Red Cross service spans decades for local volunteer



Every Tuesday morning, Dayl Dougherty is the first person to greet visitors at the Red Cross Triangle Chapter office on Peartree Lane in Raleigh.

Dayl, a retired nurse, volunteers at the chapter’s front desk, answering phones, fielding questions, and comforting families who’ve experienced disasters. She said volunteering with the Red Crossis something that comes naturally.

Growing up, Dayl lived in Virginia and North Carolina, and both of her parents were highly involved in the community. Her dad, who was in the Army Reserve, was called to active duty the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Dayl’s mother, already a Red Cross volunteer, was recruited as a Red Cross “Donut Dolly” to serve in Europe. Donut Dollies deployed with troops overseas to help boost morale during wartime. “She wanted to be where the action was,” Dayl said.

Dayl’s mother traveled with the military, playing games with troops, delivering mail, serving hot meals, providing emotional support, and working on combat equipment. Dayl recalls her mother’s stories of repairing Jeeps on military bases after combat, and driving for dignitaries such as Lieut. Gen. James M. Gavin, a commander from the 82nd Airborne who went on to become a topArmy official.

Dayl said her mother didn’t talk much about her time as a Donut Dolly. She only shared that she was in Auschwitz when the concentration camp was liberated in January of 1945.

Red Cross resurfaced in Dayl’s life when her grandfather became sick with cancer while her father was still deployed during WWII. Thankfully, Red Cross assisted in getting Dayl’s father home in time to tell her grandfather goodbye.

When asked about the importance of the Red Cross in the community, Dayl said, “During hard times, it’s the first place people think of when they are in need.”

For those interested in volunteering with the Red Cross like Dayl and her family, visit

By Haley Franks/American Red Cross

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Red Cross member returns from deployment to Kuwait

By Sigrid Ehlers 

JACKSONILLE, NC – At a military base in Kuwait, two women bond over stories about their families. One woman is Kuwaiti and the other is a staff member of the American Red Cross.

Debra Moore, who was on a six-month deployment to Kuwait


Debra Moore (center) in Kuwait with the Red Cross.

with the Red Cross, said she and the woman drew stick figures on a piece of paper she had in her pocket to communicate. As Moore finished her drawing, the local woman smiled to
show she understood. She then indicated her family members passed away as a result of war, Moore said.


For the next several months, the two remained friends and met up near a Gazebo to share stories. Moore said she appreciated the help of local Kuwaitis who worked on the base.

Moore is a Service to the Armed Forces manager with the Eastern North Carolina Region of the Red Cross. It’s her job to support military members, their families, and veterans by coordinating with Red Cross volunteers to provide emergency services and communication, resiliency training (reintegration, coping skills following deployment, etc.), and support for wounded or ill military personnel. All services are provided free of charge.

“No job is more rewarding,” Moore said. “I love my military members and I love supporting them. I absolutely without a doubt would recommend this to others.”

With the Red Cross, Moore has deployed overseas twice – once to Bagdad, Iraq on July 1, 2010, and the most recent to Kuwait, which ended in May 2016. During her time in Kuwait, Moore was responsible for supporting military members on Camp Buehring, just south of the Iraq border.

At Camp Buehring, Moore said she helped establish a fixed American Red Cross facility on base. There, service members could get a taste of home – escape the desert temperature extremes, read letters from family, enjoy baked goods, and resupply on hygiene items. Many of the comfort items were supplied by Eastern North Carolina community members and Eagle Scouts who shipped care packages to the Red Cross facility.

“Debra’s deployment represents the global mission of the Red Cross,” said Joshua Cain, Red Cross regional director for Services to the Armed Forces in Eastern NC. “Wherever the military goes, the Red Cross goes with them.”

In the 53 counties that represent the Eastern NC Region of the Red Cross, there are 125,000 service members, 150,000 military dependents, and 400,000 veterans, Cain said.

