Author Archives: rebeccaliudzius

Online Babysitting Training, Provided by the Red Cross

Babysitting is a great way for teens to begin to make their own money. It was my first job, and I absolutely loved it. The kids were awesome, and I loved having my own money that I did not have to ask Mom and Dad for. However, I do remember being a little bit intimidated at first by the thought of having to take care of another child on my own. If I could go back in time, I would definitely have signed up for a Red Cross babysitting class before I started working, to relay my nervousness.

Stock Photography taken for the American Red Cross babysitter's training video.

The Red Cross has offered an in-person training course for some time now, but has recently launched an online course that can be completed at home, in four hours, at the student’s convenience.

The online course offers all of the same information that the traditional in-person training does. The course ensures that the student masters the information because he or she must pass each lesson before moving on to the next. This is a self paced course, so the student can take as much time as he or she needs to practice each lesson. The online course is interactive; it has animated hosts, videos, case study scenarios, and drag‐and‐drop and point and click exercises.

The Course Outline includes the following lessons:
• The Business of Babysitting
• You’re the Boss
• Safe and Sound on the Job
• Playing with Kids of All Ages
• From Feeding to Bedtime: Caring For Kids
• It’s an Emergency- Now What?
• Final Exam

Additionally, participants have unlimited access to downloadable resources that can be used for additional self‐learning or to refresh their skills. Those resources include resume templates, interview checklists, fact sheets, skill sheets, family information cards, parent consent and contact cards.

Upon successful completion of the online course, students will receive certification stating that they have completed the American Red Cross Babysitting Basics course.

Another advantage of the online version of the course is the price. The cost of the course is $29.95, while the in-person training costs $85, because it is taught by a certified instructor. If you wish to sign up for either the online or in-person course, or learn more about them, click this link.

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Have you been trained in CPR? If not, why not? CPR is the most effective way to help someone who is choking before emergency services arrives. 1 in 4 Americans have found themselves in a situation where someone needed CPR. … Continue reading

Zombies have taken over Earth!

Well, maybe not literally, but they sure have taken over our televisions haven’t they? From The Walking Dead, to World War Z, to Zombieland, to all the other zombie-themed TV shows and movies that have come out in the past few years, we seem to have some kind of fascination with the undead. And with Halloween just around the corner, more and more zombies are sure to be popping up at your door shouting, “Trick or Treat!”

So, while zombies may not be a real threat to us, we should be keeping in mind some important safety tips for Halloween. The American Red Cross has come up with a couple of rhymes to help you and your kids remember some safety rules for the upcoming fright-filled night!

Alone is something you never want to be when the ghosts are out and the ghouls roam free! (Walk in groups or with a trusted adult, never alone.)

Candy and treats are very sweet, but make sure a grown-up checks your goodies before you eat! (Make sure to remove open packages and choking hazards.)

Whether you’re dressed as a bear or a park ranger, accept treats at the door, but please don’t go into the house of a stranger.

You may visit many homes on Halloween night, but only visit those with a bright porch light.

Scary monsters are a Halloween feature, be on the lookout for all sorts of creatures. (…maybe not zombies, but use caution around stray dogs and other unfamiliar animals!)

For a full list of our rhyming rules, check out this link.Have a safe and spooky Halloween! Look out for those zombies!

Some Essential Apps for your New iPhone

The latest craze in technology this month is Apple’s release of the new generation of iPhones- the iPhone 5s and 5c. For those of you who have already gotten your hands on this new hardware, or for anyone else still trucking along with an older iPhone, or a Droid, there are a few apps that every Smartphone user should download.

The first is the American Red Cross First Aid app. This is a great tool to have handy in case of any small emergency that could happen in your everyday life. The First Aid app provides step-by-step instructions on how to handle most common first aid situations, such as asthma attacks, choking, heat stroke, poisoning, and many more. It also contains videos and animations, making instructions easier to understand. Additionally, the app comes loaded with safety and preparedness tips. This is a great app to have installed on your phone because you can never be too prepared for an emergency-small or big.

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For those bigger emergencies, the Red Cross also provides a number of apps based on specific disasters. These include the Earthquake, Tornado, Wildfire, and Hurricane mobile apps. Depending on what region of the country you live in, one or all of these apps could be useful to have. These disaster-specific apps provide local and real-time alerts for the disaster, and give instant information on what to do before, during, and after the disaster. The apps also include the location of nearby Red Cross shelters. This information could be vital in saving you and your family’s lives.

