Red Cross helps celebrate World Humanitarian Day

How are you being a humanitarian this year? 

The World Humanitarian Day, designated by the United Nations in 2003, is celebrated every year to celebrate humanity and the spirit that inspires people to help others who are in need, even in difficult and dangerous situations, often putting their own lives at risk.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent network that includes the International Federation of the Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross and its 187 national societies including the American Red Cross is focusing on on-going efforts in calling for protections of volunteers and promoting support and solidarity for Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers who risk their lives at the service of others. 

In Syria 37 Red Crescent volunteers have been killed while on duty, since the beginning of the conflict. In the occupied Palestine territory, two volunteers from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society have been killed in the recent conflict and many more have been injured in the last months.

Many of these volunteers are young people – youth who are committed to saving lives by putting their own lives at risk every day.

ICRC is also drawing attention to the fact that health-care personnel are often among the first to be attacked in war and other situations of violence. A complete report from ICRC regarding this issue can be seen here:

As part of the network of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent, the American Red Cross Greater Cincinnati Dayton Region is responding to both local and international needs within our capacities. Our local disaster volunteers are responding to local emergencies and fires, assisting with services to the armed forces, and many other capacities within our mission. In the International Services Department, we are raising awareness and funds for Measles and Rubella Initiatives, educating the public about International Humanitarian Laws, and connecting families through Restoring Family Links services. 

International Humanitarian Law, which includes the Geneva Conventions, is at the core of the global Red Cross network. It is critical to preserving a minimum of humanity in the worst of circumstances. For more than 20 years, the American Red Cross has promoted international humanitarian law through its chapters. The Greater Cincinnati – Dayton Region is selected in its third year to participate in the International Humanitarian Law Action Campaign 2015, among 11 other chapters. This program for young people (high school and college levels) are open for applications. For more information, please contact the International Services Department
The International Committee for The Red Cross has updated the Customary International Humanitarian Law that integrates practice up until the end of 2010 of the following countries: Bangladesh, Ireland, Nigeria, Peru, Sri Lanka, the United States of America and Zimbabwe. (link: To receive updates about IHL and American Red Cross work all over the world, please contact the International Services Department.

Disclaimer: the International Services Department does not deploy volunteer overseas. Deployment of volunteers is organized by the International Response and Programs by the American Red Cross National Headquarters.

This year’s theme for World Humanitarian Day is “the world needs more..” Express what you think you can do this year to support the work of humanitarian workers near and far through social media with the hashtag #theworldneedsmore through social media (twitter, Facebook, instagram), and change your word into action.

Be a humanitarian today, volunteer with the American Red Cross:

To learn more about International Services:

Red Cross Seeking Candidates for AmeriCorps

Red Cross AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps service opportunities offer practical, real life experiences for individuals looking to engage in public service while meeting the critical needs of the Red Cross. Team members will participate in disaster response and preparedness activities, community disaster education and volunteer recruitment.  Members will receive a living allowance, health care coverage, free training and the Segal Education award (upon completion of the service year). 

Youth Community Preparedness Member

AmeriCorps members will be housed at ARC sites in the following counties: Alan (Lima), Athens, Fairfield (Lancaster), Franklin (Columbus), Hamilton (Cincinnati) Hancock (Findlay), Licking (Newark), Lucas (Toledo), Marion, Muskingum (Zanesville), Ross (Chillicothe)

* With a primary focus on Community Preparedness Education (CPE), Member will conduct CDE outreach presentations with paid staff and volunteers, as well as seek further opportunities to do so. This may include curriculum development and implementation, staff/volunteer training, facilitating presentations, and reporting the number of participants (75-80%)

* AmeriCorps member will assist with volunteer recruitment, management and retention within their county. This will include recruitment activity (attend fairs, speak to local community groups about volunteering) and volunteer engagement in regular service with the organization including community preparedness education (CPE). Members will also ensure volunteer files/paperwork is up to date and complete. (10%)

* Member will be trained for available participation with national deployment opportunities (10%)

* Member will participate in canvassing events addressing neighborhoods affected by fire/fatalities (5-10%) 

Additionally members are expected to:

* Participate in initial Prepare Central Ohio AmeriCorps orientation

* Participate in Monthly Central Ohio AmeriCorps Meetings (in Columbus)

* Complete monthly reports and spreadsheets detailing their activities

**The stipend is $12,500 and is paid on a bi-weekly basis.**

Interested applications should visit the Cincinnati Area Chapter Facebook page to access the application. Please submit your completed application to Karl Williams at by August 18.


Baptist Church Church supports the Dayton Chapter by collecting comfort kit items for Disaster Service

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A group from Miami Shores Baptist Church recently collected, sorted and bagged disaster comfort kit items for the Dayton Area Chapter; which will be provided to fire victims in the area. The kits contained items such as deodorant, Scope mouthwash, Gillette shaving cream, two razor blades, tooth paste, tooth brush, hair products, a hair brush, tissue, and body soap.

Miami Shores Baptist Church is located in Moraine, Ohio. It is a house of prayer for all people – this is a place of acceptance where we encourage you to “come just as you are.” 

New disaster communication radio station is on the air at Dayton Chapter

Dayton Radio

The Dayton Chapter of the American Red Cross (ARC) and their amateur radio volunteers are proud to announce that the chapter radio station K8DRC is on the air. The station is located at the Dayton Area Chapter of the American Red Cross building located at 370 West 1st Street, Dayton, OH.

The community partnership of the Dayton ARC with the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) and other community businesses have made this dream a reality. The financial support from a grant given by DARA for the purchase of radios and necessary equipment made the establishment of this station possible.

The K8DRC station will be home to the Gem City Emergency Network and will consist of ARC volunteers that are licensed amateur radio operators trained in emergency communication. They will provide communications in the event a disaster. Amateur radio licenses are issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after a testing process. 

