The American Red Cross is urging people to give hope to those in need by giving something meaningful during the upcoming holiday season.
“Make this holiday season truly meaningful by supporting the Red Cross Holiday Campaign and helping a victim of disaster or someone needing blood, or by remembering a member of the Armed Forces who is far from home,” said Neal Litvack, chief development officer for the American Red Cross.
There are several ways to help the Red Cross in its mission:
• Purchase a gift from the online catalog at www.redcross.org/gifts;
• Make a financial donation;
• Schedule an appointment to give blood;
• Send cards to members of the Armed Forces through the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program;
• Give the gift of their time by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Visit the “Ways to Volunteer” information on the Red Cross website to learn how.
Shoppers can go through the online Red Cross gift catalog and purchase a variety of symbolic gifts in the name of the people on their gift list. Their purchase can support the Red Cross mission in many different ways, such as helping a disaster victim, providing comfort kits for injured members of the Armed Forces or helping supply measles vaccinations around the world.
The purchase of each gift item is a tax-deductible contribution. Those who participate will receive free gifts such as a Red Cross Water Bottle for a donation of $100 or more or a Family First Aid Kit for a donation of $200 or more.
For more information, visit redcross.org/holiday or visit the organization on Twitter at @RedCross.
ProMedica receives anti-hunger award
ProMedica was be honored with the 2013 Alliance to End Hunger Partnership Award For its leadership in fighting hunger.
The award was presented Dec. 3 at the 10th Annual Gala to End Hunger co-hosted by Bread for the World. ProMedica was lauded because of its “Come to the Table” collaborative advocacy efforts, as well as programs such as repackaging unserved food for communal feeding sites and screening patients for hunger, said Ambassador Tony Hall, executive director of the Alliance to End Hunger, an affiliate of Bread for the World.
In partnership with the Alliance, ProMedica will hold a summit in Washington, D.C. Feb. 27, 2014 to help further a national discussion about the importance of addressing hunger as a health issue. The Capitol Hill event will identify ways to approach this issue nationwide by encouraging community partners – including healthcare providers, anti-hunger organizations and government leaders – to work together.
“ProMedica is an example of how the Alliance engages diverse organizations to build the public and political will to end hunger,” Hall said. “ProMedica is helping change the conversation around hunger by connecting it to health.
“When we can approach hunger as a health issue, it’s a different dialogue than we’ve had in the past and starts to impact many different areas,” he added.
For more information about the summit, visit http://promedica.org/cometothetablesummit.
Cancer ribbon decorations
The Ladies Auxiliary of Walbridge VFW Post 9963 is selling cancer awareness ribbons to decorate the village Christmas tree.
Ribbons, which are $5, can be purchased for any type of cancer (various colors) in honor or memory of a friend or loved one. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.
Call 419-666-0367 for more information about purchasing a ribbon.
Open house set
Owens Community College will host a massage therapy program open house Monday, Dec. 9 from 4-6 p.m. at the Arrowhead Park Learning Center, 1724 Indian Wood Circle, Maumee.
Area residents are invited to learn more about Owens’ massage therapy certificate program. Attendees will have an opportunity to tour the facilities, talk with faculty, learn about available financial aid and meet with advisors.
For more information, email
or call 567-661-7444 by Dec. 5.
For those who are grieving, the holiday season can bring painful memories, undue stress, and feelings of disappointment. Traditions that were once familiar and comforting can stir up feelings of sadness, anger, and confusion.
ProMedica Hospice bereavement coordinator Chaplain Robb Beisser will present a 40-minute DVD program titled “Facing the Holiday After Loss: A Ray Of Hope,” Wednesday, Dec. 11 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Michigan/Superior Conference Room at ProMedica Bay Park Hospital in Oregon.
The DVD features interviews with bereaved parents and grief support professionals who offer insight into facing the holidays, anniversaries and special dates.
Following the presentation, Chaplain Robb will take questions.
Better Breathers Club
Heartland of Oregon has teamed with the American Lung Association to sponsor The Better Breathers Club, designed to provide answers about COPD, asthma, medications and pulmonary rehabilitation.
