Thursday, October 29, 2009


For the second year running, IBM chose the American Red Cross of Central Texas to be the beneficiary of the proceeds from the 2009 IBM Uptown Classic which hit Austin streets on Sunday, October 18, 2009.

More than 1,500 runners, including two wheelchair participants, crowded the IBM campus in the early morning and stretched while the sun rose. Many teams participated, including Tough Cookies and I Am I Can. The race benefited from perfect weather conditions as well.

The event raised over $30,000 to support the American Red Cross of Central Texas' ongoing mission of teaching lifesaving skills, responding to disasters, disaster preparedness training and service to military families. IBM highlighted the ARCCT's commitment to Central Texas in the opening ceremonies, and ARCCT staff thanked IBM for being such a terrific partner and for being chosen as the beneficiary.


Special thanks to over 250 IBM and American Red Cross volunteers, DJ Presley for providing great entertainment, the Austin Toros, and all of our generous sponsors and in-kind donors: 


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The American Red Cross of Central Texas has received a federal grant of $79,000 for the purpose of expanding Red Cross services for military families and veterans. This funding allows the Chapter to provide more community support for military members and their families before, during and after deployment.

The Red Cross will offer regular Military Family Networking Groups, these are gatherings where the family members can hear guest speakers, participate in family activities, record family video and then send the video to their deployed family member, receive other agency referrals, receive child ID kits, register for scholarships to attend CPR and First Aid classes or Babysitting Bootcamps and receive school supplies.

All services are provided free of charge to any current, retired or veteran military personnel and their families. The United States Congress actually mandates that the American Red Cross provide services to the military, however they do not allocate funding for this service.
In addition, the American Red Cross of Central Texas will be hiring a Service to Armed Forces Program Manager to facilitate the expanded services.

The Chapter currently assists 5 to 6 military families a day in Central Texas.   With the additional funding the Red Cross expects to see an increase in the number of families serviced.


From Kevin and Sandy McCoy, Volunteers

This week the Mass Care Action Team (MCAT) received the call to support a Public Health effort in Bastrop County. The call came from Mike Fischer the Emergency Management Coordinator for Bastrop County.

Our mission was to provide coffee, water and snacks to Texas Department of State Health Services workers and other emergency staff & volunteers as they offered flu vaccinations in Bastrop County. The event was hosted by Bastrop school districts, the Texas State Health Department, and Bastrop Emergency Management.

We started before Dawn to gather the supplies we needed. HEB donated doughnuts and a cake to the effort.
We were set up by 7:30AM and we were visited very quickly by state health workers who were getting set up to begin seeing the public.

(Yolanda Holmes of Texas Dept. of State Health Services gets a cup of coffee)
I was very interested in the number of young CERT volunteers in Bastrop. It turns out that they have put together a program with ROTC and HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) members to give them CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training. This volunteer effort was their first deployment. AND they were very hungry and thirsty as all young adults are.

Thank you for the team that responded on such short notice: Curtis Childers, Susan McGinnis, Hilde Sanders. Thanks also to Red Crossers Steve Hailey who came by to support us, and Ron Hilliard who was wearing his hat as Volunteer Coordinator for the effort!

Thanks also to Steve and Elaine Thompson who were working Nature Fest that day, but gave their time and effort to get us set up and to the right location! Also last but not least Wray Hooper helped out the day before getting this event and our Chapter stores restocked.


President of Humanitarian Services for the National American Red Cross visits Austin
Jerry DeFrancisco, President of Humanitarian Services for NHQ will be in Austin and will visit our Chapter next Wednesday, November 4. He REALLY wants to meet our staff and board members and we are looking forward to spending time with him during his visit!

Good News in Development!
We’ve had some good news on the Development front lately. We received a $5,000 grant from Temple Inland and a $79,000 grant from NHQ in support of Services to Armed Forces. Also, the IBM Race was October 19, and we received a $30,000 grant from the proceeds of the race. Thanks again to Sally Aiello and Wal-Mart for their additional $10,000 sponsorship!

Schlotzky’s and the Red Cross
Also, the Schlotzky’s promotion is still ongoing, so if anyone goes out for fast food, try to stop by Schlotzky’s and mention Red Cross so we’ll get a portion of the proceeds! Here’s a link with all the dates and locations.

Education & Training
The Education & Training team has been busy working on new marketing strategies for products, as well as our CPR, First Aid, and other courses. The latest accomplishment is a new online clothing store. If you want to check out a great selection of shirts, hats, fleece, and other items, click here!

Emergency Services
On the Emergency Services side, we’ve been busy as well. I’m dropping in the latest statistics below, but the statistics don’t really tell the story of the wonderful volunteers who are in the office or on the scene of emergencies almost every day. Sadly, a young musician died in one of the recent house fires, which you may have seen on the news. In addition to our Disaster Response Team, the Public information support was critical on this scene, because the other band members, who were also in the house at the time, desperately needed a buffer from the intense media attention. We were able to protect them and offer them the support they needed on what was undoubtedly one of the most difficult days of their young lives.

By the Numbers:

September Stats:
Single Family – 15
Multi Family – 3
59 people were displaced
Approx. $8311 client financial assistance
2 incidents in Bastrop County
8 incidents in Travis County
2 incidents in Burnett County
1 incident in Caldwell County
2 incidents in Milam County
2 incidents in Hays County

October Stats:
Single Family – 3
Multi Family – 3
25 people were displaced

Approx. $5019.55 client financial assistance
1 incident in Bastrop County
3 incidents in Travis County
1 incident in Burnett County

So that’s the latest! As always, send me anything you’d like to share and I’ll pass the word! - Elaine Acker, CEO

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


From Debbie Immel, Chief Development Officer

The American Red Cross of Central Texas has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Temple-Inland Foundation. The funding will assist the American Red Cross of Central Texas when providing immediate support to victims of disasters or emergencies in our 9 county service area. That vital support can consist of shelter, clothing, shoes, food, medication and mental health counseling. The American Red Cross of Central Texas is grateful for Temple-Inland’s support and very appreciative of their wonderful partnership. Thank you Temple-Inland for helping us help the people of Central Texas!

Pictured in the check presentation (from left): Diane Ventresca, Director of Volunteer Services, Debbie Immel, Chief Development Officer, and Carolyn Elmore – Director of Corporate Communication – Temple-Inland