December 18 Main Presentation: Willy Teller of the American Red Cross

While the American Red Cross receives accolades for relief efforts during natural disasters and protecting the integrity of the blood supply, the biggest threat to local families is not severe weather, it is fires. Each year, the Red Cross provides food, shelter and comfort to 1,400 local families (an average of three to four every day) whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by fires.

Nationally, the American Red Cross recently launched a fire preparedness initiative with the goal of reducing deaths and injuries from fires by 25 percent over the next five years. Home fires are a common disaster, but only 18 percent of families practice home fire drills. This month’s program will highlight how the American Red Cross helps to keep our families safe at home during the holidays and beyond.

Wilhelmina Teller (Willy) has been a Red Cross volunteer since 2013. She is a Community Presence Volunteer from Romeoville who does community outreach, a Disaster Action Team (DAT) Volunteer who has completed hours of special training to be able to assist during disasters, and she also helps out at the Red Cross’s Arlington Heights office.  Before her retirement and subsequent involvement with the Red Cross, she served her community as a Special Education Teacher.