“The military is ingrained into our community,” Cain said. “And in a world that’s so unstable, the military and its members can always count on the Red Cross to be there.”

Of the seven Service to the Armed Forces Red Cross staff members in Eastern North Carolina, Cain said five are veterans and two have military connections.

Debra Moore’s husband, Brad Moore, said he is proud of his wife’s work with the Red Cross overseas. “Debra and I both feel that what she does for the troops is very important,” he said. “I don’t have any problems with her deployments. She followed me when I was on active duty in the Marine Corps and now I follow her around.”

For more information about the Red Cross and its services to the armed forces, or to become a volunteer to help military members, visit, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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Open Letter from a Home Fire Survivor

To Whom It May Concern:

What is the American Red Cross? This is a question that I didn’t know the answer, too, until tragedy struck my family. You have an idea, but do you really know?

On February 25, 2014 my home was totally destroyed by fire. We had nothing left except the clothing we were wearing. The fire happened at about 5:00 p.m. I was just getting off work when I got the news. It took me about 20 minutes to get home, but like I said there was nothing left. I’m not really sure how the Red Cross got involved but we were glad that they did!

They immediately sent out a representative to see what we needed. At the time there were 5 of us living in the residence. So the five of us need help. From the very moment that the Red Cross stepped in, they began to make things easier for us. We were provided with blankets, hygiene products, a credit card for clothing and food. We were also provided a place to stay for 3 or 4 days.

Through the entire ordeal the Red Cross representative kept in touch, always making sure that our basic needs were met. They provided us with needed information, by leading us to the right places and people to talk to.

Now I finally know what the American Red Cross is…to me it is the door that opens to families that get caught up in life’s unforeseen circumstances that they have no control over. They are the helping hand that reaches in and help to pull you up and out. The Red Cross makes you feel as near to normal as you can during crisis. Whether it’s counseling, food, shelter, clothing or friends. They stay with you until you can think clearly and provide you with what you need immediately.

The representative was caring and concerned with out every need. She went above and beyond to help make our transition smooth. Because of her care and concern, we were able to move forward without the fear of being alone. Thank God for our Red Cross Chapter. I could not have done it without your help.

As of May 8, 2014 we moved into a new residence. Through the generosity of neighbors and friends we have everything we need. So again, I thank the Red Cross for giving me the help that I needed to look beyond the tragedy and see the outcome.

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What Does the American Red Cross Do for the Armed Services?

Well, actually quite a bit, and we want to make sure active/retired service personnel and their families know what support is available to them. On Friday, December 12th, a small band of Red Cross volunteers attended the National Guard’s retiree luncheon in Raleigh to help get the word out. Joshua Cain, Director of Service to the Armed Forces for the Eastern Region, arranged for the Red Cross to have a booth at this event, which was also attended by other organizations that lend support to National Guard personnel.

Joshua Cain and RC Volunteers

Joshua Cain and Red Cross Volunteers

To most, the Red Cross is associated with disaster relief and blood drives – and rightfully so. Less known are our military-related services, which is unfortunate considering the sacrifices these individuals and their families make for our country. Thankfully, many of the National Guard retirees we spoke to on Friday had some knowledge of these services. Cain put it all into perspective: “Red Cross volunteers provide a continuum of care that serves new recruits in MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station), service members on military installations across our region, and veterans in VA Medical Facilities. Red Cross services to the Armed Forces ensure that the individuals have support no matter what stage of their military career they may be in.”

Red Cross’ Services to the Armed Forces (SAF) programs provide assistance to 1.4 million active duty service members, 800,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve, 24 million veterans, and their families. The core services offered include:

– Providing emergency communications services when military families are separated by distance and deployments.

– Supporting military hospitals and Veterans Affairs health care facilities.

– Preparing service members and their families for the challenges they may encounter during military life and through their transition to civilian/veteran life. This assistance includes access to financial assistance, psychological first aid training, and reconnection workshops.

