American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter

Rating: 4.67 stars   6 reviews

Issues: Disaster Aid, Human Services

Location: 2731 North First Street San Jose CA 95134 USA

Mission: The American Red Cross Santa Clara Valley and Palo Alto Area chapter’s merged into one chapter on 1/1/09 to form the new Silicon Valley Chapter. The chapter(s) have been a leading community resource for helping people to improve the quality of their lives and enhance their self-reliance and concern for others.  The American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter helps the citizens of Santa Clara County prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies through educational health, safety and preparedness classes, youth education programs, and trained volunteer forces that are prepared to respond to any size emergency within minutes.  Our services are extended to a population base of over 2 million individuals encompassing an area of Santa Clara County that extends from Palo Alto south to Gilroy. 
Results: From July 1 to June 30, 2008 the Silicon Valley Chapter responded to over 100 local disasters, providing assistance to 233 families. 425 military personel and their families received communication assistance and more than 30 local military personel received financial assistance. Over 39,000 individuals completed CPR/First Aid, auqatics and waters safety or other life-saving training courses. Over 75,000 people received disaster preparedness information at wellness fairs or through corporate/community presentations. Over 1,500 individuals received care from the First Aid Station Team at a community event.
Target demographics: Disaster assistance is provided free of charge to residents within Santa Clara County, regardless of income.
Geographic areas served: San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Milpitas, Alviso, Gilroy, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Morgan Hill and all unincorporated areas of the County
Programs: The American Red Cross Santa Clara Valley Chapter provides the following programs: Health & Safety programs include First Aid & CPR training, Aquatic & Water Safety training (including lifeguard training and swim instructor training), Certified Nursing Assistant State Licensing testing, Sport Safety training, California Child Care Health and Safety training, Babysitter's training and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training. Trained First Aid teams support many of our communities events, fairs and festivals. Youth Service programs include Basic Aid and Kiddie First Aid training to elementary school aged children, Youth First Aid and CPR, Youth Disaster Preparedness, Youth Leadership Conference and 12 Red Cross clubs in schools throughout the valley. Homelessness Prevention programs include one time financial assistance to qualified applicants and financial planning/budgeting assistance to all clients who receive assistance. Emergency Services program include disaster preparedness and response training for individuals and volunteer members of our response teams. Volunteer Disaster Action Teams respond to local and national disasters from single home fires to major catastrophes. Armed Forces Emergency Services are provided to members of the United States Armed Forces, their families and veterans. We provide a wide range of programs and services to these families and individuals during times of family crisis.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

This is a group of extremely compassionate, dedicated, intelligent people. Most of the work is done by highly trained volunteers who give up their own lives to help others. That's often locally in the case of a house fire or nationally in the case of floods, hurricanes, wildfires, etc. The staff is very small but mighty.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've volunteered here for several years as a client caseworker. This local Red Cross chapter does an excellent job and has some of the best volunteers in the country. I've supported local families recovering from fires and this organization really helps when a disaster unexpectedly strikes. All of my clients have been very thankful despite the shock they are in when they lose everything. It can be very jarring, but the Red Cross is there to help and provides monetary assistance, referrals, counseling, and medical attention through it's volunteer nurses. The organization also provides local disaster preparedness training and we are lucky that they will be there when an earthquake or something worse happens. The office also has a blood donation center. I've always been pleased with this chapter and would recommend both volunteering or making a cash donation.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

I joined F.A.S.T. of Red Cross back in February of 2008. I have been to a few events and all meetings. I really enjoy volunteering with this group. They are very professional, organized, kind and I've learned a lot from them. The events, trainings, BBQ's and even the meetings I look forward too. Everyone works very well together. I would highly recommend anyone to join this team to see for themselves.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

all the events I have attended and the ones I have heard about.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

keep it the same. Maybe offer more classes with more flexible times.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting the new friendly volunteers and learning more medical everytime.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very knowledgeable and friendly.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help the community in any situation since we would be able to buy more gear for any event or disaster.

Ways to make it better...

