Our History - The Later Years Of The Red Cross on Long Island

1980: Red Cross Swim-A-Cross: Fundraising swim from a dock in Centre Island to Centre Island beach to benefit Long Island Red Cross.

1980: First “’Sail-A-Cross ’80,’’ Sponsored by the American Red Cross.

1981: Junior Red Cross of Long Island is called to serve in libraries, senior centers, hospitals, and other related agencies.

1983: Red Cross offers free flu shots to high risk people such as the elderly or chronically ill.

1985: Nassau County Red Cross participates in African Famine Relief Campaign which helps raise funds for those suffering from malnutrition in Africa.

1987: Safety Training for Licensed Child Care Providers start in Mineola.

1988: Nassau Red Cross chapter holds first Golf Tournament.

1988: Good neighbor award start date and explanation: Nationally 1988 The Good Neighbor Award is presented to an individual and/or organization outside the American Red Cross for having made a significant humanitarian contribution to the local, national, or international community in support of the American Red Cross.

Photo: Ms. Aimee DiBartolomeo-Cody, president and owner, Premier Benefit Plans, receiving the Good Neighbor Award by the Long Island Red Cross in 2014.

1989: Nassau county Red Cross partners with Saks Fifth Avenue to sponsor a fashion show with proceeds going to victims of Northern California Earthquake and Hurricane Hugo.

1989: Nassau County Red Cross Annual Ball honors then president of Hofstra University, Dr. James Schuart.

1989: Nassau County Red Cross volunteers offer child care for parents in family court.

1989: Hurricane Hugo and 1989 California Earthquake relief efforts threatened Long Island American Red Cross water safety and first aid training programs for more than 20,000 Suffolk residents. New York Times called on the community to raise necessary funds to run these programs amid these natural disasters, stating “Our help is desperately needed”.

Hurricane Hugo aftermath

1990: Crash of Avianca Flight 52: January 25 saw the crash of Avianca flight 52 in Cove Neck. Red Cross relief efforts began immediately and for the months following as survivors needed support. "There are about 25 survivors on Long Island," said Peter Von Berg executive director of the Nassau County chapter of the Red Cross.

1990: International Services on Long Island: Red Cross relays messages from servicemen in the Middle East in 1990.

1990: Nassau County Red Cross offers children’s helpline to answer questions from children home alone after school.

1991: Long Island Red Cross kick off Gulf Crisis fund campaign as part of national campaign benefiting American Red Cross and International Red Cross services.

1992: Nassau County Red Cross begins AIDS awareness program in partnership with AIDS Institute of the New York State Department of Health for teenagers and young adults.

1993: Nassau county Red Cross offers discounted rates to seniors for CPR and First Aid courses.

1995: Long Island Red Cross helps in Pine Barrens recovery efforts after blaze swept over 1,000 acres through Eastern Long Island.

1996: Spurred by the disaster that befell TWA Flight 800 on July 17, 1996, Congress passed the Aviation Disaster Act that lead to the creation of Red Cross Aviation Incident Response (AIR) teams to assist victim families.”

1997: Red Cross offers International tracing services as a means of locating, reuniting, and exchanging messages between people who have been separated by war, civil disturbances, or natural disasters.

1998: The Red Cross occupies the building at 625 Old Country Road until the property was purchased by Winthrop-University Hospital to pave the way for parking and move to a new facility.

1998: Open House held at new location of Red Cross in Mineola.

1998: Central New York tornados call Long Island Red Cross volunteers to the area for relief efforts.

1998: Nassau County Junior Red Cross holds a disaster drill complete with shelter, family services, disaster services, and communication to practice disaster training skills.
2001: During 9/11 the Long Island Red Cross as part of Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency services for victims of the terrorist attacks.

2001: Nassau county chapter offers “Drop-in” Disaster Counseling services at the Garden City Hotel for adults and children impacted by 9/11 attacks.

2006: Tiffany Circle start date and stats: “started in 2006 (nationally) with 200 women pledging $10,000 annually to their local Red Cross chapters. Today the group has over 900 members in the U.S, plus members in Canada, Great Britain and France. Since inception, the Tiffany Circle has raised over $51 million for the Red Cross.”

2009: US Airways flight 1549 ditched on Hudson River: American Red Cross Greater New York Region responded to an emergency water landing on the Hudson River. Red Cross volunteers and employees were later featured in the film Sully.

2011: Hofstra University starts the American Red Cross Club.

2011: Hurricane Irene forced nearly 5,000 Long Islanders to seek shelter at the Red Cross.

2011: Long Island Red Cross accepts donation by National Grid for Hurricane Irene relief.

2011: Red Cross First kosher shelter catering to Jewish community in Nassau County. “West Hempstead High School is now a kosher disaster evacuation shelter — the first of its kind in Nassau County — created specifically for the very large orthodox community of the Five Towns area, which is particularly vulnerable to flooding in the event of a major hurricane. The school was designated as such in mid-December, after the Red Cross reached out to district officials to propose the idea.”

Photo: Nassau Chapter Red Cross CEO Frank Cassano joined Rabbi Kenneth Hain. Sen. Dean Skelos, Red Cross volunteer Bruce Gold, County Executive Ed Mangano and others on a tour of West Hempstead High School, the county’s first and only kosher disaster evacuation shelter.

2012: The Red Cross receives $308 million in donations for Sandy emergency relief and recovery efforts. By Sept. 30, $280 million, or more than 90 percent, has been distributed to the United Way, victims of the storm, developments firms, and more.

2012: Collaboration with major Coca Cola: “Partnering with the American Red Cross to ensure Long Islanders have a ready source of drinking water in the event we are called upon to support disaster relief, fits perfectly into Coca-Cola’s “Live Positively” platform” -Coca-Cola Red Cross Representative Frank Palma.

2012: Suffolk county wildfire: The American Red Cross also was at the scene, operating an emergency shelter and brought thousands of water bottles and meals to fire fighters.

2013: “The first American Red Cross and New York State Elected Officials of Suffolk County Round Table took place Oct. 2, 2013 at the New York State Office Building in Hauppauge, N.Y. The Round Table’s goal is to have ongoing face-to-face dialogue between the Red Cross and elected officials about Red Cross services for county residents.”

2015: Since 2015, the American Red Cross, Greater New York Region has responded to almost over 1,400 local disasters, and the vast majority of these are home fires.

2015: Pillowcase Project Through instructor-led presentations, students learn the best ways to stay safe and how to create their own emergency supply kits by packing essential items in a pillowcase for easy transport during a disaster.