“Events such as this one not only give us the opportunity to promote our Armed Forces programs, but often result in new Red Cross volunteers. Providing care and service to others is in their blood,” said Cain. If you would like to help support our military service personnel as part of our Red Cross team, please contact Joshua Cain: or 252-544-9414.

Red Cross Military Emergency Communications for active service members and their families:

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American Red Cross Donor Inducted into the Fenwal Donation Hall of Fame

Cary resident, Michael Zapata, Jr. recognized for commitment to blood donation Thursday, Nov. 6 at Durham Blood Donation Center.

American Red Cross blood and platelet donor Michael Zapata, Jr. is one of 15 donors nationwide inducted into the Donation Hall of Fame, sponsored by Fenwal, Inc. The Donation Hall of Fame recognizes individuals nationwide who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to blood donation.

Durham Hall of Fame Blood Donor Mr. Zapata

Mr. Zapata waits at the bus stop for his regular journey to the Red Cross blood donation center in Durham.

The Red Cross teamed up with Fenwal to induct Zapata into the Donation Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the American Red Cross Durham Blood Donation Center at 4737 University Drive from 2 – 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6 to honor Zapata’s many contributions to people in need of blood transfusions.

“We are excited that Fenwal has recognized Michael,” said Sharon Pitt, CEO for the Carolinas Blood Services Region. “The Fenwal Hall of Fame induction is a fitting tribute to one of our most dedicated donors. He has selflessly helped to give the gift of life to patients in need and is a hero to our community.”

Primarily a platelet donor, Zapata was a part of 12 inspiring donation stories across the country selected for the Fenwal 2014 Donation Hall of Fame. In addition, his story will be featured in the Fenwal 2015 calendar.

As an inductee into the Fenwal Donation Hall of Fame, Zapata also was recognized with a personalized Fenwal Donation Hall of Fame statue and a Donation Hall of Fame lapel pin which will be presented during the induction ceremony.

Michael Zapata’s dedication to helping save lives rises to an exceptional level. A Cary resident, Zapata takes four buses from his home to the American Red Cross Durham Donation Center, every two weeks to donate platelets, a procedure that takes approximately two hours.

“Mr. Zapata is a wonderful person, and is very passionate about his mission to save lives,” said Rossitza Todorova, the Red Cross team supervisor who nominated Zapata. “He has been a platelet donor for twenty years now, and donated whole blood for many years prior to that. We know that we can always count on him to be here for his appointment.”

Zapata starts his donation day by catching the first of four buses around 7 a.m. to travel to the donation center. Always on time, Zapata arrives to greet his Red Cross family with a smile and snacks for the staff before making his triple platelet donation. When asked about the time and commitment to donating regularly, Zapata says, “It’s never more than one hour (that) I wait at the bus stop, and I am well prepared. I have my walker, umbrella, hat, sunscreen, water and snacks.” And, according to the Red Cross staff, a big heart.

“We look forward to partnering with the American Red Cross to induct Michael into the Fenwal Donation Hall of Fame,” said Greg Cinnamon, account executive for Fenwal, a Fresenius-Kabi Company. “His commitment to helping others through donations is honorable and serves as an inspiration to others.”

For more than a decade, Fenwal has partnered with blood centers through the Donation Hall of Fame to recognize the commitment and dedication of extraordinary donors and volunteers. The program celebrates these individuals and the important cause that they support. It provides blood center staff with real, inspiring, devoted donor stories and tools to help centers celebrate them and share their stories.

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About Fenwal
Fenwal Inc. is a medical technology company focused on improving transfusion medicine through unique expertise in blood separation, collection, filtration, storage and transfusion. Acquired by Fresenius Kabi in December 2012, Fenwal offers a broad range of products and services for the automated and manual collection of blood and blood components. Fenwal products and advanced collection and separation technologies are used worldwide. For more information please visit

About Fresenius Kabi
Fresenius Kabi ( is a leading international health care company focusing on products for the therapy and care of critically and chronically ill patients inside and outside the hospital. The company’s product portfolio comprises a comprehensive range of I.V. generic drugs, infusion therapies and clinical nutrition products as well as the medical devices for administering these products. Within transfusion technologies, Fresenius Kabi offers products for whole blood collection and processing as well as for transfusion medicine and cell therapies. Fresenius Kabi is a wholly owned subsidiary of the health care group Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA.

