MILLBURN, NJ – The Millburn-Short Hills Chamber of Commerce hosted a breakfast networking meeting this week featuring guest speaker, Christy Hodde of the American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey.

More than 20 local businesspeople gathered at Charlie Brown’s restaurant to meet and exchange business ideas and contact information.

Hodde gave an overview of the Red Cross’s organization and role within the community, the country and the world.  It may surprise many to learn that while the Red Cross is sanctioned to enter disaster relief areas and war zones, it receives no federal funding and relies on contributions from individuals and corporations to fulfill its mission.

Sign Up for E-News

A full 91 percent of every dollar they take in goes to humanitarian programs and services.  They strive to keep administrative overhead as low as possible.

The theme of Hodde’s talk was preparedness.  She encourages families and businesses to become “Red Cross Ready.”  This involves knowing what to do when the unexpected strikes, as well as knowing what supplies to have on hand and what to do afterward.  A full checklist is available at

The Red Cross has also introduced smartphone apps that may be downloaded at no charge.  The apps offer real-time alerts, maps and emergency instructions and tips.  These are available by dialing “REDCROSS” from your iPhone or Android phone.

Training is also available for business leaders and companies to make them aware of what to do when disaster strikes.  “As the lessons of Hurricane Sandy have taught us, minutes count,” Hodde said.  “We at the Red Cross are available to come speak to your organization and teach you what to do when trouble strikes.”

The Red Cross is always looking for new volunteers to assist in their efforts.  At the moment, they can use more help with drivers and transportation, and encourage contacting your local Red Cross office.

On Sunday, December 8, the Red Cross is hosting its annual “Run for the Red” 5K run and walk in Millburn.  The Chamber of Commerce will be assisting in the organization and volunteer efforts for the race.  Runners may register as individuals or as teams at