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COMMUNITY NEWS

Red Cross Seeks Volunteers As Wildfire Season Approaches

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By Cynthia Shaw

xperts say we are in for a busy wildfire season this summer and the American Red Cross needs volunteers to help in our community. “The coronavirus pandemic will make it challenging to deploy trained disaster volunteers from other parts of the country should an emergency occur. In light of this, the Red Cross is asking you to be ready to help your community,” said Jennifer Adrio, Regional CEO, American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region. “Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in our region.” BLOOD DONOR SUPPORT Volunteer at blood drives or join our missioncritical volunteer positions to carry out other aspects of our lifesaving work. The American Red Cross has a high-priority need for Blood Donor/Facility Screeners, Blood Donor Ambassadors and Transportation Specialists to continue delivering services to our communities. These volunteers welcome visitors to Red Cross facilities or blood drives and take their temperature before they enter. Visitors could include potential blood donors, people seeking help, course par-

ticipants, and Red Cross employees and volunteers. We also have a high-priority need for Transportation Specialists to help deliver blood from our facilities to local hospitals. We can use your help right now! SHELTER HELP NEEDED There is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren’t possible, then the Red Cross will open traditional shelters. To help keep people safe, we have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for our workforce. We need volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those we serve. We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available. HEALTH SERVICES SUPPORT NEEDED If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license, the Red Cross needs your support. Volunteers are needed in

shelters to help assess people’s health. Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required. RNs supervise all clinical tasks. Roles are also available for certified nursing assistants, certified home health aides, student nurses and medical students. We need volunteers who can provide care as delegated by a licensed nurse in shelters. This could include assisting with activities of daily living, personal assistance services, providing health education and helping to replace medications, durable

medical equipment or consumable medical supplies. FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING If you are interested in helping our community should a disaster occur, go to https://www.redcross.org/ volunteer/become-a-volunteer/urgentneed-for-volunteers.html Be sure to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult your health care provider and follow local guidance. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and the people we serve. n

Pier I Imports To Close Nationwide; Capitola Store’s Final Days In October

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By Jondi Gumz

ier 1 Imports, the financially troubled home furnishings chain, plans to close all of its stores, including the one at 3825 Clares St. in Capitola. Sign at the Capitola store says “going out of business.” An employee asked when the closing might take place said, “Sometime in October.” The retail chain, which had 942 stores, posted mounting losses in 2019 after sales fell. The publicly traded company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Analysts noted the retailer had accumulated $235 million in debt as of November. Another factor is competition by online retailers Amazon and Wayfair. Bed Bath & Beyond, another tradi-

tional home goods retailer with a Capitola location at 3555 Clares St., has also posted losses amidst declining sales. For the city of Capitola, which depends on sales tax revenue to provide city services, struggling retailers mean difficult budget choices for city staff. One example: The lifeguard program, which provides oversight and handles water rescues at Capitola beach during the busy summer season, costs $91,000. It was one of many programs cut by the city due to a budget deficit of nearly $5 million. “Having no guards is unacceptable,” wrote Aptos resident Debbie Friedman in an email to the City Council. “Did they consider closing the beaches because they can’t be guarded? That is actually the most logical step, but is obviously not the priority.” n

10 / August 2020 / Capitola Soquel Times www.tpgonlinedaily.com

The end is coming for home goods retailer Pier I Imports, founded in 1962 in San Mateo. This is the Capitola location.

Profile for Times Publishing Group, Inc.

Capitola Soquel Times: August 2020  

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