Monday, April 30, 2018

Red Cross and Partners Install 1143 Smoke Alarms During Sound the Alarm Event in Greenville

Together with its local fire department partners and volunteers, the American Red Cross of Upstate SC installed 1143 smoke alarms, making more than 350 homes safer during the Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event this past Saturday. The event was held in five areas throughout Greenville. That number exceeds the goal of 1,000 smoke alarms installed.

In addition to installing free smoke alarms, the Red Cross and its partners also replaced batteries in existing alarms and helped families create escape plans. The sponsors included Bank of America, State Farm, G and P Trucking, Elliott Davis, LLC, SC Realtor’s Association, and South of the Border. The Red Cross thanks them all for their participation.

A Red Cross volunteer from Duke Energy explains a fire escape
plan with Greenville resident, Evelyn.
It was incredibly encouraging to see how many people were willing to step in and help out their neighbors this weekend,” said Lisa Colby, executive director for the Upstate SC chapter. “The day was a big success and an important step in educating people about how to stay safe in the event they experience a home fire.”

This community-driven effort comes at a time when the number of people who need assistance from the Upstate SC chapter of the Red Cross after a home fire has increased by 26-percent, compared to the same time period last year (Jan. 1-April 26). So far this year in the Upstate, 765 people have needed assistance from the Red Cross after a home fire.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, the reason why the organization launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

A Red Cross volunteer looks on as a firefighter from the
Parker District installs an alarm in the Kasper household.

Across the state, the Campaign is making a difference. As of April 27th, the Palmetto SC Region of the Red Cross and its partners across the state have saved at 51 lives.

To learn more about the Home Fire Campaign, visit Please help us Sound the Alarm by volunteering to install smoke alarms, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Tiffany Circle Hall Legacy: The Snowdens

Nancy Snowden, one of the founding lifetime members of Lowcountry Tiffany Circle, graciously joined our Tiffany Circle Hall along with her daughter Jennifer and granddaughter Sophia.  The Snowden family donated $450,000 not only to honor three generations of Snowden women, but to recognize and support the mission of the American Red Cross (ARC). Inspired by a biography her Mother gave her of Clara Barton and her considerable contributions in establishing the American arm of the Red Cross. There were several notable Clara Barton focus quotes including:

“You must never so much think as whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not; you must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it.”

“Offering a hand up is not a hand-out.”

“It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I cannot afford the luxury of a closed mind….I have faith in the possibility of something better.”

 “I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.” A woman before her time!

Nancy Snowden

Nancy is an established leader, not only in the Lowcountry, but a leader in her field of clinical research across the U.S. A native of Florence, she became a nurse and served the Red Cross for four years in the late 70’s. She is now the President and Chief Executive Officer of NCGS, a contract research organization which was established in 1984.  Nancy founded NCGS with the mission of impacting health care for the future through the development of new drugs, novel diagnostics and devices.  NCGS’s philosophy is, “the research conducted on these study individuals will impact health care for the future.  These future consumers may not be anonymous; they could just as easily be your parent, sibling or yourself.”  NCGS has contributed to the approval of 58 new products primarily to fight cancer, infectious disease and CNS disorders.

Nancy’s passion for that mission burns as brightly today as it did 33 years ago. She constantly drives home the understanding that every piece of data is critical to the success of a trial, and the data NCGS collects can and will change healthcare for the future.  As respected executive, Nancy’s passion for South Carolinians, Americans and the mission of the American Red Cross is obvious. She truly puts others above herself. Most importantly, she lives her Mother’s legacy of responsibility to share with others and teach the next generation(s) to pick up the banner of giving and helping. Her Mother’s favorite phrase, “to those who are blessed, much is expected.”

Jennifer Snowden
As mentioned, Nancy’s generous donation also honors two other generations in the Snowden family. Her daughter, Jennifer, was born in Charleston and is a proud mother of James Ascher. He is also the namesake of her successful clothing boutique and is a partner in one of the family businesses, NCGS Properties. Jennifer contributed her portion from the profits of this family business. In addition, Jennifer has a massive following on social media, with more than 80,000 followers on Instagram. Prior to Ascher’s birth you could also see her on Bravo’s hit show, Southern Charm.

Sophia Snowden is a third grader at Charleston Collegiate and enjoys spending time with her family and playing with her friends.  Her favorite activities include gymnastics, ice skating and hiking. She appears to be emerging as a talented artist like her father. Though her Dad, Nancy’s son, cannot be part of the Tiffany Circle, he contributed his daughter’s portion of the contribution from profits of the family’s main research company NCGS, Inc. Doug is a partner in that firm.

