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Red Cross Hosts News Conference April 29 in Corning

CORNING, N.Y. (April 23, 2015) — The Finger Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross will host a news conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 29, to announce how Kraft Foods Group’s 2015 “Make an Impact” program will benefit area residents who need Red Cross services following a home fire, flood or another disaster.

As part of Kraft’s nationwide “Make an Impact” program that celebrates volunteer service, every Kraft facility had the opportunity this month to participate in service projects to support non-profit organizations that serve local communities. In addition to planting trees at Ridge Road Elementary School in Horseheads, the Kraft/Polly-O Dairy facility in Campbell (Steuben County) agreed to build American Red Cross comfort kits that are distributed to area residents who are displaced from their homes by a disaster.

After initially planning on 250 kits, Kraft-Campbell Community Champion Jolene Deragon contacted Kraft’s Corporate Community Involvement Team and asked for more supplies. Kraft’s Corporate Team sent items for more than 900 kits, and the dedicated and enthusiastic Kraft employees in Campbell recently assembled 908 kits within three hours – on Deragon’s birthday.

“Several employees joked that my birthday was the reason for them helping; I’ll take that as a great incentive to see our employees come together to support our community!” Deragon said. “The Red Cross always comes through for those in need, so we’re proud that Kraft-Campbell could give our support to such a worthwhile organization.”

The comfort kits contain toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and other personal hygiene items. Kits are distributed to victims of emergencies ranging from house fires to large disasters such as the flooding in Penn Yan last May. The kits will be distributed to residents in the Finger Lakes Chapter’s six counties: Schuyler, Steuben, Chemung, Seneca, Yates and Wayne.

“We’d like to thank our partners at Kraft-Campbell and their employees for thinking of the Red Cross for their ‘Make an Impact’ program this year,” said Joel Robinson, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Finger Lakes Chapter. “These comfort kits are provided to people whose lives have been turned upside down and they truly provide comfort in the moment and hope that they’ll soon be on the road to recovery.”

The media is invited to attend the news conference to learn more about Kraft’s “Make an Impact” program and how the comfort kits will benefit Red Cross disaster services. Here are the details:

What: News conference and photo/video opportunity with the American Red Cross Finger Lakes Chapter and Kraft Foods Group, Inc.

Who: Plant Manager Joe Box, Community Champion Jolene Deragon and employee Lindsay Reardon from Kraft; Joel Robinson, Executive Director, Finger Lakes Chapter, and disaster services volunteers from the Red Cross.

When/Where: 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 29, at American Red Cross Finger Lakes Chapter, 123 W. Market St., Corning.

For more information: Contact Matt Michael, Red Cross Communications Specialist, at or (315) 234-2220.
Making an Impact … One Tree at a Time

For the past three years, the Kraft-Campbell facility has partnered with Home Depot to plant two trees on the property of a local elementary school attended by the children of its employees. Students in the highest grade of the school submit essays with illustrations, and Kraft employees vote to determine the students who assist with the tree planting. Since the program started, Kraft has planted trees at Erwin Valley Elementary School in Gang Mills, Campbell-Savona Elementary School in Savona, and Ridge Road Elementary School in Horseheads. Kraft has also provided a small monetary grant to each school for the purchase of physical education equipment.

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 follow us on Facebook at and Twitter @RocRedCross.