The American Red Cross -- more than just blood
By STEVEN CLEMENTS
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
1, 2010 - When you see the Red Cross symbol what comes to mind?
true; blood drives are an important part of what the Red Cross does.
You may also know that the Carolina Lowcountry Chapter of the American
Red Cross aids and comforts local families in times of need. In
the event of fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, they
are there when we need them. But the Red Cross also offers a wide
range of services that are not as widely known, such as services
to the Armed Forces, veterans, and an abundance of International
My involvement with the Red Cross started with the most unlikely
of circumstances. Charleston architect and artist Tieu Phi Tran,
a political refugee from Vietnam and one of many Boat People who
fled the aftermath of the Vietnam War, approached me about chronicling
his escape from that country in the form of a book. After several
interviews, his harrowing story unfolded. His sisters were abducted
by pirates in the Gulf of Thailand. He never saw them again. His
story wasn't unique; many of the boat people from Vietnam experienced
similar fates but suffered in silence, distrustful of government
understood that writing his story might bring the type of awareness
he was looking for but I wanted to do something to help bring closure.
What had become of his sisters? Despite this desire, the looming
elephant in the room was that nearly 30 years had passed since the
incident happened halfway around the world. What could we do now
that so much time had passed?
little snooping on the Web turned up information about family tracing
services offered by the Red Cross for families separated from their
loved ones due to armed conflict or natural disaster. A little more
digging at the local chapter website and Tieu and I found ourselves
in an orientation class for volunteers taught by Eileen Hadbavny,
the local chapter's International Services Chairperson.
the class, we discussed the case with Eileen. Despite the time that
had passed, she assured us that the Red Cross would take the case.
In fact, the RC is still taking cases from World War II. The American
Red Cross Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center is dedicated
to helping reunite families separated due to the Holocaust. (I have
had the pleasure of assisting a Holocaust family as a case worker
here in Charleston.) September 23rd marked twenty years of Red Cross
assistance to family members of Holocaust victims separated over
60 years ago.
Tieu had hope. The case was accepted and messages were sent to the
Thailand and Vietnam Red Cross chapters requesting assistance with
the search. Regretfully, we received word back that they had exhausted
their efforts to discover the fate of his sisters. Yet, it is still
a comfort to Tieu that the case is permanently on file should something
over a year later I serve as the vice chairman on the International
Services Committee. In addition to performing family tracing services
for others, we are working on a host of other services, such as
The Measles Initiative and our current campaign to Vaccinate a Village.
For those of us in the United States, it is hard to imagine that
over 450 children die each day due to complications from a disease
that is totally preventable.
great news is that it only costs the Red Cross $1 to vaccinate one
child. For more information, about International Services in the
visit our Web site.
isn't a dirty word
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
29, 2010 Its amazing how one little word can have two
vastly different meanings.
you talk to just about any financial adviser and ask about a tried-and-true,
conservative strategy for planning for your retirement, it wont
be long before you hear: Invest early and invest often.
the politician who touts the exactly same conservative strategy
that states, like individuals, need to invest early to reap
bigger, good rewards over the longer term is lambasted as
a liberal of the worst sort who wants to tax and spend you to death.
the sense in that? The guy who conservatively invests his own money
for a long-term personal reward isnt trying to do anything
different if he tries to get the state to invest now so it can have
a big payoff down the road.
Carolina politicians Democrats and Republicans need
to stop drinking the Kool-aid that the only thing they can do in
the face of withering state dollars is to cut more and more of state
government. In fact, they can restructure the states antiquated
tax system to make it fairer, raise some taxes and lower others
to generate a larger revenue stream. In the short term, it might
hurt your wallet a little, but if the state wisely uses the revenue
to invest in education, research, infrastructure and business development,
it will reap huge rewards in just a few years.
you dont believe that, just look to the example of South Carolinas
sister state Queensland in Australia.
