Group of girls pay it forward

By Julie Love FOX 26 KNPN Updated Jul 22, 2016

Addie Bramlage is a 10 year old St. Joseph student. And like most kids her age, she has a favorite birthday present. It’s an elephant she received from a teacher one year. And it’s great to cuddle with according to this soon to be 5th grader.

But a few years back, Bramlage, and her group of friends decided to start a new birthday tradition. The group have summer birthdays and instead of looking forward to gifts, the group of school mates have asked for money and supplies in order to pay it forward.

Addie Bramlage, 10, shares what's in the care packs that her and her friends made for kids. More than 35 bags were assembled and then donated to the YWCA Women's Shelter and to the American Red Cross, Northwest Missouri Chapter on Friday. The pillows were handmade by the grade schoolers. The group spent a year collecting donations and stuffing the bags, asking for money to help the cause instead of birthday presents.
Addie Bramlage, 10, shares what’s in the care packs that her and her friends made for kids. More than 35 bags were assembled and then donated to the YWCA Women’s Shelter and to the American Red Cross, Northwest Missouri Chapter on Friday. The pillows were handmade by the grade schoolers. The group spent a year collecting donations and stuffing the bags, asking for money to help the cause instead of birthday presents.

This past year, the friends have made homemade pillows, raised money for activities and hygiene essentials to create care bags for kids.

Friday afternoon, the group donated over 35 bags to the YWCA Women’s Shelter and The American Red Cross, Northwest Missouri Chapter filled with their labors of love.

Angie Springs, executive director for the Red Cross, happily received the gifts.

“That’s awesome,” Springs said as she greeted the group.

“We average two house fires a week and lots of times those families have kids in them,” Springs told the girls.

The young group of givers put some thought into what went into the bags.

“We decided that when the kids, if they need something to snuggle with, they will have a pillow that we made,” Bramlage explained. “We decided that kids might want to draw or color or write down their feelings, so we put in some notebooks.”

And while this youth hasn’t ever personally known someone who has lost their personal possessions, she is empathetic to the situation.

“It can be sad especially if they had special things they liked, it could be gone,” Bramlage said. “And if they have things to snuggle with and to do, to take their minds off of what they’ve gone through.”

And when asked how it feels?

“It feels really good,” Bramlage responded with an affirmative nod.

Julie  Love can be reached at julie.love@knpn.com. Follow her on Twitter: @KNPNLove

Critical Blood Shortage: Red Cross urges blood, platelet donors to give now

While thousands of people from across the country responded to the emergency request for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July, a critical blood shortage remains.

The Red Cross urges eligible donors in the Western Missouri Region to give now to help ensure blood is available throughout the rest of the summer to meet patient needs.American Red Cross Blood Donation Statistic Image

At times, blood and platelets are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which impacts the ability to rebuild the blood supply. Right now, the Red Cross has less than a five-day blood supply on hand. The Red Cross strives to have a five-day supply at all times to meet the needs of patients every day and be prepared for emergencies that may require significant volumes of donated blood products

Blood and platelets are needed for many different reasons. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.

Donors of all blood types are urgently needed to help restock the shelves. The Red Cross is thanking those who come in to donate blood or platelets between July 25 and Aug. 31 by emailing them a $5 Amazon.com gift card claim code.

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce wait times.

Upcoming Western Missouri Region blood donation locations: July 25-Aug. 15

KANSAS
Johnson County
Overland Park
July 29: 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Museum at Prairiefire, 5801 W. 135th St.
July 30: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sams Club, 8300 W. 135th St.
Aug. 5: Noon – 4 p.m., Global Connections, 5360 College Blvd, Ste 105.

Shawnee
July 25: 3 – 7 p.m., 24 Hour Fitness Club, 11311 W. Shawnee Mission Pkwy.
July 27: 2 – 7 p.m., Mill Valley High School, 5900 Monticello Rd.
Aug. 14: 1 – 5 p.m., American Legion Post 327, 6521 Nieman Rd.

Leavenworth County
Leavenworth
July 28: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fairfield Inn & Suites, 1101 N. 4th St.
Aug. 5: 1 – 5 p.m., Corrections Corporation of American, 100 Hwy Ter.

MISSOURI
Buchanan County
St. Joseph
July 25: 2 – 6 p.m., YMCA, 315 South 6th St.
Aug. 12: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., In Memory of Donna Blackwell, 401 N. 12th St.

Platte County
Kansas City
July 29: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Culver’s NKC, 5901 NW 64th St.

Red Cross helps police twice in same day in KCK

Twice on Tuesday, the American Red Cross was asked by law enforcement in Kansas City, Kan., to provide support.

In the morning, Red Cross workers were on the scene of a hostage standoff, providing much-needed refreshments to the first responders in the sweltering heat.

American Red Cross stand in front of emergency vehicleThen, in the afternoon with temperatures nearing 100, the Red Cross again responded to provide water, sports drinks and snacks to the men and women who worked the crime scene where they had lost one of their own in the tragic shooting death of a police officer.

Sweat mixed with tears as the officers went about their duty of working the crime scene, made even more poignant because it was the second time this year  that a KCK officer has died in the line of duty.

When asked what the role of the Red Cross was, one of the workers replied, “We’re here to help them as they help the community.”

Red Cross Emergency App Is Hot Weather Helper

It’s July in Western Missouri, so people need to brace themselves for the dangerously high heat that will be their way of life in the coming weeks.

People sweltering need to download the American Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to safety tips on extreme heat and notifications for heat advisories, watches and warnings in their area and where loved-ones live.

How hot can it get? Well, the hottest day on record in Missouri is 118 degrees set on July 14, 1954, in Warsaw and Union.

Click here to read earlier story about dealing with the heat.
Red Cross Heat App