2007-12-28 / Columnists

Cross Currents

New Year's Resolution: Volunteer For the Red Cross
CommentaryBy Joan Foley Director, American Red Cross Of Greater New York - Queens

JOAN A.FOLEY JOAN A.FOLEY Committed, compassionate, trained volunteers are the heart and soul of the American Red Cross in Greater New York, and a New Year's resolution to devote time to support Far Rockaway residents in 2008 will contribute to the Red Cross mission to help residents prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters.

ARed Cross volunteer is a dedicated, committed and selfless New Yorkers who freely offers his or her services for the greater good of the community. The need for volunteers has never been greater.

Without dedicated volunteers, we wouldn't have the Red Cross.

Our volunteers respond to needs in neighborhoods and across the region.

Remember the power outage in the summer of 2006 and the Rockaways' apartment fire last February? More than 200 volunteers provided food, water and other services during the power outage and another 25 helped during the fire.

Our volunteers do great things every day, and they get back as much as they give, and often much more. They are teachers, college students, retirees and bankers, doctors and business owners. They come to us for a variety of reasons. Many are moved to help after a major disaster, while others wish to donate their time and their professional expertise to benefit members of their communities every day.

The Red Cross offers free training for volunteer classroom instructors (CPR, first aid and children's programs), community outreach leaders and disaster responders.

Volunteer specialists match talents, interests and availability with opportunities.

Students (ages 14-18) can participate in Red Cross Youth Group activities, supporting all programs and helping organize assistance for children affected by homelessness and disaster.

Contact us at our Queens location (718-558-0053), or call 1-877-REDCROSS (1-877-733-2767, extension 2068.

UPCOMING CLASSES

Another New Year's commitment should be to learn safety and first aid skills.

The following are just several of the planned January classes at our Briarwood office.

Dates and times are subject to change.

If you have any questions, or would like more information on these and other classes, including Spanish-language sessions, call 718-558-0053, or visit www.nyredcross.org.

Wednesday, January 9, CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) for the Professional Rescuer, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Cost $110

Saturday, January 12, babysitter's training, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Cost $60

Tuesday, January 15, CPR/AED - for adults, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Cost $65

Wednesday, January 30, standard first aid, 2:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Cost $60

FIGHT THE FLU

Influenza, often called the flu, is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. Seasonal flu in the U.S. is an annual event that begins in December and ends in March.

Pandemic flu is a virus that can cause a flu that is much more serious than seasonal flu.

Pandemic flu spreads easily from person to person around the world in a very short time and causes serious illness and deaths.

Here are some tips to help prevent the spread of germs:

• Wash hands with soap and water,

or clean them with a hand sanitizer.

• Cover mouth and nose with a tissue

when you cough or sneeze, and

clean hands afterward. • Stay home if you are sick. Get

plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids.

• Avoid close contact with people

who are sick. • Keep you living and work areas

clean.

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