Three Cheers for Paul!

So, the other day, this young man named Paul van Vliet stops by Red Cross offices in Minneapolis and drops off comfort kits for kids. How cool is that? He (Paul) comes up with his own project idea (making comfort kits for kids) and provides them (the kits) to us (Red Cross) so that our disaster relief workers can give the kits to kids affected by disasters (like fires, floods, & tornadoes).

Now, let’s give some credit to us (Red Cross) because we came up with the original comfort kits for adults and children idea, but we rely on motivated and generous peeps like Paul to make this kits and help reduce the suffering of people who escape burning buildings or high waters. Paul’s dad John was on hand for the comfort kits for kids drop off. He took a fine photo of his son Paul (top & bottom) and then sent us a nice note (excerpt below left).

“It was great to meet you at the Twin Cities’ Red Cross office today. Thanks for your interest in my son, Paul’s, Eagle Scout project. It was a wonderful surprise and honor to meet Phil Hansen, an Eagle Scout himself. I know Paul was very impressed and honored by Mr. Hanson’s enthusiastic reaction to his project. And I am sure Paul will remember this day for the rest of his life. Most important, he and I are gratified to know these comfort kits will benefit the littlest and most vulnerable victims of disasters.”

Well, John, we think your son is the bee’s knees. We could not do what we do without him and others like him. We wish Paul many happy days during his next adventure (college) and hope that he will make his way around the world and back to us some time in the future.

Cinematic distractions for your head cold zone

Most have heard cold prevention steps (wash your hands often, don’t touch your eyes with hands, drink fluids, and so on), but inevitably this winter someone (maybe you) is going to catch a cold (100+ viruses cause it) and have to stay home (more prescribed advice) at some point.  By then, all you really want is a soft tissue (with lotion please), some stuffy nose relief, and anything to do while you do nothing (get your rest). How about a movie? With comfort-giving in mind, Red Cross staff from around the Northern Minnesota Region offer these cinematic distractions for your head cold zone.

Garden State,” because it’s gentle, and quiet, and lovely.  Angela C.

Big Fish” by Tim Burton. Ok – well, anything by Tim Burton.  Storytelling, myths, and meaning. Plus, how can you go wrong with Ewan McGregor and Helena Bonham Carter? Carrie C.-G.

You’ve Got Mail”  : because Meg Ryan is sick with a cold and her apartment is littered with tissues & dirty dishes and she answers the door in her pajamas and a trench coat. Of course Tom Hanks is very sweet and brings her flowers. Beth D.

In my 12 years with Red Cross I have never taken a sick day!  When I had knee surgery, I spent the recovery day with Ed Winters and the men of Easy Company, “Band of Brothers.” Tony G.

If I want to cry, I watch “The Power of One,”great story, good versus bad, do the right thing. Jill W.

What Dreams May Come,” with Robin Williams. It’s a guilty pleasure.  I just love the visuals, I guess, and it still always makes me cry.  Besides, it’s about a painter. Judy H.-G.

Mrs. Doubtfire.” It’s one of those movies that I can watch again and again. I love the mixture of dumb and mature humor. Keith B.

My go-to movie is “Almost Famous.” It has everything you want: comedy, drama, love, music.  Kristi F.

Jumanji.”  I can never get enough Robin Williams. This is fun, fast paced fantasy movie that is sure to transport you from your illness for a time. Phil H.

Love Actually.”   I love the British zaniness, the music and the fun actors. It uplifts my spirit and makes me want to get up and dance with the prime minister when he dances to “Jump for my Love.” I feel that “love is all around me.” (One of the lines in the movie).  Lori P

In between movie-watching, you can read more (serious stuff) about the Common Cold  and the Seasonal Flu. Most of all, we hope that you feel better soon. XOXO!

Stuffing Comfort

Wells Fargo employees, including Emily Wilke (center), stuffing Red Cross comfort kits. Photo credit: Carrie Monroe O'Keefe/American Red Cross

Little things do matter. Take a Red Cross comfort kit. It consists of shampoo, toothbrush, washcloth, and other toiletry essentials. These are small things that add up to big comfort after disaster.

Recently, Minneapolis-based Wells Fargo employees helped make more than 300 comfort kits that Red Cross volunteers will give to families affected by home fires, flooding, and other disasters.

Helping out like this is a darn cool thing to do for your community. Thank you, Wells Fargo, for stuffing a bit of comfort for when people need it the most.

Others can help too by shopping the 2011 Red Cross Holiday Giving Catalog.