Monday, February 29, 2016

Totes of Hope Receives Boost from Nationwide

For the past several years, Nationwide has supported the Red Cross’ effort to help area homeless veterans by supporting the Totes of Hope Program. This year, the company and its employees came together to provide not only 200 sturdy, 17-inch backpacks, but to also donate over 6,000 items to be included in the packs!

Totes of Hope provides backpacks filled with personal care items to homeless veterans throughout Central Pennsylvania. Since 2011, the Red Cross has worked with individuals and corporate sponsors to secure the items needed to fill backpacks that are then distributed through our partnership with the Lebanon VA to those in need.

The response to this year’s appeal has been amazing. In addition to Nationwide, donations from other area companies, such as Pennsy Supply, and area individuals have provided items that will make a huge impact on homeless veterans in the counties we serve.

The American Red Cross is thankful for all those who have stepped forward to support this year’s Totes of Hope endeavor.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Red Cross Wins Innovation Award

The American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region received a 2016 Nonprofit Innovation Award in the Collaboration Category during a breakfast held in York on Friday, February 26, 2016. The Innovation Awards Program recognizes area nonprofits and their leaders for developing creative ways to help the region’s citizens. The program is made possible by a partnership of the Central Penn Business Journal, the Lancaster County Community Foundation, The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, and the York County Community Foundation. 

The Red Cross’ award was earned for its Home Fire Preparedness Program, which seeks to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and injuries by 25% over a five-year period. More specifically, the Red Cross was recognized for its Harrisburg install event that occurred in September 2015.

The install event was made possible by the collaborative efforts of the Red Cross, the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire, the United Way of the Capital Region, UGI, PinnacleHealth, and Phoenix Contact. During the event, close to 200 volunteers from the partner organizations came together to install roughly 550 free smoke detectors in Harrisburg’s South Allison Hill, a neighborhood known to be vulnerable to home fires. Participants in the event also provided lifesaving fire prevention and preparedness information and other useful tools to help residents prepare for, respond to, and recover from home fires. Since that day, additional installations in the neighborhood have brought the total number of smoke detectors installed to over 600.

The success realized in Harrisburg is now being used as a model for other area install events, including one held in York in October and one currently being planned for Lancaster in April. All told, the Red Cross in Central Pennsylvania has installed over 2,000 smoke detectors and has educated thousands of residents on the importance of fire safety during the current fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cwiekala-Lewis Named Regional Nurse Leader

The American Red Cross has appointed Klaudia Cwiekala-Lewis BSN, MSN, RN as the volunteer Regional Nurse Leader (RNL) for the Central Pennsylvania Region, which covers 22 counties in Central Pennsylvania from the New York to Maryland borders. 

As the area leader for Red Cross nursing, she will support our local Red Cross chapters, providing clinical guidance and helping to build health professional capacity. Cwiekala-Lewis will work to develop and sustain health partnerships across all lines of Red Cross service and will seek to ensure that all areas of the region have enough volunteer nurses and other health professionals to support the entire network. 

Cwiekala-Lewis, a resident of Manchester (York County), earned her MSN in Nursing Leadership and Health System Management from Drexel University. She earned her BSN from Cedar Crest College. Cwiekala-Lewis has been a Red Cross volunteer since 2003, and has served as a Disaster Action Team member, a Pillowcase Project presenter, a CPR Instructor, and a Client Services Disaster Health Associate. 

“In my new role, I am planning to visit area colleges and universities to discuss the various volunteer opportunities available at the Red Cross,” noted Cwiekala-Lewis. “My hope is to increase the number of nursing volunteers across the Central Pennsylvania Region by 25%.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Muncy Bank Supports Local Red Cross

Muncy Bank & Trust Company recently donated $10,000 to The American Red Cross as part of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program. The money will be used to support the Red Cross’ effort to help people prepare for and respond to local disasters, plan local blood drives, and teach lifesaving CPR, AED, and other courses.

Pictured are American Red Cross Major Gift Officer Valerie Whyman and North Central PA Chapter Executive Director Tom Szulanczyk accepting the donation from Muncy Bank & Trust Company Senior Vice Presidents Kathleen Bower, Dave Ayer, and Craig Kremser and President and CEO Rob Glunk.