Red Cross honors volunteers during National Volunteer Week

Whenever disaster strikes a community, American Red Cross volunteers are there to help those in need. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

The American Red Cross is honoring its volunteers during National Volunteer Week (April 23-29) for giving their time, energy and compassion to help those in need and is urging people interested in helping others in times of disaster to become Red Cross volunteers.

Red Cross volunteers respond to some 64,000 disasters each year, the vast majority of those being home fires where volunteers help those displaced with both short-term and long-term needs.

The American Red Cross helps military families. (Photo by American Red Cross)

Nationally, there are nearly 314,000 volunteers in nearly 270 Red Cross chapters in the U.S. There are many ways people can get involved and the Red Cross always is looking for diverse volunteers of all ages and skill levels.

People can go to to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.

With another severe weather and flood season in the Western Missouri Region, the Red Cross is prepared to respond where needed. Last month, Red Cross volunteers provided assistance after tornadoes struck Oak Grove and Smithville.

Part of that preparation includes recruitment and training new volunteers, preparing communities to deal with emergencies and maintaining equipment and supplies so the Red Cross is ready to respond immediately.

American Red Cross was in Oak Grove, MO after a tornado struck. (Photo by Sherri Odell/American Red Cross)

The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign offers volunteers the opportunity to help reduce the number of home fire injuries and deaths by 25 percent over the next several years. Red Cross volunteers go door-to-door with local partners such as fire departments to install smoke alarms and teach people about home fire safety.

Since 2014, volunteers have installed more than 790,000 smoke alarms in nearly 10,000 cities and towns throughout the U.S. The Home Fire Campaign has been credited with saving at least 215 lives.

The Red Cross also provides humanitarian support to military members, veterans and their families around the clock and around the world with 52 Service to the Armed Forces stations. Through the Hero Care Network, the Red Cross serves and supports the military community by providing emergency communications, comfort and assistance every day.

The Hero Care Network is available at 1-800-REDCROSS or by submitting an online request at People also can contact their local Red Cross office and they can download the free Hero Care App to provide instant access to vital Red Cross services anywhere in the world.

The American Red Cross helps those who have lost everything in a disaster. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

Another way to volunteer is to donate blood. Every day, the Red Cross needs to collect nearly 14,000 units of blood to meet the needs of patients at some 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. The Red Cross collects, processes and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, go to or call 1-800-REDCROSS. People also can download the Red Cross Blood Donor App to schedule and manage appointments.

The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. On average, 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in its humanitarian services and programs.


CPR used to save man’s life

Janie Hall, left, and Becca Bartholomew, a server at the Cheesecake Factory in Kansas City, MO worked together to save a man’s life with their CPR training. (Photo courtesy of Janie Hall)

(This story appeared in the April 12 edition of the Joplin Globe and shows how knowing CPR can save a life. The American Red Cross offers CPR classes at various times throughout the year. Check with your local Red Cross chapter for the CPR class schedule in your area.)

By Ariel Cooley
Joplin Globe
 The Friday lunch was supposed to be a first date for Janie Hall of Joplin. And for a while, it seemed to be going well.

That is, until the man she was meeting in person for the first time fell to the floor at the Cheesecake Factory in Kansas City, Mo.

The Joplin woman, along with the server, Becca Bartholomew, who wasn’t even planning on being at work that day, rushed into action and are being credited with saving the man’s life.

“We were just sitting there talking,” said Hall, 45, of her date, a man in his 50s. “The food had been picked up for at least 45 minutes. We were having a great conversation.”

Then the man coughed three times, she said, and stood up to excuse himself and fell face-first to the floor.


“It was like a light switch,” Hall said. “He was talking and then he was on the floor dead.”

Hall said he had no pulse.

A former respiratory therapist with experience in a trauma unit, Hall moved quickly and with the help of a restaurant patron rolled her date on his back. Then she began CPR and was joined by Bartholomew.

“This waitress appeared out of nowhere,” Hall said. “She took control of the whole situation.”

Bartholomew wasn’t originally scheduled to work that day, but she had taken an extra shift.

Hall and Bartholomew took turns performing CPR on the man, and Bartholomew directed other workers at the Cheesecake Factory to call 911. Another worker counted seconds for them while they worked to bring the man back to life.

After about four minutes of CPR, a faint pulse returned. He took a breath, and the ambulance arrived.

