Monthly Archives: March 2013

I bet there are going to be a lot of readers of this post who have no idea that the Red Cross offers the Lifeline Service, but I’m here to inform you and explain how this service touched my own personal life.

My Grandma with her two great-grandchildren, my two daughters.

My Grandma with her two great-grandchildren, my two daughters.

My grandmother is 88 years old and relatively healthy. Of course, she’s had her ailments like arthritis, shingles and a couple falls, but nothing too major, so she continues to live alone in her home. I can say that her independent living arrangement continues to be at her own insistence, because our family would like her to live somewhere that can provide her with some assistance with cleaning, meals and other things that you just don’t think about day-to-day, but she is still able to assert her independence, and she does. This seems typical of most aging folk. A compromise came a couple years ago, when she agreed to sign up for some sort of monitoring service with a button she could wear around her neck as her lifeline should she fall or become suddenly unable to reach the phone. (picture the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercial from the early 90’s) This is where Lifeline came in. I was a new employee with the Red Cross, but urged my mother to choose the service with a tie to my new organization and she did.

Since becoming a subscriber to the service, my grandmother has made use of it more than once. I recall one time she took a small spill while trying to dust a higher shelf and the fall alerted Lifeline officials to check on her. That time, she was fine, but a more serious incident happened recently when she had to press the button for help. Dispatchers were able to call medics to her home and get in touch with my mom as well. In the end, she was able to get the medical help she needed.

After just 4 days in the hospital, doctors sent her home and she’s back in the care of Lifeline. The service has given her independence and it also gives me peace of mind knowing she has a Red Cross Lifeline to help.

Learn more about Lifeline on our website

Author of this post, Sara Smith is a Communications Specialist with the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Here’s your chance to be on the ground floor of an exciting new project and create videos about a great organization and its wonderful people. Be an American Red Cross Southeastern PA video production intern. We will be launching this summer 30 minute monthly programs that highlight Red Cross safety initiatives. We need someone to help with cameras, lighting, teleprompter etc. during studio sessions as well as pre-production work, like scripts and graphics.

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to shoot and edit stories about responses to local disasters like fires, hurricanes, floods, etc. You’ll meet some of the most amazing people and get to document their work.

You’ll create videos seen by hundreds of people, many of them some of Philadelphia’s most influential leaders.

You’ll be helping one of the world’s most recognized brands get the message out about its work.

And you’ll have fun.

Go to to check out the kind of videos you’d be shooting and editing.

Below is a description of the position and the skills we are seeking. College credit is not required, but highly preferred.

American Red Cross, Southeastern PA Internship Opportunity:

Video Production Intern

Purpose: The video production intern will work to produce and edit videos for the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania that will be seen by many high level and influential leaders in the corporate, non-profit, and governmental worlds.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Enthusiastic about supporting the American Red Cross mission
  2. Digitizing video clips and organizing them on internal servers. Ability to convert and save clips from Mac to PC and vice versa crucial.
  3. Helping to manage our YouTube Channel
  4. Filming/editing/selecting video and sound bites and/or creating graphics to make a video anywhere from 45 seconds to 8 minutes long which will be used for a variety of internal and external events and promotion
  5. Assistance with special events, depending on the time of year, including media and client outreach ahead of events, setting up signage, social media during events, escorting of media and VIPs, filming interviews for Chapter, social media videos, etc.
  6. Other duties as assigned.


  1. Editing and videography skills a must, experience with Adobe Creative Suite highly preferred.
  2. Must have access to editing and videography equipment capable of handling DVDs, photos, and other digital media.
  3. Must be reliable and professional
  4. Working knowledge of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and/or Vimeo.
  5. Must be able to handle multiple tasks at once.
  6. Ability and flexibility to work odd hours when necessary for special events with advanced notice or disaster response with possibly little to no notice.
  7. Must go through interview process, complete American Red Cross volunteer application and pass background check.
  8. Commitment to the Red Cross mission of helping others prevents, prepare for, and respond to disasters.
  9. Creative vision with the ability to turn vision into results.
  10. Work under tight deadlines.
  11. Ability to work collaboratively, yet sometimes be able to work with little supervision.
  12. Excellent project management skills.
  13. Writing experience a plus
  14. Calm demeanor.

Reports to: Communications Manager and Chief Communications Officer

Time Commitment: Ideal candidate can commit to 12-20 or more hours a week on a set schedule with flexibility for early and later special events. Schedule and hours are negotiable as related to requirements for intern credits.  Internship lengths are negotiable with candidate and requirements for intern credits. Ideal length would be Spring, Summer and Fall terms (12-15 weeks)

This is an unpaid internship but may qualify for college credit.

To apply, send resume and letter to

8549399695_fa0ec4f209_oThe party was fantastic! The Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania once again proved to be a wonderful host to the 1,200 people who chose to attend this year’s 13th annual Red Ball and support Red Cross House.  Altogether, they helped us raise more than $400,000, breaking the record for the most money raised for a single day SEPA Chapter event. We will use this money to continue to provide shelter, food, care and necessities to those who have lost their homes to disaster.

Once again, the Please Touch Museum proved to be the perfect venue for our “red tie gala”. My role was to greet partygoers as they arrived to have their pictures taken in front of our Red Cross banner and, I was lucky to be working with our wonderful volunteer photographer, Michelle, who made an effort to make every photograph a great one. Everyone looked fabulous and I especially appreciated several red silk vests adding flare to the classic tuxedo attire of certain gentlemen. Many party goers expressed their admiration for the work of The Red Cross and their pleasure in supporting the work of Red Cross House.

I arrived at 4:30 to help set up. For those who have never witnessed the planning and staging that goes on to prepare to host 1,200 people, please understand that it takes a small army of willing, able and energetic workers to carry it off. Last year, I was amazed by the dedication of our volunteers and my opinion has not changed: What a fantastic group of people. Many of our volunteers were working so hard throughout the evening that they missed a few things, like a taste of the seafood at this year’s restaurant winner, Devon Seafood’s table. However, we did try hard to give each other breaks so that we had a chance to wander through the party and enjoy the atmosphere. I sampled many delicious foods during my own short break and may have gotten a little carried away at one of the cupcake stands. I’m very passionate about cupcakes.

Never mind. . .it’s important to note that the VIP Lounge had the lower floor all to itself and, while VIP party goers had full access to the rocking party upstairs, downstairs they enjoyed a quieter atmosphere of mellow jazz from artist Gerald Veasley, soft lighting and incredible food from Chef Daniel Stern of R2L. I thought this worked very well. There was plenty of space for the main event party goers to spread out and enjoy themselves, and their access to the carousel added to their enjoyment of the evening. In addition to the food and the music, demonstrations by professional dancers added elegance and sophistication to an already spectacular event.

Red Cross House furniture, set up at both entrances, reminded our guests of the why we are so grateful for their support of our work at Red Cross House. All proceeds from The Red Ball directly benefit the House, SEPA Chapter’s one-of-a-kind short-term housing facility in University City where hundreds of local families every year begin their recovery from fires, floods, and other disasters.

Several local blogs and news organizations posted photos and news about The Red Ball. Feel free to explore some of the links below.