Thursday, September 22, 2016

Manheim Auto Auction Kicks off Annual Totes of Hope Campaign

The good folks at Manheim Auto Auction kicked off our annual Totes of Hope Campaign when they delivered close to 70 backpacks plus additional items to be used to fill even more backpacks to the Red Cross office in Harrisburg on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

Since 2011, the American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region has joined with individuals and area corporations to secure the items needed to prepare backpacks for homeless veterans throughout our footprint through a partnership with the Lebanon VA.

“I am so very grateful to everyone who supports this campaign, and am especially grateful today for the extremely generous donation by Manheim Auto Auction,” noted Kathy Doran, American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Regional Service to the Armed Forces Director. “We must all do what we can to support our veterans, and the Totes of Hope Campaign is one way to let our homeless veterans know that they have not been forgotten.”

This year, the Red Cross hopes to collect enough items to assemble 400 backpacks! To learn more about the program and where you can drop-off donations, please contact Lori Demchack at

Items needed this year include:
  • Socks (mens size 9-11)
  • Rain Poncho
  • Fleece Lap Blankets
  • Flashlight/Batteries
  • Pocket Mirror
  • Decks of Cards
  • Puzzle Books
  • Pens
  • Notepads
  • Sewing Kits
  • Safety Pins
  • Adhesive Bandages
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment
  • Hydrocortisone Cream
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Lip Balm
  • Toothbrushes (toothbrush cover)
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental Floss
  • Mouthwash (small bottle)
  • Deodorant
  • Bars of Soap
  • 3-1 Body Wash
  • Lotion (small bottle)
  • Disposable Razors
  • Shaving Cream
  • Combs/Brushes
  • Pocket Tissues (no boxes)
  • Hand Sanitizer (travel size)
  • Nail Clippers
  • Sturdy Backpack (at least 17” deep and a dark color)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Red Cross Holds Mifflin County Home Fire Safety Event

Close to 100 American Red Cross and United Way of Mifflin-Juniata Day of Caring volunteers joined forces with the Lewistown and Juanita Borough Fire Departments and the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy to install close to 350 free smoke alarms and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during a special event held in Lewistown and Juniata Terrace on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.

“Every seven minutes, someone dies in a home fire,” noted Stephanie Fost, Red Cross Mid-Central Pennsylvania Executive Director. “Working smoke alarms and home fire escape plans can increase your chances of evacuating safely by over 50%. The service provided here today will someday save a life.”

The Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is a five-year initiative aimed at reducing the number of home fire related deaths and injuries by 25%. Now entering its third year, the American Red Cross can document over 110 lives saved nationally due to the program.

Volunteers for the Mifflin County install event came from Philips and Community Service Group and were organized by the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata. They were complemented by staff and volunteers from the American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region. A special note of thanks also needs to go to the Lewistown and Juanita Borough Fire Departments, Mifflin County Emergency Management Association, Pennsylvania Fire Academy, Juniata Terrace Borough Council, Grace United Methodist Church, Lewistown Boy Scout Troop 4, Giant in Lewistown and Burnham, Weis Market in Burnham, Subway in Lewistown, and Sheetz in Lewistown.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Red Cross and Local Partners Hold Harrisburg Home Fire Preparedness Campaign Event

Over 200 American Red Cross and United Way of the Capital Region Day of Caring volunteers joined forces with the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire to install over 800 free smoke alarms in close to 200 home and educate residents on the importance of home fire preparedness during a special event held in the Uptown Neighborhood of Harrisburg on Friday, September 9, 2016.

Jeri Sims, Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Region CEO, started the event by welcoming the volunteers and reminding them how important their service was to the community.

“What you do here today has the potential of saving a life,” stated Sims. “Since The American Red Cross started our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign nearly two years ago, we have been able to document over 100 lives saved throughout the country due to efforts such as this. On behalf of the people we serve, I say thank you.”

Angela Leopold, American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Board Chair, reinforcing comments made by Sims, added, “Seven times each day someone dies in a home fire. Working smoke alarms can increase your chance of escaping safely by over 50%, yet so many homes in our community do not have them.”

Leopold then noted how thankful she was for the organizations and corporations who have partnered with the Red Cross to make events such as this possible, commenting, “We are so very grateful for the support of our financial sponsors – UGI, PPL, PinnacleHealth, Giant, and Isaac’s. Their generosity and commitment to our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign enables events such as this to occur. We are also extremely grateful for the support of The United Way of the Capital Region. In addition to being a financial supporter of the Red Cross, they are also the ones who – through their annual Day of Caring – brought many of today’s volunteers to us. A huge shout-out goes to Chief Brian Enterline and the entire Harrisburg Bureau of Fire as well for their continued support of this program, and we need to show our appreciation to the good folks here at the Zembo Shrine for allowing us to use this great facility for our event. Finally, thank you to Bob Hauer and the crew at The River 97.3 for being here with us this morning.”

Pennsylvania State Senator Rob Teplitz and Harrisburg City Mayor Eric Papenfuse also addressed the crowd, welcoming them to the city and thanking them for their service to the community.

A brief training session followed before the group, comprised of Red Cross staff and volunteers and additional volunteers from Penn National, Highmark, Aetna, Capital BlueCross, IBM, and Helping with Pride, dispersed to go door-to-door into the Uptown Community, where they checked existing smoke alarms to make sure they worked properly and installed free smoke alarms where none existed or where existing ones had failed. They also educated the residents on how to create and practice home fire escape plans.