By: Natividad Lewis – American Red Cross Bio Medical

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Recognizing our volunteers in Coastal Carolina – Newbern, NC

The American Red Cross- Coastal Carolina Chapter, Newbern, N.C. held its Volunteer Recognition event on October 16th at the Broadcreek Recreation Center. Approximately 30 volunteers attended the program that highlighted the services and programs the Red Cross has done in the area in the last fiscal year and celebrated the achievements.

An In-Kind check was presented and accepted by Penny Williams, Coastal Carolina Board Chair to represent the 4,735.5 hours of time committed by the volunteers and valuing at $104,842.97.

Special recognition was given to the following award receipents for their exceptional service:

Service to Armed Forces Award: Fred Eldredge, Russell Reed, and Walter Ray Derr

Disaster Services Award: Lanikai Morbley

Rookie of the Year Award: Dan Brown

Blood Services Award: Ruth and Tom McIvors

Volunteer of the Year Award: Lanikai Morbley

Partnership Award: Eastern and Central N.C. Food Bank, Knights of Columbus. Both of these partners were acknowledges for all their continued work with the Red Cross through Disaster Services.

Red Cross Heroes Awards: Kristen Willis  and Joe Avolis. Kristen has worked tiredlessly in her role as a Donor Recruitment Manager, Biomedical Services, with the community and the Coastal Carolinas Chapter. Joe raised $5250 doing a Ride for the Red bike ride from the Virginia/ North Carolina border to the North Carolina/ South Carolina border. Raising awareness along the way about all the important work that the Red Cross does in the community.

Red Cross Hero award receipent

Red Cross Hero award receipent

President’s Volunteer Service Awards- Recognition of volunteer hours completed over the time leading up to June 2014.

Bronze Awards (100 to 249 hours): Eloisa Able, Melvin Allen, Theresa Allen, Ruth McIvor, Tom McIvor, Tom Monte, Michael Soriano, Cameron Stallings, and Penny Williams

Silver Awards (250-499 hours): none

Gold Awards (500-3999 hours): Walter Ray Derr, Fred Eldredge, Patricia Griffin, June Harrison, Marie Howard, Willard Mattmiller, Charles Miller, Lanikai Morbley, Sabita Murray, Russell Reed, and Brenda Wright

Lifetime Awards (4,000 plus hours): Linda Eldredge, Alvin Younger, and Charles Ferko




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Sampson County Fire Claims Lives, Inspires Hope

Link to FayObserver story - Sampson County Fire

Fire quickly engulfed and destroyed the home in Sampson County.

by: James Jarvis, American Red Cross

Andre Smith, or ‘Dre as his friends called him, loved video games, playing basketball, and watching professional wrestling. At ten years old, he was a full-loving child who always had a smile on his face and enjoyed goofing off with his cousins, said Sabrina Sheridan, ‘Dre’s aunt. “He said that he wanted to be a policeman someday so that he could help people,” Sheridan said. ‘Dre’s sister, Tashiya, had dreams of her own.

Tashiya was younger than ‘Dre, only nine years old, but she was certainly no smaller personality. “She lit up the room, “ Sheridan said. “She was always singing, dancing, laughing, or playing. She loved to ‘dress up’ and hoped to become a teacher someday.”
Two beautiful children, full of life and brimming with potential, will unfortunately never achieve their dreams, as they lost their lives along with four others in a tragic mobile home fire in Garland, NC on August 30, 2014. Six lives lost and three families left to grieve over what could have been.

