Germs are Bad Rappers.

Have you noticed that something seems to be going around Santa Cruz County?  2 of my neighbors are sick, at least 2 of our regular volunteers, and this very AM, I woke up with that particular sensation in the back of my throat that says, “You’re gonna wish you were in bed ALL DAY.”

There’s been some pretty big talk about the flu this year.  So much so, that you’re probably reading this blog post and thinking, “Not AGAIN!”

Still, it’s always a good idea to follow a few simple rules to keep yourself healthy… and if you aren’t healthy, to keep others around you from picking up what you’re putting down (if you know what I mean).  You can check out some tips here: Red Cross Flu Checklist (PDF).

Or, you can take the hint from an old Red Cross friend, Scrubby Bear.  We still offer this program, but thankfully, since this video… there have been some updates.

How to give love this Valentine’s Day… even without a date.

Excited for Valentine’s Day…or not so excited for Valentine’s Day?

This will be your blogmaster’s first Valentine’s Day alone in 8 years (can I get an “Awww…”?).  But it’s ok.  There are some amazing things going on this Valentine’s Day weekend.  Grab your date (or don’t – no date required!) for one of these great events, and do something amazing for your community and the victims of the Earthquake in Haiti.

Did I mention these are No Date Required events?  If you’ve got some love to give this Valentine’s Day, don’t sit home and sulk.  Do something good for others – and have some fun at the same time.

Friday, February 12, 7 PM:

Concert for Haiti at First Congregational Church (900 High Street, Santa Cruz)

Cover: $10.00 or more (donation)

Performing: Robert Haven & Ben Cole, Franklin Marshall Band, David Beaudry, Kevin Robinson, Keith Taylor & More!

Saturday, February 13, 10 AM – 3 PM:

Santa Cruz Love Project @ Rebecca Stark Photography, 2027 N. Pacific Avenue Suite A, Santa Cruz

Rebecca will be taking headshots and Valentine’s Day inspired portraits for a donation, split 50/50 with our local chapter and the Haiti Relief Fund.  No one to hold hands with? Pets and Strong “don’t need nobody” types (like yours truly) also welcome!

Sunday, February 14, 10 AM:

The Last Resort Cut-A-Thon, 2-1245 E. Cliff Street in Santa Cruz and 5024 Soquel Drive in Soquel

The Last Resort Salon will be having a “Cut-a-Thon” to support the American Red Cross, Santa Cruz County Chapter as well as the relief effort in Haiti.  Stylists have donated their time, and all profit for the day will go to the Red Cross.

Sunday, February 14, 5-9 PM

Almost Chaos, Jackie Rocks Band and Rapid Fire @ Coasters Lounge (Inside the Boardwalk Bowl), 115 Cliff Street, Santa Cruz

Local, award-winning, teenage bands Almost Chaos, Rapid Fire and Jackie Rocks Band will be perform at this all-ages show. Cover is $5.00.

There will be a raffle during the concert with 100% of the profits to benefit the American Red Cross.  Raffle sponsors include Pacific Coast Manor, Santa Cruz Skate Shop, Baby Bloomers and Dominican Hospital.

Wednesday, February 17, 4 PM – ?:

Acapulco Restaurant Haiti Relief Night, 1116 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz

Can’t drag yourself out of your lonely heart funk (or love nest) and make it to an event this weekend?  You can still help at Acapulco’s Haiti Relief Night. 25% of receipts for the night will go to Haiti Relief.  In addition, servers will be donating the night’s tips.

The restaurant usually closes at 9:30 PM, however, if they are busy they will remain open.

Haiti Earthquake Update, February 4, 2010

For an up to the minute, straight from the horse’s mouth update on Haiti, visit:

For those of you who don’t know, the American Red Cross is just a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.  Not in recent history have so many societies from all over the world come together on a relief mission.

The IFRC has put together this (very cool) Google Earth map with current relief activities (requires you to download Google Earth):

Santa Cruz Love Project

Everybody likes to get something back.  Usually when you donate, you get that warm fuzzy feeling.  How about that warm, fuzzy feeling plus some world class photos of you and your main squeeze?

Santa Cruz local and photographer Rebecca Stark has invited the American Red Cross, Santa Cruz County Chapter to partner with her for her first (quite possibly annual) Santa Cruz Love Project.  On Saturday, February 13, Rebecca will be taking headshots and Valentine’s Day inspired portraits for a donation, split 50/50 with our local chapter and the Haiti Relief Fund.

No sweetheart?  Pets are also welcome.

Check out Rebecca’s blog for more info: