Red Cross shows increased outreach


The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross has a reputation of helping those in need. The need may come as a result of a house fire, a natural disaster or a snow storm, the Red Cross is one of the fist organizations to respond to those most affected.

The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross highlights their response efforts in a contrast of services provided in 2014 and 2015.

The coverage area of the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross includes Scioto, Pike, Jackson, Lawrence, Adams and Brown Counties.

Services provided include, opening shelters, providing a place for victims of a disaster to stay for a night, providing meals and snacks, providing relief items and cases for individuals and families in need.

The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross opened nine shelters between December 7, 2014 and January 5, 2015. From December 7, 2015 and January 5, 2016 the red cross opened 65 shelters.

Between December 7, 2015 and January 5, 2016 the Red Cross provided 1,750 overnight stays when compared to December 7, 2014 through January 5, 2015 the Red Cross provided 341 overnight stays.

From December, 7, 2014 through January 5, 2015 the Red Cross provided 11,580 meals and snacks. From December 7, 2015 through the Red Cross provided 75,000.

When it comes to relief items from December 7, 2015- January 5, 2016 the Red Cross provided 48,000. From December 7, 2014 – January 5, 2015 the Red Cross provided 4,365 relief items. The items may include rakes, shovels and comfort kits.

The Red Cross opened 1,450 cases for individuals and families in need between December 7, 2015 and January 5, 2016. There were 265 cases opened for individuals or families between December 7, 2014 and January 5, 2015.

“We have responded to 166 disasters in the past six months and helped over 500 individuals. We have also installed 179 free smoke alarms in our local communities. We have already doubled our response from the prior year,” said Debbie Smith, Community Executive of the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross in a released statement.

The American Red Cross has an initiative to help those in need with smoke detectors.

When requested the Red Cross furnish a free smoke detector and a volunteer to properly install it in a home.

This Red Cross smoke detector initiative is nationwide effort, with a goal of reducing the number of fire deaths.

The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross is funded by donations from the community.

One of the major fundraisers for the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross each year is Dancing With Our Stars (DWOS). The fundraiser pair’s local celebrities with dancers, the pair will develop a dance routine and compete against other pairs, while raising money for the Red Cross.

The 2016 lineup of DWOS dancers and partners include, Rick Ferrell, Singer/Songwriter and Kim Paige. Ryan Hall, Assistant Vice President WesBanco of Jackson and Rebecca Adkins. Amy Heim, dentist and Jeremy Slusher.

Chris Keeton, Family Nurse Practitioner at King’s Daughters Ohio and Dianne Coriell. Teresa Martin, local dentist and Darrell Yeley. Krista Putnam, Data Coordinator YEI Corp and Francesca Hartop.

Nick Rutman, Rutman Burnside Realty Group and Autumn Thompson. Ashley Schwamberger, Firefighter Portsmouth Fire Dept. and Ladd Dunham. Jessica Suber, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Southern Ohio Medical Center and Jared Jenkins. Tim Wells, Veterinary Technician and the Co-owner of Shawnee Animal Clinic and Julie Blackburn.

Dancers have spent several months learning a dance which they will perform at Dancing With Our Stars 2016 and compete to raise the most money for the American Red Cross.

The person raising the most money between now and the end of the DWOS event will be awarded the fundraising mirror ball trophy.

There are a number of ways the community can help their favorite star, attend a fundraiser or cast a vote.

Each vote is in the form of a dollar that will be donated to the local chapter.

Online voting is available at www.crowdrise.com/dwosORV2016.

The 2015 DWOS event raised more than $180,000 for the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The 2016 DWOS event is scheduled for March 19 at the Friend’s Community Center. There are roughly 20 tickets still available for the event. To purchase a ticket call the Red Cross office at 740-354-3293.

Proceeds from DWOS helps fund services provided to the community by the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.

For more information visit the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross on Facebook or at their offices located at 1801 Robinson Ave, in Portsmouth, or call 740-354-3293.

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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