Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How are groundhogs connected to a dying, 3,000 year-old language?

Great Blog by!  Happy Groundhogs… I mean… Woodchuck Day?

As posted by : The Hot Word

February 2 marks the annual Groundhog’s Day. This year’s winter has been particularly harsh on the East Coast, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow. While the frost is still thick on the ground, we want to explore the unusual origin of the common name for the herbivorous burrower Marmota monax. 
Groundhogs are not at all related to hogs, so their initial compound name is only partially accurate: they indeed live close to the ground. The other common name for the marmots is equally confusing. Woodchucks do not chuck or throw around wood, despite the popular tongue twister that queries how much they would if they could. As burrowing rodents, they don’t have much to do with wood or trees at all. In fact, the name woodchuck is an anglicized loan word from the Algonquian word wuchak. 
Pause here for a moment. That language of origin is Algonquian, a 3000-year-old tongue, now extremely endangered, spoken across North America before the arrival of Europeans. Algonquian language dialects dominated in the north and east parts of North America but were also used as far away as the Rockies. Tribes that spoke dialects of Algonquian include the Blackfoot and Cheyenne, Ojibwa and Potawatomi, Fox, Shawnee, Massachusett, Mohican, Powhatan and Shinnecock. 
Besides the humble woodchuck, English keeps several other Algonquian words alive as loan words. Native flora and fauna dominate the list, which includes chipmunk, caribou, hickory, squash, hominy, moose, opossum, and raccoon.
Like these loan words, Groundhog Day is a loan holiday that evolved into a distinct tradition. European festivals such as Candlemas and Imbolc share this holiday’s focus on weather forecasting. Regardless if a large marmot sees his shadow or not, stay warm, eat some chicken soup, and try to keep alive the rich heritage of American English.
Author: Hot Word | Posted in Uncategorized

Friday, January 28, 2011


Saturdays don't get much better than this:

Great Weather
Community Lake and
A Good Cause!

Come out to the 7th Annual 
"Walk 'n RollDog Walk 
this Saturday in support of 

Power Paws provides highly skilled assistance dogs to adults and children with disabilities - How cool!

We'll be there in support with doggie and kittie First Aid goodies and ways to sign up for Pet CPR and First Aid classes

Why Support? 
The walk will help raise money and awareness for Power Paws Assistance Dogs so they can continue to be a great resource in the community for people with disabilities.

When: Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cost: $25.00 per person.  Kids under 6 are free.

Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm Registration
Check-in opens at 9:00 am

See you there with your four-legged friend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Auschwitz : A Day to Remember

I just learned today that January 27, 2011 marks the 66th anniversary of the Allied forces liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Germany's Third Reich under Adolph Hitler, otherwise known as International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

It so happened that on January 12, 2011, were privileged to have four high school students and their Counselor, Mr. David Dummer, tell us first hand about an Auschwitz experience of their own. Our Grand Canyon Chapter hosted a Lunch & Learn for the students to tell their story.  

A group of 20 students from the Phoenix Country Day School travelled to Eastern Europe in 2009 . As part of their tour, they took an afternoon to view and learn about Aushwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.  These young students, barely 16 years old at the time, learned about the Holocaust of World War II and the atrocities that were inflicted upon prisoners of Auschwitz-Birkenau as a product of it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Note of Thanks

"You have been a blessing in our lives at a time of need."

A military wife and mother wrote those words in a note to a Grand Canyon Chapter caseworker. 

She was barely holding on during her darkest of hours when she called the Red Cross for help. Her family was in crisis. Our family responded. The Red Cross caseworker went above and beyond to ensure she had the help and support she needed. Now that family has hope to hold on to...and can move forward in their recovery.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Paper Preparedness

While many of us are anxiously gathering up financial documents in order to have our taxes prepared, there is often one thing that is commonly overlooked---the safety and security of our financial and personal documents.  

Imagine that your family suffered from a house fire or other natural disaster.  What would you do if all of your birth certificates, paystubs, proofs of insurance, etc. were lost?  

Here at the Grand Canyon Chapter, we see people every day whose lives have been turned upside down by some unforeseen disaster.  Often times, families have their important papers scattered about the house and are unable to retrieve these documents in an emergency.  

Part of being prepared includes having an escape plan and extra supplies, but should also include securing your financial and personal documents so that they can easily be recovered in the event of an emergency.  

