Baby, it’s cold outside…and we need your help

Believe it or not, it actually has started warming up. The Arctic blast that swooped down on us is on its way out. And if you’re like me, that’s good news!

The frigid temperatures in the rest of the nation have also impacted the Red Cross. Many blood drives have been cancelled or postponed due to treacherous driving conditions and loss of power at donation sites.

Thankfully, here in SW Washington, our Red Cross Blood Center remains open for business. But blood supplies are dangerously low, and with the holiday season upon us, the increased demand on our free time means fewer people are giving blood. 

We need your help. If you have the time and are willing, please donate blood. The need is constant; the gratification is instant.

Click here to go to the Red Cross Blood Donation web site to learn more about how your blood donation helps to save lives, and to schedule an appointment.

Sue Anderson
SW Washington Media Team

I feel the earth move under my feet!

October 17 is this week.

So what? October 17th happens every year right about this time.

If you’re a Carole King fan like me, the words I feel the earth move will take on special significance when October 17 rolls around.

(And if you haven’t listened to Carole sing that song, what in the world are you waiting for? You’re missing an icon sing a iconic song. Rock on, Carole! But …not quite yet…not until you finished reading the rest of this blog!)

On October 17,  you need to really think about what you would do if you really were to feel the earth move under your feet – in other words, EARTHQUAKE !

October 17 (that would be THIS Thursday) is the Great Washington Shakeout. In truth, it’s the Great Shakeout in a lot of other states and countries besides Washington State but I’m focusing here in my own back yard because, well, we’re “due.”

Yup, participating in the Great Shakeout is particularly important for Pacific Northwest residents who live near the Cascadia Subduction Zone. That’s the 600-mile long earthquake fault stretching from offshore northern California to southern British Columbia – and yes, that would be us!

The 2013 Great Shakeout is scheduled for 10:17AM. 

Get it?

10:17 on 10/17

It makes it pretty easy to remember, doesn’t it? But the bigger thing is to remember what to do at 10:17 on 10/17: Drop, Cover and Hold.

So, what do I mean by Drop, Cover and Hold?

  • Drop – under something sturdy and taller than you are
  • Cover – the back of your head and neck with one arm
  • Hold on – in case the thing you’re under moves

And close your eyes; you’ll do better psychologically if you don’t watch, and you’ll protect your eyes.

Washington State’s Emergency Management Division says people tend to be hurt by falling objects, not collapsing structures. If you are on your feet trying to move, you are in danger from toppling bookcases, breaking windows, flying dishes, falling televisions, collapsing fireplaces, or shifting furniture. Safety comes from quickly getting to a place of safety.

There are many resources available to help you prepare for 10:17 on 10/17, and to be prepared in the event of an actual earthquake. Here are just a few:

And while these sites are all great resources for 10/17, they are excellent resources for EVERYDAY so check them out and make a plan.

Here in SW Washington, you can also participate in the Red Cross Cascades Region first-ever Great #ShakeOut Selfie contest.

Snap a photo of yourself (aka “selfie”) during the drill; then, tweet the image using the hashtag #ShakeOut Selfie. Participants are eligible for a variety of disaster kit items. See a list of the items and the complete rules here.

OK, anyone who hasn’t rocked out with Carole King lately, go find that song now! I promise you’ll be singing it all day long.

Sue Anderson
SW Washington Red Cross Media Team

Reuniting a Concentration Camp Family: The Epilogue

When Tom’s daughter was deciding on a topic for her doctoral thesis, she thought of her father and his childhood which included his life at Auschwitz.

As part of her research, she and her father traveled to Slovakia to meet with other family members and to search through town records.

But through all the research she did – both locally and abroad – she never ran across Eva’s name or learned how her father had survived in Auschwitz…until now.

For her, their reunification “is a good thing; but not an easy thing to absorb” since 67 years have elapsed since Tom and Eva last saw each other.

In this final interview before Tom and Eva meet face-to-face, Red Cross Volunteer Caseworker Julie Burger talks with Tom’s daughter about her thesis and her response to Eva’s search for Tom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FcutzBivils

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About the Restoring Family Links program

American Red Cross caseworkers around the U.S. help families locate missing relatives by working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations in nearly every country around the world. Annually the American Red Cross assists more than 5,000 families trying to reconnect with their loved ones in the U.S. and around the world through the Red Cross Restoring Family Links program.

All Red Cross programs are made possible by the voluntary services and financial support of the American public. Hundreds of dedicated volunteers search tirelessly for information that will bring resolution to your case and peace of mind to you and your family.