Sophia Snowden

A final quote from Clara Barton which says it all about supporting the Red Cross and digging deeper within your own soul to be a part of it and attempting to be the example to friend’s family and colleagues to have a Clara Barton kind of heart.  Clara lived to be 90 and was head of the ARC up to her early 80’s. Impressive legacy.

“Although its growth may seem to have been slow, it is to be remembered that it is not a shrub, or plant, to shoot up in the summer and wither in the frosts. The Red Cross is a part of us--it has come to stay--and like the sturdy oak, its spreading branches shall yet encompass and shelter the relief of the nation.”

“Please join my family in supporting the American Red Cross.”: Nancy C. G. Snowden 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

New Red Cross Survey Shows Many Americans Overconfident and Under-prepared for Home Fires

According to a new survey by the American Red Cross, many people overestimate their ability to react to a home fire and miss critical steps to keep their loved ones safe.

Forty percent of people believe they are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than experience a home fire. Yet, home fires are the most common disaster in this country – the majority of the nearly 64,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to every year across the country.

With comfort kits in hand,
Red Cross disaster workers help a man after his
Sumter home caught fire. 
Throughout South Carolina this year, already more than 2500 people have been impacted by a home fire.

 According to the survey:

·      More than three-fourths (80 percent) of people surveyed believe everyone in their household knows what to do when a smoke alarm goes off. But less than half have a home fire escape plan in place. And only half of the families that do have a plan have actually practiced it.
  • Home fire experts say that people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home. However, the survey showed nearly 60 percent of people mistakenly believe they have much more time than is realistic.
  • Even though many admit to actions that could contribute to a home fire, only one out of four (27 percent) people think that they are likely to experience a home fire in their lifetime.
·         About 40 percent of people have forgotten to turn off a stove or oven, even though cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries
·         More than one-third (34 percent) of people have used a stove, kerosene lantern or space heater to warm their home. The fact is that heating equipment is involved in one of every five home fire deaths.
·         Some progress is being made. More people are replacing batteries (a 9 percent increase vs. 2015) and testing to make sure their smoke alarms are working (an 11 percent increase vs. 2015).

Americans overwhelmingly believe that smoke alarms can save lives, yet one out of ten (12 percent) people have had to give up buying other essentials for their families to purchase a smoke alarm. This highlights just how critical the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is. Launched in 2014, the Red Cross and campaign partners have already installed more than 1.1 million free smoke alarms and reached 1 million children through preparedness programs. These efforts are already credited with helping to save 381 lives. Learn more.

SOUND THE ALARM This spring, the Palmetto SC region will Sound the Alarm against home fires on May 12 throughout Charleston County, teaching residents about home fire safety and installing free smoke alarms.

For Greenville, sign-up here:
For Charleston, sign-up here:

Join the Red Cross today by volunteering to install smoke alarms, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires. Together, we can Sound the Alarm about fire safety and help save lives.

This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from national partners: Almost Family, Delta Air Lines and International Paper. The Red Cross has also received funding from FEMA through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Supplemental Information about Survey Methodology
The national public opinion survey was conducted for the Red Cross in August 2017 using the research firm Issues & Answers. The study was conducted among a national sample of 604 American adults. The total sample is balanced to be representative of the US adult population in terms of age, sex, geographic region, race and education. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 4 percent.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Number of South Carolinians Impacted by Home Fires Increased in March

March was another busy month for disaster-trained volunteers with the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross. 801 South Carolinians called on the Red Cross to help them after a home fire in March. That’s an increase of nearly 16-percent from last year.

The number of families impacted by home fires last month also increased by 24-percent to 285 cases. Every time the Red Cross responds to a fire, the organization provides emergency assistance and guides people through the recovery process.

A Lowcountry SC volunteer helps a woman after a fire
destroyed her home in Ravenel.
“As these numbers show, Red Cross disaster-trained volunteers continue to be very busy helping families recover from devastating home fires,” said Louise Welch Williams, Regional CEO for the Palmetto SC Region. “Families can have as little as two minutes to escape from a fire, which is why it’s so important they have working smoke alarms and a fire safety plan in place.”

The Red Cross remains committed to helping families in that effort. Sound the Alarm is a nation-wide event where volunteers and partners will work to install 100,000 smoke alarms in communities throughout the country. The Palmetto SC Red Cross is still looking for volunteers to help at two signature events in South Carolina: April 28th in Greenville County and May 12th in Charleston County. To sign-up to volunteer, go to

“By volunteering with the Red Cross, someone can truly make a difference in someone’s life,” Williams said. “Please join us and help Sound the Alarm by volunteering on April 28th or May 12th.”