New Red Cross office brings more services to St. Charles

Pillowcase Project, hurricane prevention among new programs

Few emergency aid organizations are as recognized as the American Red Cross, which makes it even better news that it has opened an office in St. Charles Parish.

“The new office will allow our staff to more closely engage with our volunteers and partner organizations active in this area,” said Greg Roques, regional communications and marketing manager.

Located in the C.A.R.E. Center, 171 Keller St., Hahnville, the office is conveniently located for Bayou/River volunteers and partners to engage in the Red Cross mission, and for the local community to access and learn about its services.

United way of St. Charles helps fund Red Cross activities in the parish.

Roques said the location also allows for holding more local events, including neighborhood smoke alarm installations and Pillowcase Project youth preparedness sessions, which have been provided to more than 2,000 people in the parish area this year.

The Red Cross is planning a fire canvassing activity in the St. Charles/River Parish area in October, as part of Fire Prevention Month, Roques said. These events typically involve several teams going door-to-door through neighborhoods offering to install fire alarms for residents who need them, as well as sharing fire prevention tips.Also planned for the parish in the coming months is a Red Cross Pillowcase Project class at a local elementary school, he said.

This hour-long course educates children grades 3 – 5 on disaster preparedness.

At the end of the class, students receive a pillowcase they can decorate and fill with their own emergency preparedness supplies.

Overall, the Louisiana Region of the Red Cross serves the 4.65 million residents in the state, while also supporting others across the country and around the world.

This year, the Louisiana Red Cross’ Southeast chapter will celebrate its centennial, serving communities from across the greater New Orleans, Northshore, River and Bayou parish areas.

Statewide, the American Red Cross in Louisiana has mobilized to assist with volunteers and donor assistance.

Roques said all Red Cross staff, including more than 4,700 volunteers and staff from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, worked around the clock last year to assist victims in Louisiana’s historic flood.

Last year, the organization responded to 1,530 local disasters and helped 2,000 families rebuild their lives following a disaster, and provided 22,300 people with preparedness and resiliency training. It trained 39,100 people in health and safety techniques, and of them 35 reported they used these skills to save or sustain a life.

In addition to domestic disaster relief, the American Red Cross offers educational programs that promote health and safety, support and comfort for military members and their families, and provide international relief and development programs.

Red Cross volunteer training is available every Tuesday (“Training Tuesdays”) at the St. Charles Red Cross office in the C.A.R.E. Center. Topics include setting up and managing a shelter and providing care; responding to large-scale disasters; serving as a Disaster Action Team volunteer; becoming a Pillowcase Project – Youth Preparedness presenter; disaster preparedness including fire safety; and CPR and First Aid courses.

For more information on upcoming volunteer trainings or to reserve a spot for a class, contact Shane Taylor at shane.taylor@redcross.org.

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