Premier Peter Beattie recently has been making a series of lectures
in the Palmetto State about how Queensland was able to transform
itself in less than two decades from a relatively non-diverse economy
that suffered huge educational challenges to a vibrant Smart
State on the leading edge of science and business across the
capital of the Smart State was once a large sleepy country town
with a wonderful outdoor lifestyle but a narrow political climate
stymieing creativity and a lack of opportunities saw a mass exodus
of talent interstate and overseas, he said last week in Charleston
at a speech at MUSC. That is now a thing of the past.
familiar? How did Queensland, which mirrors South Carolinas
population at 4.4 million people, turn the corner?
strategic investment. Over nine years, the state of Queensland invested
more than $3 billion in world-class research and facilities that
stressed global collaboration with the best minds around. Queenslands
investment generated 10 medical research institutes that are benchmarked
against the world. They have global alliances that have spawned
remarkable scientific discoveries that have been commercialized
into money and jobs.
boy, has Queenslands investment paid off. Today, Beattie said
the Australian states life sciences sector employs almost
20,000 people in high-paying jobs, more than two thirds of which
are in the private sector handling the fruit of the research that
the state invested in. Furthermore, the total income across Queenslands
life science industry was estimated to be $5 billion in 2009
almost $2 billion more than in 2007.
other words, incomes grew almost $2 billion over two years as the
state invested $3 billion over nine years. Talk about a stellar
return. And think about how the people who got new jobs from the
$2 billion in income now are paying taxes. In turn, that fuels the
state to make smarter investments and potentially lower tax
rates over time because of additional government revenues now being
commercialization of brain power and innovation will drive the worlds
economic future, Beattie concluded. But it will require
the support of government, the private sector and our research universities
in long-term strategic planning and investment.
to South Carolina politicians: Learn from the Smart State,
our sister state. And add the conservative word invest
to your vocabulary so that it isnt a dirty word, but the foundation
of our states future.
Brack is publisher of Charleston Currents and Statehouse
Report, where this first appeared. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Blue
Water Benefits, a local employee benefits consulting firm that's
home to Charleston's best workforce engineers. Formerly known as
the Horne/Guest agency, Blue Water Benefits is poised to fill this
demand by offering greater flexibility, service and expertise. Innovative
employee benefit plan design ideas, state-of-the-art employee benefit
plan communication techniques and up-to-date compliance information
is what makes us unique. Blue Water Benefits is sensitive to every
opportunity in which we can help our clients improve their employee
benefit plans. To learn more about Blue Water Benefits and The Blue
Water Advantage, visit the company online at: www.bwbenefits.com.
increases for Goodwill's veterans services
just one day last week, Goodwill Industries served 1,156 people
and provided more than $40,000 in clothing vouchers to the area's
the 11 years that Goodwill and the Veterans Administration have
sponsored their Stand Down for Homelessness event, more than 17,000
homeless veterans and other local homeless people have received
more than $600,000 in clothing vouchers as well as medical, dental
and employment services, not to mention a hot meal, a sleeping bag
and new undergarments.
Goodwill and the VA partner to put on the Stand Down each year,
Goodwill's commitment to our veterans does not end there,"
said Robert Smith, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries. "We
provide ongoing employment services and clothing assistance throughout
previously participated in a grant-funded initiative to help homeless
veterans back into the workforce. When the grant was not renewed
in 2009, Goodwill decided that the need was too great to discontinue
the program and committed $200,000 in direct funding. Two years
ago, Goodwill partnered with Low Country Harley to host a Motorcycle
Rally that collects new undergarments that are distributed during
the two-day Stand Down event, held last Thursday and Friday.
the 11-year history of the Stand Down, other partner agencies along
with Goodwill and the VA have been instrumental in providing outreach
to our veterans," Smith said. "Each year the partnerships
grow and we could not do this without the support of businesses
such as Howard Barber and Styling College, who provides haircuts,
and agencies such as the Social Security Commission, S.C. Legal
Services, Good Neighbor Center, Crisis Ministries, Tri-county Family
Ministries, Elk Lodge, Red Cross, NAMI, Veteran Advocates, S.C.
