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Merger improves Red Cross operations in Walworth County

Delavan office has closed

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published April 3, 2007, 3:45 p.m.)

A recent Red Cross merger between the Southeast Wisconsin Tri-County Chapter and the Greater Milwaukee Chapter has led to some minor changes for the Red Cross presence in Walworth County.

Here's what Walworth County residents need to know about the Red Cross in their area.


Where do I call if I need the Red Cross?

The new direct line for disaster relief assistance is (800) 236-8680. It is available 24 hours a day.

For non-disaster inquires, Walworth County residents may call Patti O'Brien, executive director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), at the Whitewater office, 162 Main St., (262) 472-9632. The Racine office is still the central hub for Walworth, Racine and Kenosha counties and may be reached at (262) 554-9997 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The Racine office is at 4521 Taylor Ave., Racine.


What happened to the Delavan office?

The Delavan office on Seventh Street closed as part of the merger. Walworth County calls should go through the Whitewater or Racine offices.


Why did the chapters merge?

Having gone through recent major disasters-including Hurricane Katrina-the national Red Cross reevaluated its procedures and decided it could streamline some areas to offer more efficient services, said Debie Truckey, director of community relations.

By having the Greater Milwaukee Chapter take on more administrative responsibilities, more time was freed up for staff in the tri-county area to focus on and execute programs.

The merger also gives the Tri-County Chapter better access to more experts and more volunteers from the Greater Milwaukee Chapter.


What counties now make up Red Cross in Southeastern Wisconsin?

Dodge, Jefferson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth and Waukesha.


Are programs still being offered in Walworth County?

Yes. Walworth County will still have its typical Red Cross programs, including blood drives, lifeguard training, CPR and first aid training, pet safety and pet first aid, emergency preparedness seminars and more.


How can I help the Red Cross?

The Red Cross has a number of ways people can donate their time, blood or money.

Volunteer positions range from passing out juice and cookies at blood drives to being a member of a disaster action team. Opportunities are listed on the chapter's Web site, www.redcrossinsewis.org.

To find a blood drive near you call (800) GIVE-LIFE.

Financial donations can be made by sending a check to: The American Red Cross, PO Box 88711, Milwaukee, WI, 53288-0711. Checks designated to remain in the tri-county area will still be honored, particularly those contributions intended to support specific disasters. Donations may also be made by calling (414) 342-8680.

To make national donations, call (800) HELP-NOW.


How do I volunteer for the tri-county area?

Contact Cliff Miller at the Racine office, (262) 554-9997 ext. 19, for more information and training schedules. Volunteer opportunities are also online at www. http://www.redcrossinsewis.org. Click on the "volunteer now" link.


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