Heroes step forward to help families affected by home fires

On Thursday, March 28, more than half a dozen people pledged to help a family after a home fire. The Red Cross hosted a Heroes event, sharing the need for our community to give to families through Red Cross programs and services.

Learn how you can be a hero

retha Pinkney, who lost her son and all her belongings in a fire, spoke at the event.

Margretha Pinkney, who lost her son and all her belongings in a fire, spoke at the event.

“It’s because of the Red Cross that I was able to start putting the pieces of my life together again,” Margretha shared with the audience.

Red Cross board member Robert Wiseman (left) poses with Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Howard, owner of Autobell, which is the SuperHero of the Heroes campaign.

Charlotte Fire Department Chief John Hannan briefly spoke about how the Red Cross and fire department work together during emergencies.

At the end of the evening, WBTV Anchor Jamie Boll, who emceed the event, asked audience members to step forward to be a hero by pledging $1,000, or by contributing to the campaign in any way they can.

He recognized Chuck Howard, from Autobell, which is the “Superhero” for the campaign, having pledged $15,000 toward Red Cross emergency services.

By the end of the evening, more than $8,000 was donated, which will help eight families start the road to recovery after a home fire.

See more pictures


We are halfway through Red Cross Month!

As you’ve likely heard by now, March is Red Cross Month. The annual Presidential Proclamation highlights the month in a way that allows the organization to publicly thank Americans for their past support, promote existing Red Cross programs and services, and recruit new volunteers and blood donors.

If you’re anything like most people, you probably haven’t followed through – at least not 100% – on your New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps you resolved to start volunteering, or to donate blood more regularly, or to finally take that CPR class…and now here it is March, and you still haven’t signed up for an orientation, made an appointment to donate, or registered for the class.

What are you waiting for?

Don’t let the month of March – a perfect opportunity to finally act on those resolutions – pass you by without taking a step toward getting involved with the American Red Cross as a volunteer, blood donor, or class participant.

Here are the basics:

  • If you’d like to donate blood, visit our blood donation website and enter your zip code. You’ll be immediately directed to a page listing all of the upcoming blood drives in your area. Follow the instructions to schedule an appointment online and then show up – it’s that easy!
  • If you’d like to volunteer, click on the link to your chapter’s website, and then on the heading on the chapter’s homepage that reads, “Volunteer”. (Each chapter’s website is slightly different, but all will have links on their homepages with similar – if not identical – headings.) You’ll be volunteering before you know it! You can also call your local chapter to get information on volunteering.
  • If you’d like to take a class, enter your zip code here.
  • If you’d like to donate money, visit our donation page at redcross.org to see a variety of ways to donate.
  • If you’d like to become a Red Cross Hero, sign up to help fundraise here.

So, what are you waiting for?

From client to donor: Margretha pledges to be a Hero!

A few days ago, we shared with you Margretha Pinkney’s story.

Margretha Pinkney chats with Herman Sterling, the volunteer who worked with her in the days and weeks following the fire.


On Oct. 10, 2011, Margretha’s Huntersville, NC, home, was engulfed in flames, and her 9-year-old son, Nikko’las, did not survive the fire.

Since then, the Red Cross has been working with Margretha to help her find a place to stay, giving her assistance for food and clothing, and most importantly, providing her emotional support.

“The Red Cross didn’t make me feel like a victim,” she said. “I feel like a part of the family.”

In fact, Margretha feels so connected to the Red Cross that she has decided to be a hero for the Red Cross. That means she has pledged to raise money for people affected by home fires.

Most heroes pledge to raise $1,000. Margretha raised $1,000 in just 24 hours. “So let’s make my goal $,5000,” she said.

You can visit Margretha’s page here: Team Nikko Heroes Page

Want to be a hero? Find out more.

Vote today (and every day) for this model hero

The following was written by Sam Migit, former Red Cross staffer and current Red Cross volunteer, about how she hopes to be a hero this month:

I entered a the Maurices Main Street Model Search this year in the hopes of raising money for my favorite nonprofit, the American Red Cross.

I currently volunteer as a Red Cross Disaster Action Team member, which means when there is a home fire or other disaster, I go to the scene immediately to provide assistance to the family.

I have seen firsthand how the Red Cross helps people affected by disasters, and that’s why if I win this contest, the $7,500 will go to the Red Cross.

Red Cross Disaster Relief relies on donations from our community and is run by volunteers, just like me.

To vote for me: Visit www.mauricesmainstreetmodel.com, search for Sam Migit and vote EACH day until March 19, 2012. 

Sam is a model example of what it means to be a hero for the Red Cross. Want to be a hero? Find out how you can help raise money for the Red Cross through our Heroes program!

Everyone has the chance to be a hero

Home fires.

They make up more than 90 percent of the disasters the Red Cross responds to.

They happen every day in our community.

They don’t care where you live, how much money you make or what you look like.

They are devastating, and they are happening right now.

The American Red Cross responds to home fires, showing up on the scene immediately to help the family by providing emergency assistance.

We’re able to be there for that family because our community has always been there for us – through volunteering their time or donating their money.

This month, we’re asking YOU to be a HERO for the Red Cross by pledging to raise or donate $1,000.

That $1,000 is enough money to provide emergency assistance for a family after they experience a home fire. It provides them comfort, because they know where they’ll sleep that night, where their next meal is coming from and how they’ll be able to get on the road to recovery.

Find out how you can be a hero or donate today: Be A Hero

Red Cross featured on Hero and Zero

A young girl, Anna, spent her summer at Camp Happy Heart. On one July afternoon, she was practicing her diving, when she suddenly had a seizure in the water.

An onlooker, Chris, noticed Anna struggling in the water. He was able to pull her to safety and gave her cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Terry Hanson, who works with the John Boy and Billy Show, has a history himself of saving lives through giving CPR.

Hanson heard Chris and Anna’s story and decided to feature them on a segment called “Hero and a Zero.”

He was able to provide some insight into the recent debate over compression-only CPR.

Listen to the broadcast