilized the skills and knowledge he learned at an American Red Cross CPR class, and saved his co-worker, Chuck Wendt’s, life. Without Irving, the doctors said Chuck would not have survived. Read more about Irving’s story here.

This week (June 1 – 7) is second annual National CPR/AED Awareness Week, and the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago wants to provide the community with the knowledge and skills to respond to a life-threatening situation. Red Cross is offering the community FREE AED training with the purchase of any CPR class for the entire month of June. Read more about our CPR and AED classes to discover how you can learn the necessary skills to save someone’s life.

To learn more or sign up for a CPR course, contact the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago at (800) 33-SAFETY or visit http://www.chicagoredcross.org/.

~Megan Wallace~

Monday, June 01, 2009

It Takes Two, Baby

Having become recent fans of the website “Hulu” for all of our TV needs, we came across this ad from the American Red Cross and were pretty enthused.

We thought that it delivered a great message and strongly feel that everyone should be involved with helping others – and where’s a better place to start than with the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago?

Greater Chicago’s Disaster Services responded to a pretty large fire in Rolling Meadows about two weeks ago– you may have read Kristin’s coverage on an earlier post. Strangely enough, last weekend Rolling Meadows experienced another large fire in a different complex, and as always, the Red Cross was there to help.

And now to bring it full circle…

Last week, Sam received a phone call from a woman who was assisted during the first Rolling Meadows fire. She explained that the community had been nice enough to donate cat litter and food, which she graciously offered to those affected by the second fire.

This embodies the overall message of this ad from the American Red Cross – being there for your fellow wo/man.

As summer approaches, I hope that all of you might find time in your schedule for the American Red Cross in any capacity. You can take a class, chase fires, or offer your professional knowledge.

It takes two, after all.

~Sam and Lily