Hometown Heroes 2015 Profiles: Sylvia Daining

Sylvia DainingWe are continuing a series of posts highlighting the awards recipients for the 2015 Hometown Heroes Celebration put on by the American Red Cross of West Michigan. Each year the American Red Cross celebrates the community heroes who inspire us through their commitment to service and their recognition of the humanity of their neighbors down the street, across the country, and around the world. The event will be held on Thursday, April 30 from 6:00PM-10:00PM at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. For ticket information please visit our Hometown Heroes event page.

The American Red Cross is pleased to honor Sylvia Daining with the Dr. Charles Drew Health Advocate Award, in honor of an individual who has dedicated their life to a cause that directly impacts the health and wellbeing of others.

Sylvia began her career as a Program Administrator at Wedgwood Christian Services. Wedgwood Christian Services aids youth and families through professional counseling and educational services. She concentrated on behavioral and mental health development of at-risk children and families during her thirty years of service.

READ MORE

To learn more about how you can make a difference, please visit http://www.redcross.org

Living as a Global Citizen: The Global Language Bank of West Michigan

The Red Cross Mission is to provide relief to victims of armed conflicts or disaster and assist people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. Through our International Services programs we further the global efforts of the Red Cross by educating the community about these efforts and by facilitating communication among new arrivals such as refugees and immigrants, the organizations that serve them, and families facing communication barriers caused by language, armed conflicts and emergencies. The ability to serve those with limited English ability, especially newly arrived residents to our counties, enables the Chapter not only to help these families meet their basic needs, but also to fulfill the organization’s broader mission by preparing new immigrants and refugees to respond appropriately in the case of a crisis, disaster or other emergency.

daniel

Daniel Kim, the Global Language Bank coordinator in West Michigan

The Global Language Bank Internship Program was founded with the idea of providing a high quality internship opportunity to international college students and translators/interpreters to English as Second Language (ESL) clients in emergency and disaster situations. The Global Language Bank Internship program was developed to meet changing community needs. Services to these individuals are provided free of charge. Furthermore, we have created the cultural competency book to provide assistance both within the Chapter (to other Red Cross departments such as Services to the Armed Forces, Disaster and Volunteer Services) and to other non-profit humanitarian service providers.

New Image2Currently, we have 13 linguistic interns and volunteers who collectively speak more than 15 different languages and dialects and are available seven days a week. The Language Bank provides in-person and over-the-phone interpretation as well as written translations. The Language Bank will promote the Red Cross international services to migrants, refugees, new arrivals and their community groups and service providers with their language abilities in translating official documents, interpretation in interviews, outreach presentation, creating the cultural competency book and more. The Global Language Bank work of multilingual interns and volunteers promises to be a very valuable contribution to the humanitarian work of the American Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Hometown Heroes 2015 Profiles: Judge Sara Smolenski

smolenskiWe are continuing a series of posts highlighting the award recipients  for the 2015 Hometown Heroes Celebration put on by the American Red Cross of West Michigan. Each year the American Red Cross celebrates the community heroes who inspire us through their commitment to service and their recognition of the humanity of their neighbors down the street, across the country, and around the world. The event will be held on Thursday, April 30 from 6:00PM-10:00PM at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. For ticket information please visit our Hometown Heroes event page.

The American Red Cross of West Michigan is proud to honor Judge Sara Smolenski with the Mabel Boardman Spirit of Volunteerism Award. Judge Smolenski has proven her commitment to her community through the many services she provides including her active volunteer efforts.

READ MORE

Hometown Heroes 2015 Profiles: Frederick Bw’Ombongi

View More: http://emilyraephotography.pass.us/wmrecc-5-28We are continuing a series of posts highlighting the awards recipients for the 2015 Hometown Heroes Celebration put on by the American Red Cross of West Michigan. Each year the American Red Cross celebrates the community heroes who inspire us through their commitment to service and their recognition of the humanity of their neighbors down the street, across the country, and around the world. The event will be held on Thursday, April 30 from 6:00PM-10:00PM at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. For ticket information please visit our Hometown Heroes event page.

This year for our Hometown Heroes Celebration, we’re incredibly honored to recognize Frederick Bw’Ombongi for his contributions to not only the West Michigan community but also his efforts internationally. When I first met Frederick in his office at Spectrum Health, he was very humbled to be nominated for the Henry Dunant Global Impact Award, which recognizes an individual who has looked beyond their backyard to serve and improve the lives of people from around the globe. Frederick embodies this spirit and truly enjoys his work locally and internationally.

The Angel of the Battlefield: Clara Barton

m6040194_514x260-clara-barton

March is Women’s History Month!

Clarissa Harlowe Barton, Clara, as she wished to be called, is one of the most honored women in American history. She began teaching school at a time when most teachers were men and she was among the first women to gain employment in the federal government. Barton risked her life to bring supplies and support to soldiers in the field during the Civil War. At age 60, she founded the American Red Cross in 1881 and led it for the next 23 years. Her understanding of the needs of people in distress and the ways in which she could provide help to them guided her throughout her life. By the force of her personal example, she opened paths to the new field of volunteer service. Her intense devotion to serving others resulted in enough achievements to fill several ordinary lifetimes.

READ MORE