Because the man was still in the hospital at the time of the Globe’s interview, his name is not being used in this story. Hall, who had visited him on Monday, said he is recovering.

Hall said Jackie Cockrill, the general manager of the restaurant, has called her several times to check on her and the health status of her date.

“My hope is that maybe somebody will hear this story and become CPR-certified or be quicker to respond because this happened so suddenly,” Hall said.

red-cross-trainingIn fact, she is encouraging people to sign up for a American Red Cross first aid and CPR course.

“I’m proof that you never know when you may need to know it,” Hall said.

Hall, who teaches business and health care online, also met her date online. But will there be a second date?

“He has asked me out again. The waitress wants to come along as well as his two daughters and his granddaughter,” Hall said, laughing. “I definitely think we will have a group with us on our next date.”

Red Cross appeals for support to #help1family during Giving Day

When disaster strikes, the American Red Cross is there to help those in need. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

The American Red Cross is asking people to remember those families impacted by disaster and to #help1family during Giving Day on April 26. Donations can provide hope and urgent relief such as food, blankets and other essentials for those who need it most.

Nearly every eight minutes throughout the nation, the Red Cross responds to a family that may have lost everything because of a home fire or other disaster such as the recent tornadoes that struck Oak Grove and Smithville.

Giving Day is a one-day nationwide event that will help raise funds to ensure the Red Cross is able to meet the critical mission of helping those affected by emergencies. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in its humanitarian services and programs.

download1A donation of $88.50 covers the cost of support for a family of three with a day’s worth of meals and snacks, plus blankets and other essentials. A donation of $60 will help provide six hearty meals and $30 can ensure that children and families stay warm and get a good night’s sleep with six comforting blankets.

Last year, the Red Cross responded to 180 significant disasters in 45 states and two U.S. territories including wildfires, storms, flooding, Hurricane Matthew and other major emergencies. More than 32,000 Red Crossers opened nearly 800 emergency shelters providing 206,000 overnight stays, served more than 4.1 million meals and snacks and distributed more than 2.1 million relief items.

On average, every year the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters across the country, the vast majority being home fires. In the Greater Kansas City Chapter service area alone, the Red Cross has helped 740 people during the first three months of this year.

American Red Cross volunteers provide assistance in an Oak Grove, MO neighborhood hit by an EF3 tornado last month. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

Also last year, the Red Cross collected more than 4.8 million units of blood from 2.8 million volunteer donors. These donations were processed into about 6.8 million blood products to meet the needs of patients in about 2,600 hospitals across the U.S.

Donations can be made now by visiting day. A $10 donation to the Red Cross can be made by texting REDCROSS to 90999. All donations will be processed on April 26.

Anyone who would like to become a Red Cross volunteer and help those in need can get more information by going to or calling 1-800-REDCROSS.


Give blood and help save lives this spring

Blood Donation4
American Red Cross Blood Services technician works with a volunteer donor. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

Donors of all blood types are encouraged to give through the American Red Cross this spring to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients.

Donated blood is perishable and must constantly be replenished to keep up with hospital patient needs. Red blood cells are the blood component most frequently transfused by hospitals and must be used within 42 days of donation.

Eligible donors can give red blood cells through either a regular whole blood donation or a Power Red donation, where available.

Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.

BLOOD DONATION 6Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, up to six times a year, and Power Red donations may be made every 112 days, up to three times per year.

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Blood donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online. To get started and learn more, visit

Here are upcoming blood donation opportunities:


Kansas City: April 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., KC Fire Department, 6750 Eastwood Tfkway.
April 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Courthouse Annex, 415 E. 12th St.
April 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St.


Atchison: April 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Benedictine College, Murphy Recreation Center, 1020 N. 2nd St.

Basehor: April 28, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Basehor-Linwood High School, 2108 155th St.

Lenexa: April 20, 3 p.m. -7 p.m., Lifetime Fitness, 16851 W. 90th St.

Kansas City: April 29, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Joe E. Amayo Argentine Community Center, 2810 Metropolitan Ave.

Olathe: April 18, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Bass Pro Shop Olathe, 12051 Bass Pro Dr.
April 19, 2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Genesis Health Clubs, 13370 Blackfoot Dr.

Overland Park: April 21, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies, 7501 W. 149th Terr.
April 28, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Corbin Greens Apartments, 14000 Russell St.
April 30, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 12251 Antioch Rd.

Shawnee: April 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Midwest Sikh Gurdwara, 6834 Pflumm Rd.