Visit the IRS Website to review ways that you can prepare and protect your financial and personal papers in the event of a disaster.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Going The Distance

Arizona Red Crossers learn how to respond to
disasters in a Yuma Public Affairs training course
Every day the Red Cross touches lives and helps people.

I hear about a mother who used CPR to save her daughter

I see our volunteers provide care and comfort to disaster victims when they have no where else to turn. 

I walk past a military family who needs financial support to get through a tough time.  

My job at the Red Cross is to make sure you know the impact we're having on people every single day.

One way I do that is through public affairs training.

Being a Superhero

We noticed that heroes have been a huge topic lately. From our own Arizona Daniel Hernandez to these… interesting… local vigilantes who patrol Seattle.  (Yes, they are real life super heroes. AND they donate blood!) Even the Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter is hunting for local heroes. So we got to thinking: what does it take to be a hero? A cape and some martial art skills? Being ready at a moment's notice? Who’s a good example of a hero?

Look no further than the Red Cross woman who started it all.  Clara Barton.

Clara Barton was a pistol.  She challenged the status quo at home, at school and in the U.S. Patent Office where she earned her living after walking off the job during a dispute over pay at the school she founded (a man was hired and paid more than she was).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

MLK Day of Service: Pack the Bus

According to the US Census Bureau one in four Arizona children goes to bed hungry. Also, one in five Arizona households reported not having enough money to buy food that they needed to feed their family. Can you imagine opening your refrigerator and having nothing to choose from? Nobody should be faced with this situation.

With the help of local food banks, people who face hunger now have hope. Desert Mission Food Bank is part of John C. Lincoln hospital and provides food to 1,600 families each month. We chose this food bank because of their incredible impact on the Phoenix area and the increasing demand for their services. Their mission is to provide emergency food assistance in a dignified and respectful manner to all individuals and communities. Check out this great video that explains more about the food bank:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Disaster Services

Disaster strikes in Port au Prince, Haiti, January 2010
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. While the International Red Cross, with the help of your generous support, have made much progress, there is still a lot of work to be done.

This date has brought up many inquiries about disasters and what exactly the Red Cross does when a disaster strikes.

Do you know?

When you hear the term "Disaster Services," what do you think of? Earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires... Katrina may even come to mind.

Here at the Arizona Grand Canyon Chapter, we do indeed respond to “major disasters,” every day in fact!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Being Prepared

Being prepared is important.  With the recent tragedy in Tucson, we have come to see first hand how important preparedness really is. Would you be prepared to take action like Congressional Intern Daniel Hernandez
Daniel Hernadez with Rep. Gabrielle
Giffords during her campaign

After Daniel saw that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was seriously wounded, he positioned Giffords so that she would not choke on her own blood. He made sure to apply pressure to both the entry and exit wounds.

Intern Hernandez had some medical training to assist him in this situation. Any training is a step in the right direction. First aid training is available to all citizens who would like to be prepared to step up in an emergency.  

The Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross provides first aid training in a variety of sites.  Just go to our website and click on the tab “Take a class." You can choose from a variety of classes, including CPR. You can also find a class close to you by your zip code.  

Maybe by making a commitment to be prepared for emergencies, we can minimize the hurt and protect the future. 

~ Event Coordinator Volunteer Rita Audisio

Friday, January 7, 2011

Polar Bear Plunge

On Your Mark! Get Set! BBBRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Erin here from the Aquatics department telling you to brave a dive for water safety! 

The City of Peoria Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting the third annual Winter Water Safety Day and 
Polar Plunge this Saturday, January 8th.  

The event will take place at Sunrise Mountain Pool
 (21321 N. 86th Dr.) from 7:30 – 9:30 am.

It will be chilly out at this year’s Polar Plunge! Participates from around the valley are coming together to promote that drowning prevention is a year-round task.  Here you will find laughs and fun as individuals of all ages plunge into the icy waters, after eating a free hot breakfast cooked by Peoria Firefighters Charities (yes, did I mention Firefighters will be there??) and receiving a free T-Shirt as a trophy honoring their brisk aquatic battle.

We've got three of our very own who are stepping up to the challenge! Steven McGhee (Aquatics & Community Programs Coordinator), Bill Stouppe (Fulfillment Supervisor) and Amanda Pagan (Health & Safety Director) will be participating in this frosty event by jumping into this unheated pool, with temperatures projected to be near 40 – 50 degrees, and swimming 25 yards as fast as frozenly possible toward warm showers that beckon them at the end!!