Veteran Affairs, TTC Upward Bound program, Friendship Baptist Church
who provides services, and the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief,
who provides hot meals during the event."
troops return from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Goodwill expects
to see the need for services increase, Smith said. "The goal
is to help transition our returning Veterans back into the workforce
so we won't see them at the Stand Down."
online for more information about Goodwill Industries or for
employment services for veterans, or call 843-566-0072.
Auction raises record-breaking
sum for Operation Home
Operation Home's 2010 Drum-It-Up Auction, held Oct. 24, broke records
and raised more than $126,000.
owners and individuals donated more than 60 auction items for a
capacity crowd of bidders at Mount Pleasant's Red Drum Restaurant.
"We are more than thrilled with the success of this year's
auction," said Anna Hamilton, executive director of Operation
Home. "We couldn't do our work without the support of the community,
and it is clear that the greater Lowcountry community cares passionately
about helping us provide a safe, accessible home for every person.
We can't wait to get to work helping more families, and $126,000
will allow us to help more families than we've ever been able to
Founded in 1997, Operation Home will use the money to support its
critical home repair program, which is on track to serve 50 families
this year. A total of 230 families are on the waiting list to be
school board chairmen endorse referendum
New at a press conference
chairmen of the Charleston County School Board last week announced
full support of the School Improvement Referendum that will appear
on county voters' ballots Tuesday.
chairs included in the endorsement include Brian Moody, Robert New,
Liz Alston, Nancy Cook, Gregg Meyers, and Toya Hampton Green.
passed, the referendum will provide funding to alleviate overcrowding,
improve classrooms and upgrade technology in 13 district schools.
In addition, four downtown Charleston schools categorized as seismically
hazardous will be rebuilt from funding. In total, the School Improvement
Referendum will provide $450 million for the 17 area schools.
of new Daniel Island park to begin
city officials will break ground at 2:30 p.m. today for the new
Governors Park on Daniel Island.
40-acre Park is along the Wando River, and will include a grand
lawn with multi-purpose athletic fields, baseball and softball fields,
a dog park, picnic areas and walking trails, among other amenities.
offered for small business owners
of small businesses will have the chance to meet one-on-one for
10 minutes each with representatives of 12 large businesses from
the Lowcountry at the Women in Defense speed networking and small
business workshop from 1:15 to 4 p.m. Nov. 18.
workshop will follow the 2010 Charleston Defense Contractor Association's
C5ISR conference. The workshop will provide insight into the defense
contracting process. Elizabeth Nettles, president of Women in Defense,
said the forum is free, open to the public, and pre-registration
is required. It will be held at the Charleston Area Convention Center,
include Bob Meddick, deputy for small business (SSC LANT) and his
Assistant Deputy for Small Business, Ron Kennedy. Donna Murphy,
deputy director of contracts, will speak on the best approach for
small business to participate as well as other topics of direct
interest to the contracting community. Attendees will also have
an opportunity to network with various contracting personnel.
In addition to awareness of the overall relationship between large
and small businesses, Linda Blanton of the Small Business Development
Center and Kenneth Silvia, special assistant to the Area III Director
of the Small Business Administration's Office of Government Contracting,
will be on hand to provide an overview and answer questions.
online or email firstname.lastname@example.org
for more details.
your thoughts about books, dining
If you have a review or recommendation of a book, movie, restaurant
or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to
editor Marsha Guerard.
Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
Basin refuge offers habitat for endangered species
Established in 1990, the Ernest F. Hollings ACE
Basin National Wildlife Refuge is part of the federal system
of refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge
represents the federal role in the larger ACE Basin Project
with two units, one on the Combahee River and the other on the Edisto
An osprey, one of the endangered species found in the refuge.
headquarters for the NWR is located at the Grove, a rice plantation
begun in 1825 on the Edisto River. The plantation house dates from
1828 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places
in 1978. The Nature Conservancy purchased the Grove in 1991 and
sold it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service the following year.
a total of nearly twelve thousand acres, the ACE Basin NWR is managed
for wildlife with careful attention given to habitat preservation.
