Top Ten Valentine’s Day Tidbits from the Red Cross

Yes, it is back again- another Valentine’s Day for the books. If you’re like me (a complete procrastinator who also considers herself an extraordinary planner) you’re still struggling to think of that perfect gift for your special guy or girl. If you’re not like me and you’ve had the perfect restaurant, candies and romantic playlist picked out for weeks then you can get out of here. Just joking! Seal the deal on your already amazing plans or fill your open February 14 schedule with these “Top Ten Things to do with your Lover” ideas from the Red Cross (yes, I added with your lover).

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Who doesn’t love the selfless, sweet, caring guy who chooses to spend this special day donating his very own blood. You are touched by his compassionate soul and follow his lead. Now stick around and grab some cookies or head to that chocolate shop down the street to get rid of that slight feeling of light-headedness.

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Maybe you’ve just stepped into the powdery fluff floating from the sky or realized you and your date both share the same love of lady synchronizing swimming but you feel the moment and some smooching happens. Be careful people. It is F-L-U season. To ensure safe kissing practices check up on these tips to stay flu free.

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Ok, so you chose to stay in, cozy up to the fire (who doesn’t have a fireplace in their Bostonian apartment) and sip hot coco with Mr. or Mrs. Valentine this year. It’s great, you’re really enjoying the nice quiet night but feel like something is missing. Two words- Digital Fundraisers. Let’s get some productivity in your night. Then go back to the coco.

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Valentine’s didn’t go as planned. Your blind date was a L7 weenie. You’re back at home reliving the reality of his choice of the dreaded Hawaiian shirt and the seventh call with his mom when you just really need something besides your glass of chardonnay to turn that mood around. DING DING DING! Donate some of that money you would have spent on your second bottle of 2 buck chuck to the Red Cross (maybe more than 2 bucks though c’mon now).

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Dinner is on the table, Sinatra is asking luck to be a lady tonight, candles are lit and the door bell rings. Sparky leaps up out of his trance focused on the burnt t-bone you very kindly sacrificed an hour ago and brings the entire table down with him. Candles. On the ground. Flames. Date no more. Better luck next year in your new apartment. Don’t let this be your story by being prepared.

By the way, Sparky, #1 known dog name am I right?

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Let’s stray from the norm. No chocolates or fancy dinner reservations. You guys want to do something different. Why don’t you spend your day brushing up on your first aid and CPR skills in a Red Cross class? Now you not only have the certainty of your love for one another but you also know he won’t sit dumbfounded while the ring he masterfully baked into your slice of cake slips down your throat. Too graphic? Ya, take the class.

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Hit up the Red Cross store for a special Valentine Day gift. Nothing says I love you more than safety gear or a nice warm fleece… I’d take the fleece. They look comfy.

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Don’t let disaster strike on your special day. Hey, you didn’t know she was allergic to daisies or that this restaurant would make you feel like a piece of meat that’s on its eighth hour in the crock pot causing your pit stains to be on point. You didn’t have the foresight for that and that’s fine but you CAN be prepared for a different kind of disaster- a natural disaster.

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She’s the technological type. Always up to date on the newest ipod, ipad and every app to go with them. Impress her with the Red Cross app. Make her techy head spin with your intelligence and grace as you guide her through her very own first aid app.

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The couple who volunteers together stays together. It is just a known fact. Check up on volunteering opportunities around your local neighborhoods. Think about all the memories and experiences you can lovingly look back twenty years from now. Yes, volunteer = stay together. Forever.


Red Cross not playing games around here

Leadership Development Training

American Red Cross volunteers and staff joined in a tabletop game to talk about what happens in a disaster response. At the Rhode Island Disaster Institute leaders are developed in all fields, including disaster services techonology and instruction.

Vitulo PotatoAmong the exercises are one where you learn to put a straw through a potato and then teach that skill to someone else.

At left, Divisional Disaster leader Tom Vitullo shows off his tuber.

Disaster College in Peabody Yields Four New Volunteers

This past Saturday in Peabody at our Disaster Services: An Overview (DSO) class we gained four new Red Cross Disaster Volunteers.  These four men and women want to make a difference in their community and support those who are displaced and in need.  Taking on this duty as a Disaster Volunteer is no small undertaking, but by becoming a volunteer they are able to make a significant difference in their community, helping people in their time of greatest need.

Disaster College in Peabody

Disaster College in Peabody

If you are interested in helping your community, you can participate in our day long DSO class.  After just one eight hour training on Disaster Services and Shelter Operations you can begin serving your community.  Join us on August 24, September 21, or October 19 from 9:00am to 5:00pm at Cambridge Headquarters to participate in this free class.

To apply for the class please call Kelly Miller at 617-274-5336 or contact her at

Love the Water? Then Get Trained and Jump In!

August is almost upon us and that can only mean one thing: the dreaded end of summer.  While some of us may feel a bit depressed during this time, there’s still plenty of time to catch the waves and soak in the sun at your local beach or pool.  If you love the water, why not learn how to swim safely and help others while having fun!

Aquatics Picture

The Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts is offering aquatics training courses to those who are interested in becoming a lifeguard or water safety instructor.  If you are 15 years of age or older you are eligible to participate in a Lifeguarding course, and if you are 16 years old you can register for the Water Safety Instructor course.  Not only will you learn valuable water safety skills, but you will have the opportunity to help others. Once you complete a course, you become a certified lifeguard or water safety instructor and can apply to work at your community pool or local beach.

Why spend your summer working indoors when you can enjoy the summer sun while keeping beach goers safe.  While we can’t guarantee you’ll be a candidate for Baywatch, we can give you the skills you need to save someone in distress.

For more information on these and other aquatics classes visit: We’ll see you in the water!

-Saad Akhtar

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