If you are interested in become a volunteer for the Dayton Chapter of the American Red Cross please call (937) 222-6711. If you want more information on becoming a licensed amateur radio operator please contact Jim Ebner (N8JE) at (937) 536-2835.

Cindy Ebner   K8CJE

American Red Cross Volunteer

Public Information Officer-Ohio Section

American Radio Relay League (ARRL)

New addition to American Red Cross Ohio River Valley Chapter territory

OVI chapter map

The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross is pleased to announce the addition of Lawrence County to the group of counties where Red Cross disaster relief services are provided. Lawrence County joins Scioto, Pike, and Jackson counties as a part of the organization’s coverage area.

“We look forward to the addition of Lawrence County. The Ohio River Valley Chapter provides CPR and First Aid Training, blood collection services, emergency communications for military personnel and their families and emergency and disaster services to our communities,” said Debbie Smith, Chapter Executive. “The Red Cross relies on volunteers in responding to nearly 70,000 disasters nationwide every year. Most of those responses involve home and apartment fires,” she continued.

The Red Cross is currently seeking volunteers in Lawrence County to ensure the disaster and preparedness coverage in that area. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should visit or call (740) 354-3293 or toll free at 1-888-354-3293.


(July 9, 2014) – The Dayton Chapter of the American Red Cross is announcing the transition of the operation of the Family Living Center (FLC) on Gettysburg Avenue, to Homefull, Inc., effective August 1, 2014. Homefull is a well-respected organization in the community with a long history of assisting families with housing needs. These changes in operations will be seamless to the current residents in the FLC Program.

For over 30 years the Dayton Red Cross has been responsible for providing sheltering and supportive services to residents with a variety of housing needs. Red Cross leadership has been working closely with community partners to find the most appropriate organization to take on the important work of helping families with their temporary and/or permanent housing needs.

Homefull has provided services for over 25 years to single adults and families with children who are either at risk of, currently, or previously homeless. The Red Cross FLC program aligns well with Homefull’s current array of services.

“We intend to provide the same high quality, COA (Council on Accreditation) accredited level of services to the Family Living Center that we currently provide throughout our entire organization,” stated Homefull CEO Tina Patterson.

The Red Cross remains strongly committed to serving the community and this transition allows the local chapter to increase its focus on their mission-driven programs of Emergency Disaster Relief, Preparedness Health and Safety Training and Service to Armed Forces.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About Homefull
Homefull provides services to nearly 3,500 individuals in Dayton and Montgomery County in any given year. Services offered include: prevention services for those at risk of losing their housing, shelter case management for those currently homeless that focuses on housing, employment and linkage to other community services, and follow up case management for those who were previously homeless that works to stabilize the client’s housing situation and reduces recidivism back into homelessness. For more information, visit: or call (937) 293-1945.

Stories from the Field – Recent Deployment to Arkansas

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arkansas tornado3

arkansas tornado4Chris Tokarz began volunteering at the Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region Chapter in December 2013. She retired earlier in the year and wanted to do something to give back to those in need. She was deployed to the Arkansas site.

“I got the call from the Red Cross asking if I was available to be deployed to Arkansas May 2 and I quickly agreed to go,” says Tokarz. She then contacted the Red Cross travel agency to arrange her flight from Dayton to Hot Springs Arkansas. “I pulled out the handouts I received when I took the deployment orientation workshop class and read through the list of materials to bring, “says Tokarz. “Next, I drove to the Dayton Red Cross and met with Kathy Gall who gave me the Credit Card, tee shirt, vest and lots of advice on being deployed for the first time.”

“I got out my disaster mental health services handbook and begin reviewing it,” says Tokarz. She then emailed family and friends to let them know she would be gone and asked for their support for the Red Cross during this time. The next day she finished packing and headed for the airport in Dayton, hoping she didn’t forget anything important.

“I assumed that I would be staying in a staff shelter and wonder if I would be able to sleep,” says Tokarz. “When I got to the airport I called the telephone number given to me and I heard a recording asking me to get a rental car and drive to the Comfort Inn in Little Rock.” In the line for the rental car there were two other Red Cross volunteers so they all decided to carpool together. “I checked in, a bit surprised that I had the luxury of a hotel room,” says Tokarz adding that she had a roommate who was also a first time deployment volunteer. “We agreed to head to the Little Rock Red Cross at 7:30 the next morning to check in and get our assignment for the days ahead.”
“I meet with mental health to find out my role and attend the morning briefing,” explains Tokarz.
“I was included with a group of disaster mental health workers to Conway, Arkansas to the Multi Agency Relief Center (MARC).” Tokarz discovered that she was a part of an outreach team and would be working with another disaster mental health worker and case management driving the streets of Vilonia.

Tokarz goes on to say that she had never witnessed the destruction of a tornado first hand before, and it was shocking to see the devastation. “My job was to talk with clients and let them tell their story, reinforce their resiliency and help them make a plan to get through the next day or two,” says Tokarz. “I am amazed at the positive attitude the people of Vilonia have.”

Throughout the week Tokarz was able to see so many examples of neighbors and strangers lending a helping hand. The Red Cross, churches and agencies set up food pantries and places to get clothing. “Red Cross ERV’s circle the area, bringing lunch and dinner to those working in the field, which is greatly appreciated by the families sorting through rubble for their possessions,” explains Tokarz
“During the week Tokarz worked from 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. where she was assigned (outreach, Marc, or hospital visits). “I worked as a part of a team with nurses, client casework, and disaster mental health workers,” says Tokarz.

“This experience was so amazing,” says Tokarz. “I came away with a renewed sense that people are willing to do whatever they can to support each other and that life is good.”


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