The estuary is home to a wide variety of birds, fish, and game,
including such endangered and threatened species as wood storks,
osprey, bald eagles, and shortnose sturgeon. Limited public fishing
and hunting for deer and waterfowl are permitted. With the completion
of additional purchases, the future size of the refuge may reach
eighteen thousand acres.
refuge contains canals and dikes from the days when the land was
home to large rice plantations. Through control of water levels,
the former rice fields are used to encourage habitats for waterfowl
and other bird species. Additionally, the NWR uses controlled burning
as a tool for creating and maintaining habitat for turkey, quail,
Excerpted from the entry by James H. Tuten. To read more about
this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
After last week's brief monsoon, Charleston resident Michael Kaynard
found an interesting growth popped up at the base of his oak tree.
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a little gift for us?
of today's issue marks the beginning of our third year of offering
good news twice a week to people across the Lowcountry. We enjoy
providing you with neat information that is hard to find elsewhere
in our community.
how about a little gift to us by encouraging your friends to subscribe
for free to our publication? Now, we're off to sing the song ...
not consistently chilly yet, we can feel the winter coming on in
the Lowcountry. With the change in the seasons comes the need to
change up your skin care routine.
We asked Dr.
Marguerite Germain of Germain Dermatology to give us five ways to
winterize our skin.
in cool water. Hot water can deplete the oils from your skin.
use a washcloth.
They are too harsh to use on your delicate skin.
- Use a
Try a glycolic acid-based cleanser that can help turn the skin
over without drying it out.
within 3 minutes
after showering or bathing to lock in moisture.
- Be sure
to use sunscreens
that contain physical blocks such as titanium dioxide or zinc
oxide. Sunscreens should be used all year long.
Germain is a board-certified dermatologist with a practice in Mount
Pleasant. For more information, visit www.germaindermatology.com.
is a cold Puritan
"Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may
THIS WEEK |
for Keeps workshop: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 3, at The
Lowcountry Innovation Center, located at the former Navy Yard, 1535
Hobby St., North Charleston. The first of a three-part series. Workshop
sponsored by Lowcountry Local First will deal with business first
impressions, communication, handling difficult situations and learning
how to "wow" customers, along with real world solutions
to customer service challenges. Cost: $25 for LLF Members and $30
for non-members. Includes morning coffee and lunch. Register
The fragrance of colors: 6 to 7:30 p.m., Nov. 3, Gibbes
Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St. This is the first of a series of
three lectures on the first Wednesdays in November on Women in Art.
Scholar Richard Stamelman will explore the impact of perfume on
history, culture, art and attitudes in France from the eighteenth
century to the present. A reception will follow with a book signing
of "Perfume: Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin; A Cultural History
of Fragrance from 1750 to the Present" by Dr. Stamelman. Cost
is $25 for the three lectures for members of the Gibbes or the Center
for Women, and $55 for non-members; or $10 for the individual lecture
for members and $20 for non-members. Purchase
Brown Bag Lunch: Noon, Nov. 4, Center for Women, 129
Cannon St. Deb Mangolt will share many simple activities to turn
your next girlfriends' getaway into a life-changing experience,
with more fun to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. This is free,
but registration is required by calling (843) 763-7333 or emailing
How to beat the boys at pool: 10 a.m. to noon, Nov. 6,
Player's Place Billiards, 1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. Whether you
want to play a better game of pool, or just look cool at the table,
Shari Stauch, WPBA Hall of Fame Player, will show you how to look
and play like a pro. Basic game rules, pool hall etiquette, pool
player lingo and tips to immediately improve your game, no matter
your skill level. Cost is $20 for Center for Women members, $40
for non-members. Registration
Fall Festival: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 6,
Charles Towne Montessori, 56 Leinbach Street, West Ashley. Charleston's
only internationally-certified Montessori school will have a fall
festival filled with games, great food and lots of fun for children
and adults. More
BookFest Charleston: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Nov. 6, at the
Charleston County Public Library on Calhoun Street, Blue Bicycle
Books on King Street and the College of Charleston. More than 60
writers, poets and children's authors will congregate in Charleston
for a free, lively and informative day of storytelling, readings
and panel discussions during the inaugural Capital BookFest Charleston,
sister festival to the successful Capital BookFest in Washington.
