Thursday, June 16, 2011

WPTZ Story Highlights Work of Red Cross Volunteers

During last night's news, local NBC affiliate WPTZ did a great story on the dedication and committment of American Red Cross volunteers. It is very nice to see the recognition given to these compassionate folks who give so much of themselves and ask for very little in return.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fund Drive Helps Address Need

Wednesday night, FOX 44 and ABC 22 dedicated the hours of 5pm - 11pm to the Vermont & the New Hamsphire Valley American Red Cross. The goal of the evening was to increase awareness of the disaster relief operation that remains ongoing in response to flooding and to raise funds to support those efforts. The night was a success on both fronts.

Through public service announcements, live interviews and extensive coverage during their news broadcasts, FOX 44 and ABC 22 put a spotlight on the incredible upheaval endured by those affected by flood waters. The result was a tremendous $46,000 raised to support the American Red Cross. That total was reached, in large part, through the support of generous sponsors such as Casella Waste Systems who contributed $12,500 and New England Federal Credit Union who kicked in $10,000.

With the cost of the ongoing flood relief operation expected to exceed $200,000, Wednesday night provided a real boost and added to other funds already raised to meet this incredible need. However, we still have a lot of ground to cover. The Red Cross is continuing its efforts to raise the funds needed through additional efforts such as a Red Cross day supported by many of the Church Street Marketplace merchants this Saturday, June 11th; an invitation by the Flynn Theatre to raise funds at Friday and Saturday's Jazz Fest concerts; a June 16th benefit concert sponsored by WOKO at Higher Ground; the ongoing efforts of Price Chopper who is donating $1 for each fresh pizza sold; the generosity of People's United Bank who is making a donation to the Red Cross for each pledge made during Vermont Public Television's fund drive; and more.

We are so thankful for all of this support. The devastation is widespread and the need is great. All donations provide much needed support for our neighbors during their time of need. To make a donation or to find out how you can volunteer, go to our website

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 8th Televised Fund Drive

The record rainfall experienced throughout this spring may have overflowed the banks of local rivers and lakes, but it has drained the coffers of the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross. The devastation has been widespread and the need is great. Locally, the Red Cross has met the call for help each time and now it is time to fund those relief efforts.

FOX 44 and ABC 22 approached the Red Cross locally with a plan as to how they and their viewers could help. The result is that from 5pm – 11pm on Wednesday, June 8th, across both stations, an appeal will appear across the bottom of the screen letting viewers know how they can support Red Cross disaster relief. In addition, integrated into Wednesday evening’s programming will be public service announcements, news footage and live interviews. Viewers will see the impact on those affected by recent disasters, gain an understanding of the work of the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross and be asked to make a donation.

“For weeks our news people have been reporting on one disaster after another in Vermont. Telling our viewers the story just didn’t seem to be enough,” said Vic Vetters, FOX 44/ABC 22 Vice President. “We want to give them an opportunity to help the Red Cross. So, using our airwaves to raise some donations just seemed the right thing to do,” he added.

With a generous pledge of $10,000.00 for a challenge grant, New England Federal Credit Union has stepped forward to partner with the Red Cross to make the evening a success. “As a community-based financial institution, we are proud to do our share to help our neighbors recover from these terrible floods,” said John Dwyer, NEFCU President and CEO. Serving 79,000 members in the 6 northwestern counties of Vermont, NEFCU is well aware of the impact on those affected by recent events. During a defined portion of the evening, viewers will be challenged to donate $10,000.00, triggering the NEFCU gift.

A phone bank in the Vermont Public Television studios will be staffed by volunteers who will take donor calls and help to track the evening’s tally. The phone services, staff and equipment provided at VPT, just as they are at FOX 44/ABC 22, are being generously supplied to the American Red Cross at no cost.

“This Spring caps an extraordinary year for the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross,” said regional Red Cross executive Larry Crist. “Before this rash of spring disasters, we had already responded at a rate that well exceeded our average. Then, in just the past seven weeks, our area has experienced three disasters of size not seen in over five years,” he added.

The Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross has experienced a year where the funds allocated for disaster assistance were exceeded by the end of March, with three months left in the organization’s fiscal year. The non-profit is now facing the prospect of providing continued disaster relief in connection with the spring flooding that could, ultimately, cost the Red Cross $200,000.00 - $300,000.00.

In addition to NEFCU’s primary sponsorship of the June 8th fund drive, additional community partners include sponsors Casella Waste Management, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and Vermont Telephone.

All emergency assistance provided by the American Red Cross is provided without charge and is made possible by donations from fellow community members. To help those in our region who have been affected by disaster, tune in to the fund drive from 5pm to 11pm on FOX 44 and ABC 22 or, as always, you can go to our website, to make a donation.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Shelter Remains Open; Volunteers Continue to Respond to House Fires

Flood waters may have receded in Central Vermont, but many families have been devastated. The Red Cross shelter remains open at the Barre Auditorium and work is underway with our partners to help identify long-term soloutions for those whose lives have been turned upside-down.

The people of Barre, Berlin, Montpelier, St. Johnsbury and other affected communities join neighbors across Northern Vermont who are still coping with elevated water levels. All in all, the unprecedented rain of the past few months has brought a level of devastation to our area that hasn't been seen in many, many years.

American Red Cross volunteers and staff have responded tremendously to the demands placed on them over the past two months, starting with the Brooks House fire in Brattleboro on April 17th. With all that has gone on with the major events, volunteers continue to respond to house and apartment fires just as always. Last night, members of the Central Vermont Disaster Action Team led the Red Cross response to a fire in Graniteville, Vermont. Volunteers provided both mass care to first responders, including beverages for hydration and 200 sandwiches, but also opened 4 case files to assist the families displaced by the apartment fire.

A big thank you to all of our volunteers and to those in the community who have provided support to our disaster relief efforts. We could not accomplish what we do without the in-kind gifts and financial contributions of our supporters or the hard work of our volunteer corps that helps carry out the American Red Cross mission.

Anyone interested in making a donation can go to