Another great feature of these apps is the “I’m Safe” button, which lets your family and friends know that you are out of harm’s way through your social media sites. This is a great way to let loved ones know that you are okay, without having to call everyone in your contact list.

Additionally, you can download disaster-specific apps relevant to your loved ones’ regions. This will enable you to stay current on disasters across the country that could be affecting your family. Encourage your family and friends to do so as well!

Lastly, if you are looking to volunteer for the Red Cross, an easy way to get involved is the Team Red Cross app. This app will send you push notifications for volunteer jobs based on your location. You can accept these jobs for yourself, or share them with your friends. For people who want to get started volunteering, but are unsure how to do so, the Team Red Cross app is a great tool to have.

All of these apps can be downloaded for free from the Apple app store or the Google Play store. The information provided by the apps is important to have handy- just in case. Being prepared for an emergency can make a world of difference, and so can volunteering to help those affected by disasters.

Want to help out but don’t know how? Volunteer!

Given the current flooding that is happening in Colorado, there are likely plenty of people in America who are thinking about volunteering to try to help out these suffering communities. A great way for those people to help out is to volunteer with the Red Cross. Brenda Brouillette, the Regional Emergency Services Director for the Red Cross of Central and Western Massachusetts, made her first connection with the Red Cross after September 11, 2001. After the tragedy that occurred on that day, Brenda felt helpless. She wanted to do soemthing but didn’t know how. Brenda decided the best way to stop from feeling helpless was to move to action and become a volunteer.

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After heading to her local Red Cross chapter, Brenda learned that someone cannot immediately jump into action as a Red Cross volunteer. New volunteers need to go through a training course to learn the history of the Red Cross, and to become knowledgeable about the different services that the Red Cross provides. Brenda completed her training, and was amazed by all that the Red Cross does. She volunteered with the organization for nine months, helping with local emergencies such as house fires, and helping communities with emergency preparedness. She was then hired full time.

 
Brenda decided to start volunteering after the tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001. I asked Brenda what she would say to someone who wants to help the communities in Colorado. She said that like her, most people probably assume that they will immediately be sent out to help with huge disasters right away. The prospect of being deployed to assist with major emergencies such as the Colorado floods or September 11 can be a little bit intimidating. However, any new volunteers will go through the same training that Brenda did, and that every single new volunteer across the country will go through. If someone decides to volunteer, they will be assigned to help with their own community, with smaller emergencies such as house fires. September is National Preparedness Month, and local Red Cross chapters across the country can use the help of volunteers. In 2001, Brenda wanted to help after witnessing a tragedy. Today, anyone feeling the same way that Brenda did after 9/11 should locate their local Red Cross and see how they can help.

Bravery in the Face of Tragedy

 It is truly incredible to me how often people who are victims of horrible tragedies can use their stories to help other people. Tracy Vaillancourt is a perfect example of one of those people. Tracy lost her son, Brian Moquin, to the war in Afghanistan. Instead of retreating into her grief, something that would have been perfectly plausible for that kind of loss, Tracy wanted to proactively honor Brian’s memory. Tracy decided to become a part of Project New Hope, a wonderful organization that helps veterans and their families transition from military life to civilian life back at home. That organization’s website can be found here http://www.projectnewhopema.org/

What does this have to do with the American Red Cross? About five years ago, in partnership with Project New Hope, Tracy organized a car show in Brian’s memory which benefitted both Project New Hope and the Red Cross Service to Armed Forces program. The Red Cross received a $1,000 donation from that show! How fantastic is that? Our organization is viable due to generous volunteerism and donations. The Red Cross thanks Tracy for volunteering her time and energy to benefit our Service to Armed Forces Program.

What’s even better is that Tracy, who is now the Vice President of Project New Hope, is not done yet! On November 9, 2013, in partnership with the Red Cross of Central Massachusetts, Project New Hope will host a Night of Comedy at The Manor in West Boylston, MA. The proceeds from this Comedy Fundraiser will, like the car show, benefit veterans and military families. If you are interested in attending, please see attached flyer.

People like Tracy Vaillancourt really astound me. Thanks to her bravery in the face of tragedy, the Red Cross and Project New Hope can continue their work in helping veterans and their families. Thank you, Tracy!

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