Headliners include Nikki Giovanni, Mary Alice Monroe, E. B. Lewis,
Tananarive Due, Josephine Humphreys, Michelle Singletary, Victoria
Rowell, Gary Smith, Sonia Sanchez and Margot Theis Raven. For
more information, go online.
Harvest Festival: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 6, Mullet
Hall Equestrian Center at Johns Island County Park. The Charleston
County Park and Recreation Commission presents live bluegrass music
from five local bands, hay rides, a stick pony corral, live animals,
pumpkin decorating, penny diving, lasso demonstrations, crafts and
feasting on Carolina barbeque, turkey legs, roasted corn on the
cob, kettle korn. Admission is $5; free for children 12 and under
and Annual Gold Pass holders. As part of the festival, Mullet Hall
Equestrian Center offers a Weekend Trail Ride for horse owners Nov.
5-7. Bring your horse, camping gear and supplies for two nights
of camping and trail riding on 20 miles of wooded trails. For more
information or to register, call 843-795-4FUN or visit www.ccprc.com.
ONGOING AND SOON
Blessing of the Vine Festival: 1 to 5 p.m., Nov. 13,
Irvin-House Vineyard, located at 6775 Bears Bluff Road on Wadmalaw
Island. At the 8th Annual Blessing of the Vine Festival, wine lovers
can witness the blessing of muscadine grapevines by a priest, and
enjoy live music from The Hawkes while taking in the charming setting
of Irvin-House Vineyard. The event, which includes a burger-cookng
contest, is open to the public, admission is $5 per car. Food will
be available for purchase from Taco Boy, Home Team BBQ and Alchemy
Coffee Shop. The Blessing ceremony will start at 2 p.m. For more
information, call (843) 559-6867.
3rd Annual Rural Mission Oyster Roast: 3-6 p.m., Nov.
14, Bowen's Island Restaurant. Don't miss this terrific November
oyster roast that supports the outreach programs of the Rural Mission,
which helps those who have the least. Enjoy great roasted oysters,
food, drinks, live music and a great sunset view. Tickets are $25
for adults, $5 for children and are available from the Rural Mission
at 843-768-1720, or buy at the door or order
art of negotiation workshop: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday,
9:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, begins Nov. 15, 297 East Bay St.
Erica Ariel Fox leads this workshop using the Beyond Yes Method
to turn stressful personal or professional relationships into successful
ones. Cost: $850. Go
online for more information or phone the Sophia Institute, 843-720-8528.
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Court system vital
Fine Art Annual
220 years of service
HeadsUp on injuries
Art, essay contest
House in order
Lowcountry Loc 1st
11 /11: Early
away some pecans
film on Jews, baseball
into the Lowcountry
Class of '14
to do on 4th
to nab skeeters
the Pump, more
to do locally
careful what you ask for
"new era" for SC
isn't dirty word
Dave the Potter
pix make impact
many med schools for SC?
LUCASH: BUSINESS INDIGO
Kucha 7 coming
After 5 hits Chas
fair, CED venture
on working with Boeing
library text questions
GARVAN: CHARLESTON GREEN
can be tied to ideals
Tech green grant
lists from 2010
tech trends for 2011
holiday party tips
offbeat SC places
uses of WD-40
for Web traffic
for going back to school
to rid roadblocks
for keeping warm
for your face
on long-term care
on childhood obesity
on breast cancer
at the Gibbes