The next meeting will be held Dec 19 at noon. A complimentary lunch is provided.
Heartland of Oregon is located at 3953 Navarre Ave., Oregon. For more information, call 419-698-4521.
Focusing on fitness
Focus Fitness is offering Cookie-Crushing, Resolution Rocking Workouts Mondays and Fridays from 5:30-6 p.m. through Jan. 31, 2014, inside New Harvest Church.
The total body, moderate-intensity group workouts are designed to help participants fight the battle of the holiday bulge. Not intended for ages 15 and younger.
The cost is $10 per week.
In addition, a family-friendly free Beginner’s Workout is offered Monday and Friday from 6:30-7 p.m., also through Jan. 31.
Absolutely Abs classes – short, focused and intense workouts designed to work abs and strengthen the core – are offered Monday and Friday from 7-7:15 p.m. The cost is $5 per class or $3 for series members.
For weekly sessions, reserve a spot 48 hours in advance. Call 419-684-0846, visit www.focusfitnessoforegon.com., or message Focus Fitness on Facebook to reserve a spot.
Hospice seeking volunteers
Stein Hospice is looking for veterans to volunteer with patients at the Ohio Veterans Home through the “LifeCourse” program.
The three-week course explores the feelings and philosophies of the death and dying process. Classes cover such topics as the Philosophy of Hospice; Comfort Care; Veteran Culture; Spirituality and Bereavement.
Classes will be held Jan. 7 and 9, 21 and 23 and 28 and 30 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Ohio Veterans Home, 3416 Columbus Ave, Sandusky.
For more information, call Stein Hospice at 800-625-5269 or visit steinhospice.org.
Save the date
The Answer for Cancer will present, “Paint it Forward,” fundraiser to benefit Relay for Life of Oregon Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 from 5-9:30 p.m. at Forrester’s on the River at The Docks in East Toledo.
The event, designed to “uncork the artist” in participants, will include food, wine and painting. Tickets are $55, which includes art supplies, hors d’oeuvres, a wine ticket, participation in a wine pull, and entry into a basket raffle. No painting experience is necessary; instructors will offer step-by-step guidance.
Advance tickets are required; open to 21 and over only. For tickets and more information, call 419-267-2559 or visit www,theanswerforcancer.com.
The Wood County Health District is looking for public comment on their Community Health Improvement Plan. The plan is used by health and other governmental education and human service agencies, in collaboration with community partners, to set priorities and coordinate and target resources.
Because the plan involves collaboration with community partners, input from citizens is essential. To review the plan and provide comments, suggestions or feedback, visit www.woodcountyhealth.org.
Comments can be emailed to Pam Butler, Health Commissioner at
or submitted online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/GZQTFKT .
Flu vaccine changes
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is no longer providing local health departments with vaccines for children who have private health insurance that covers the cost of vaccines.
ODH will still be providing the Sandusky County Health Department (SCHD) with vaccine through the Vaccine for Children (VFC) program. The VFC population includes children 0-18 years of age who are on Medicaid, have no insurance, children who have health insurance but it does not cover the cost of vaccines, or children who are American Indian or Alaskan Native. Please contact your private insurance company to check to see if you are covered for vaccines.
The Sandusky County Health Department will be purchasing private vaccine directly from drug manufacturers, and is contracting with private health insurance companies to be able to provide vaccines for the privately insured children.
As of Jan. 1, 2014, SCHD will be billing private health insurance for those patients who have vaccine coverage. The department contracts with United Healthcare, Summa Care, Anthem, Medical Mutual of Ohio, and is in the process of contracting with additional insurance companies. People with private health insurance will not get the low-cost vaccine from the health department after this date and will be responsible for any cost or deductible that private health insurance does not cover for immunizations.
When making an appointment, patients should have insurance information available. At each immunization appointment, patients will be expected to provide their private insurance or Medicaid card, immunization record, Social Security number, and be accompanied to clinic by a parent or guardian.
For more information on these changes, call the Sandusky County Health Department Immunization Program at 419-334-6367.