Sabrina Sheridan remembers her sister as a hard-working mother. When Anita Robinson, 33, was not playing games with her children, ‘Dre and Tashiya, or helping them with their homework, she was hard at work to try to provide them with a better life. “She had a personality that everyone loved. Her family was her life and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her,” Sheridan said.

‘Dre and Tashiya were not Anita’s only loves. For the past seven years, Johnnie Newkirk, 35, better known as Kent, was Anita’s man. Kent loved working with his hands, said his aunt, Ms. Lizzie Murphy. “He was always working on car stereos, electronics, anything he could get his hands on. If you needed it fixed, he could do it!”

Kent was a family man, Murphy explained. “He tried to see his son [age 7] as often as he could and he loved Anita’s children as if they were his own.” He remained close to his mother, Laura Ann Newkirk, 63, until his final day.

“Laura Ann was a very quiet person,” said Murphy of her youngest sister. “She read her bible, looked out for everyone, and was really involved with ‘Dre and Tashiya. She cared for them when Anita had to work late and helped them with their homework and basically kept them on track,” Murphy said. When Murphy retired, she reconnected with Laura Ann and the two spoke by telephone sometimes three times a day. “We were very close growing up and it was great to become so close to her again,” she said.

“Everyone loved Possum,” said James Wilson’s mother, Queen Esther Wilson of Clinton, NC. James Wilson, known simply as Possum from the time he was a baby, was the eldest son from among 15 children. Possum was a rugged man – a product of 30 years of hard work as a farmer in nearby Clinton, NC. For nearly 25 years, Possum was Laura Ann’s companion and never far from her side. Queen Esther remembers her son as a God-fearing man who had a heart of gold.

Six lives, three generations – gone. Shortly after 12:30 a.m., in the early morning hours of Aug. 31, 2014, Laura Ann’s mobile home caught fire. “My grandson (Solomon) was the first person to arrive on the scene,” said Joyce Miles, a neighbor and Laura Ann Newkirk’s cousin. “He ran as fast as he could and tried to kick in the door, but the fire threw him backwards. There was nothing anyone could do. In a little less than seven minutes, the whole structure was gone!”

By all accounts, this tragedy could have been prevented if Laura Ann’s mobile home had been protected by smoke alarms. Fire investigators determined that there were no working smoke alarms in Laura Ann’s home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. To help ensure that no other family endures the pain and intense grief that these families endured, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, numerous fire departments of Sampson County, the American Red Cross, and several other local, state, and national organizations partnered October 4th to install nearly 800 10-year smoke alarms in at-risk communities across the county.

Hundreds of volunteers canvassed dozens of neighborhoods across the county to teach people about fire safety, and properly install working fire alarms in their homes. “Fire is everyone’s fight,” said Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin. “By working together, by pooling our resources, and by reaching out to the most at-risk communities, we can prevent future tragedies.”

Through their grief, the families of the people lost that fateful night are grateful to see something positive come from their tragedy. “What they are doing now is just a Godsend and a blessing,” said Murphy. “It’s as if our family has been through a horrible storm and then when it seems darkest, the skies turn blue and all that’s left are little pieces. God will help us put the pieces back together and see us through. Hopefully this program will help ensure that no one else loses their lives unnecessarily.”

“We’re all grieving. We’re all hurting,” said Miles. “The trailer is a constant reminder for me (as it rests across the street from her home). Not an hour goes by that I don’t think of them. I remember Tashiya being so happy the day before… she was singing and laughing and it’s hard to comprehend not hearing that laughter again or seeing them run into the house from the school bus. It’s so sad to see so many generations lost in one tragedy. It’s truly amazing how many people and resources have flowed into our community following this tragedy. Hopefully their efforts will help ensure that no one else will have to experience this.”

To learn more about fire safety, please visit our Home Fire Preparedness page. To learn more about the American Red Cross’ Home Fires Campaign, please visit our Home Fire Campaign page.


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