I could attend more events. It would be nice to have my EMT cert to make things even better in being to help out with any situation.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

possibly getting my ER cert.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I'd recommend getting your training through Red Cross so you are up to par.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

here i received knowledge regarding how to help our community by studying community disaster program and I got idea about how to serve our community during disaster situations such as any fire, accidental situations, flooding etc. Here I got knowledge about various county needs such as the help line number, emergency number, police department number , hospital number so that our volunteer can provide immediate help to needy people.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I enjoyed in serving people who need help

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

October, 2005 What follows is a letter I sent home from my deployment to Louisiana as a Red Cross Volunteer. It would be the first of many national disasters I would volunteer my time. This truly was an experience of a lifetime for me. The New Orleans area, as you might imagine has been devastated, and as usual it is the poorest of the people that are the hardest hit. I have so many stories of loss and destruction that it would take forever to tell, but one I would like to share may give you an idea of what it is like here for these people. The last evacuee shelter that I worked was in Lafitte, a small fishing burg deep in the Louisiana Bayou. Almost all of the families at the shelter are Cajun. All have been shrimpers for many generations and are accustom to flooding. But, none like this last one. One family that I became particularly fond of seems pretty typical of the families here. Here is a small part of their story. The Smith’s were rescued by boat from their home after Hurricane Rita. They thought they had weathered both Katrina and Rita with little damage when a day after Rita hit, a levee broke. The water rose so fast they didn't have a chance to retrieve any of their belongings. Gathering their children into a neighbor’s rowboat they watched as the water quickly filled their house. Within minutes their loss was complete. On the boat ride out of their small community they passed coffins bobbing in the rising waters. Coffins from family cemeteries that had been washed away by the flood. Some of the men braved the snake-infested waters to lash the coffins to their houses so they could be retrieved after the water had subsided. The Smith’s arrived at the shelter soaked to the skin with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Jonathon had worked for the local shrimping company most of his forty years. Catherine, thirty-five years old, was soft spoken and fair complexioned. Her sad, brown eyes peered out from a sweet face, framed by long dark hair. She was in her fifth month of pregnancy with her ninth child. I spent quite a bit of time with Catherine at the local clinic while we waited for her pre-natal exams. This gave us a chance to visit and get to know one another a little. I think she enjoyed being alone with another woman and just talking. Stopping at the local Walgreen's to have her prescriptions filled, she shopped with Red Cross money for personal items, de-tangler for her girls and lotion for herself. I suppose it made life feel a little more normal for her. She told me that she home-schooled all of the younger children. Her children were all bright, polite, well behaved, and extremely loving. One day I found a box of donated children's books under a pile of used clothes. Dragging it out and letting the children go through it, they each had a chance to pick a book for me to read. This began a daily ritual. Sitting on a mat against a wall in the corner of the shelter, draped with children I would read four or five stories, three or four times a day. Even little two-year-old Samantha would sit the entire time and listen intently. Catherine's day consisted of digging through the mounds of donated used clothes, searching for the right size for each of her children. Jonathon went off each day with the three older boys in search of work. The younger children played. Their favorite game was to pretend to be Red Cross Workers. We took that as a great compliment. Their strength of spirit was formidable. They plan to rebuild, and one day go back to fishing the bayou. I have no doubt they will succeed, their resolution is strong. The thing that struck me most with all of these families was the love and caring within not only the family unit but within their community. The families look after one another and help one another despite their own hardships. Although poor, they are rich in spirit, and rich in tradition. On a more personal note, the incredible camaraderie of the volunteers that came from all over this country was awe-inspiring. Living under such circumstances we all bonded quickly and looked after one another as well. Our off times were spent getting to know one another, sharing family stories and laughing a lot. A great way to decompress. By the end of our tour of duty, it felt as if we had known each other a lifetime. I hope to continue to correspond with my fellow volunteers for many years to come. I have also sent photos of the children back to Catherine. I suspect they will be the only photo's she will have of her children for quite some time. I hope this gives you a small glimpse of the Louisiana Bayou, its rich culture, and my incredible life’s journey as a volunteer for the Red Cross.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

action, and it was awesome!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It is an incredible feeling to be able to give back in some small way. The pay back is incredible. I'm payed back for my efforts ten fold each time I go out on a deployment. The camaraderie between the volunteers from all over this country is an inspiring thing.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Helpful, kind, and giving.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help rebuild New Orleans.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

In 1989 the Red Cross came to our area of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Loma Prieta, and helped us without water or power for a week deal with life. What a wonderful resource. Since then I have been a volunteer with the Red Cross trying to give something back. But I think I get more back from assisting fire clients than I do helping them. Its a great organization

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the faces of the people we help after a fire

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide a little more information to the volunteers of how the family is fairing.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the good feeling I get when a family has a roof over their head while they deal with the fire experience

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all putting their time into the right places for the right reasons

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide additional / better support for the clients we already take care of

Ways to make it better...

I only had more time to get involved

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

getting enough people who will spend the time to be trained, and willing to wake up at 3 AM to help

One thing I'd also say is that...

I dont think I will ever ressign because I am getting too busy

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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