Tag Archives: Volunteers

Persevering during COVID-19

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A scene from a blood drive in March 2020. | Photo: American Red Cross
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The 2020 Chabot College Nursing class was on track to graduate come May. A mere 65 additional clinical hours stood between the students and the culmination of two years of constant hard work. Once completed, all of the tears shed, the financial burden and the time spent would count for something; they would graduate with their Associate’s Degree in Nursing, propelling them into their future within the medical field. But as soon as COVID-19 started to rear its head in the U.S., hospitals began cutting preceptorships as a means to limit the potential spread of the virus.

Chabot nursing student Juan Emperado says, “our clinical group was one of the first ones to get booted out of our hospital.” Class president Nicole Labayog explains, “without our preceptorship, we are unable to graduate.” Gripped with the fear of having to put their career on hold for a year, the 2020 Chabot College Nursing class quickly rallied to find a means to graduate. “We wrote to the governor and department of consumer affairs,” tells Labayog.

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COVID-19: Regional stories, messages, and other related content

covid-19-site_420x279Updated July 01, 2020 — This post was created to provide an index of Northern California Coastal Region stories, local messages, and other resources that shed light on how the American Red Cross is responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The content includes information on important work that is continuing, engagement opportunities, and (most importantly) tips on staying safe. Read more

A helping of hope: Red Cross joins community partners at local food distribution event

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Red Cross volunteers load bags of groceries into the trunk of a car occupied by a San Benito County family in need of food assistance.
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As California endures a third month of the COVID-19 outbreak and its many associated challenges, the American Red Cross has stepped up to provide hope and help wherever possible — including lending a hand to its community partners.

On Friday, May 22, workers from the Central Coast Chapter joined First 5 San Benito County to support a food distribution event in Hollister. During the COVID-19 shutdown, many families have struggled with a lack of income due to record unemployment; the food provided at these events is a vital resource for many who can no longer afford a trip to the grocery store. The day was a successful one, but tough, and required a lot of effort and coordination. Thanks to decades of experience in disaster response, the Red Cross was able to jump in and do what it does best: serve others. Read more

Our region’s Int. Srvs. classes, discussions now offered online

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To see more regional stories and other content related to the Red Cross response to the coronavirus pandemic, please see this blog post.
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Like many other American Red Cross activities, the classes and discussion groups that have been hosted in our region by our International Services program are a service that has been re-engineered because of COVID-19 social-distancing requirements.

“When it became clear that this pandemic would be with us for a while, we started to rethink the way we were making our classes and other educational opportunities available,” says Go Funai, Director of the Service to the Armed Forces and International Services programs for the Northern California Coastal Region (NCCR).

So, beginning late last month, with an introductory course that is part of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) series, Funai’s International Services (IS) team has begun to deliver its educational offerings virtually.

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Northern California Coastal Region supports vets with comfort kits

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SAF Director Go Funai, Kathleen Lenihan, Marilyn Byington, Leeann Woodward, and Julianna Jaynes deliver comfort kits to the San Francisco VA Medical Center.  Photo: Nanette Shamieh | American Red Cross
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The Covid-19 pandemic has hampered more than a few activities, but it has also spawned a number of opportunities. For example, shelter in place orders forced the canceling of several stand downs. A stand down is an event hosted for veterans where they can avail themselves of a variety of resources in one place. Resources include medical and dental treatment as well as haircuts in a safe and secure temporary environment.

Each veteran attending receives a comfort kit. These kits typically include a toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, shaving cream, razor, shampoo, etc. According to Kathleen Lenihan, a retired Army Officer and Service to Armed Forces volunteer, “Walmart and other generous partners donate money, goods or make the kits.”

And with the cancellation of stand downs, a number of kits that were going unused.

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Project Mask is ‘sew’ appreciated

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Red Cross Volunteer Susanne Newswanger sews face masks to help keep DAT responders – and their clients – safe and healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Red Crossers know how to pivot in disaster. Since the dawn of the Covid-19 crisis, the Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) has done just that – now most calls are answered virtually.

But when a DAT member mobilizes to answer a call in person, these days, they must wear a mask. So when members of the DAT team sent out a call for masks, other members of the Red Cross team responded in kind – this time with needle and thread. Thus, Project Mask was born with the following call to action: ‘”Sew” the Disaster Action Team how much they are appreciated.’

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