Sue Anderson
SW Washington Red Cross Media Team

Reuniting a Concentration Camp Family: Finding Tom

When Tom learned that his concentration camp sister Eva was looking for him, he was surprised and very touched. He hadn’t expected to ever see or hear from her after leaving Auschwitz.

Now, Tom says, the emails he and Eva have exchanged and the personal reunion they plan for this fall, complete a circle for him.

In this interview, Red Cross Volunteer Caseworker Julie Burger talks with Tom about how it felt when he first learned Eva was looking for him, and about his plans to reunite with his concentration camp sister 67 years later.

Julie recognized Tom’s name after reading the Red Cross Restoring Family Links contact form that had Eva had completed in Europe and submitted to the Red Cross. Julie and Tom are members of the same Synagogue in Vancouver and she was the first to contact Tom to let him know about Eva’s search.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kwtEtS9r4gY

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About the Restoring Family Links program

American Red Cross caseworkers around the U.S. help families locate missing relatives by working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations in nearly every country around the world. Annually the American Red Cross assists more than 5,000 families trying to reconnect with their loved ones in the U.S. and around the world through the Red Cross Restoring Family Links program.

All Red Cross programs are made possible by the voluntary services and financial support of the American public. Hundreds of dedicated volunteers search tirelessly for information that will bring resolution to your case and peace of mind to you and your family.

Sue Anderson
SW Washington Red Cross Media Team

Crosslines Spring 2013 Newsletter

Reuniting a Concentration Camp Family – How it all began

Eva was just a toddler of 2 when she, her sister and their Mother were taken to Auschwitz and placed in a Nazi concentration camp.

Tommy was 4 when he was separated from his parents at the same Nazi concentration camp and was left to survive on his own. Eva’s Mother cared for the young boy until the camp was liberated and his uncles came for him.

Neither Eva not Tom remember much of those days but in the years that followed, Eva recalls her Mother talked about Tommy often.

In April of 2011, Eva started searching for her concentration camp brother. Some 18 months later, she and Tom had their first contact in 65+ years…via email. Julie Burger, a volunteer caseworker with SW Washington American Red Cross region was instrumental in the reunion and talked with both Eva and Tom for this series.

The link below takes you to the first of three interviews that documents the special reunion of the little toddler named Tom and his concentration camp sister, Eva. In Episode 1: Eva the Inquirer, Eva tells Julie Burger about her search for Tom through the Red Cross Restoring Family Links program.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=C2K5nIAPoLY

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 

About the Restoring Family Links program

American Red Cross caseworkers around the U.S. help families locate missing relatives by working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations in nearly every country around the world. Annually the American Red Cross assists more than 5,000 families trying to reconnect with their loved ones in the U.S. and around the world through the Red Cross Restoring Family Links program.

All Red Cross programs are made possible by the voluntary services and financial support of the American public. Hundreds of dedicated volunteers search tirelessly for information that will bring resolution to your case and peace of mind to you and your family.

Sue Anderson
SW Washington Red Cross Media Team

Reuniting a Concentration Camp family

Most of the people I know have heard about the Holocaust concentration camps from parents and grandparents who served in WWII, from school history lessons, or from made-for-TV and theater movies.

Recently, Julie Burger who is a volunteer caseworker in our SW Washington American Red Cross region was reading through a Red Cross Restoring Family Links contact form. The form was initiated by a woman in Europe who was looking for a man she had known while in Auschwitz.  After reading the name of the man, Julie paused and said, “I know this man.” That’s when our region stepped in to help reunite Eva and Tom.

Eva had been with her sister and mother at Auschwitz during WWII. While there, Eva’s mother started caring for a young toddler named Tom who had been separated from both parents and was left to survive on his own. The little boy was separated from Eva and her family after being liberated from the camp, and never heard from her again…until now.

The link below is the introduction for a series of three interviews that documents the special reunion of the little toddler named Tom and his concentration camp sister, Eva.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=prgviWUaHQk

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 

About the Restoring Family Links program

American Red Cross caseworkers around the U.S. help families locate missing relatives by working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations in nearly every country around the world. Annually the American Red Cross assists more than 5,000 families trying to reconnect with their loved ones in the U.S. and around the world through the Red Cross Restoring Family Links program.

All Red Cross programs are made possible by the voluntary services and financial support of the American public. Hundreds of dedicated volunteers search tirelessly for information that will bring resolution to your case and peace of mind to you and your family.

Sue Anderson
SW Washington American Red Cross Media Team

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