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The American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania is mourning the loss of Pennsylvania investor and philanthropist, Warren V. “Pete” Musser, whose generosity made an impactful, and lasting difference on both the humanitarian and biomedical services of the organization.

Musser died early Monday, November 25, at the age of 92.

Musser founded Safeguard Scientifics, a venture capital investment firm in Radnor. Its name is emblazoned on the Red Cross of Eastern Pennyslvania’s humanitarian headquarters located at 23rd and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia, a nod to the company that donated the building.

A photo of Musser with his golden retriever hangs in the lobby, greeting everyone who enters. Under the photo a sign reads, “This building is the result of the vision of many people, foremost of whom is WARREN V. (PETE) MUSSER whose great generosity, leadership and example have made the Safeguard Scientifics American Red Cross Headquarters Building a reality.”

Less than three miles away is an American Red Cross building that dons Musser’s name, the Musser Blood Center on Spring Garden Street. Musser advocated for the building alongside his wife, the late Betty K. Musser. The Musser Blood Center is the largest blood manufacturing center in the Northeast and also holds a one-of-a-kind research lab.

Warren V. “Pete” Musser, second from right, in front of the Musser Blood Center

Known as a great philanthropist, Musser was a generous donor to the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania and has certainly left a lasting legacy in the region.

By: Sophie Kluthe

When disaster strikes, time can sometimes be an emergency responder’s worst enemy, but thanks to ToyotaLift Northeast, major response operations have just been sped up for trained Red Cross disaster workers in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Earlier this month, a truck arrived at the American Red Cross warehouse in Montgomery County with a delivery that would make any logistics specialist smile; it was a beautiful forklift gifted to the American Red Cross by  ToyotaLift Northeast.

From left to right: Mike Carra – Vice President of Sales Toyota Lift Northeast, Jeffrey Banks -Red Cross Logistics Specialist, Daniel Rosado – Red Cross Logistics Service Associate – Hunter Menges – Marketing Coordinator, ToyotaLift Northeast

“This new forklift enables us to be better prepared for disasters big and small. This warehouse stores disaster related supplies for our entire region – like clots, blankets and pillows to open emergency shelters when the need arises. By having the ability to quickly load these supplies into trucks, it allows the Red Cross to reach more people in need, more quickly, when they need it most,” said Erin Stephens, Regional Disaster Officer of the American Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania Region.

On what was one of the coldest days of the season so far in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the sight of a new, orange forklift rolling into the warehouse was a sight that would warm any Red Crossers heart. Thank you, ToyotaLift!

Red Cross regional logistics lead, Joe Cirillo, tries his hand at operating the new lift he helped acquire for the Eastern Pennsylvania Region warehouse

By: Sophie Kluthe

Jeffrey Middleton and Tamika Hunter on the last full day of their stay at the Red Cross House

After losing their home to a fire in September, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Jeffrey Middleton and his partner, Tamika Hunter, found themselves at the Red Cross House in Philadelphia. The Red Cross House is the center for disaster recovery, where people just like Middleton and Hunter can go after losing almost everything in a fire. 

“I’ve never experienced a fire in my life. To come home and you’re looking at your place, and there’s nothing you can do, it’s a very humbling experience.” Jeffrey said. 

Jeffrey had been at work and Tamika had been at her son’s school for a parent-teacher night, so they’re thankful neither of them were hurt. But they say the whole situations still felt “surreal.” 

“You just see all your stuff being destroyed and that’s devastating. Very devastating. Because we work hard. We’re working people,” Tamika said.  

Not knowing what to expect, the couple arrived at the Red Cross House to find comfortable beds, three meals a day and the space to decompress from what they had just gone through.  

“It’s like a second home, a temporary house, until you transition into your stable environment,” Jeffrey said.  

Even more helpful were the resources the Red Cross House staff linked them up with to help them get back on their feet.  

Tamika and Jeffrey talking to Sibongile Sithole, the Red Cross recovery specialist who assisted them during their stay

Jeffrey added that his assigned recovery support specialist knew exactly what custom programs and benefits would be helpful for his veteran status, making their transition that much easier. He even ended his stay with a new job providing transportation services for the V.A.! 

“Some of the assistance I knew, but they gave me more information, so I did feel good that they were open and willing to help me,” he added. 

The couple ended their stay at the Red Cross House on a happy note. A combination of Red Cross and V.A. resources helped them find and lock down housing that was even better that what they had previously lived in. They said they were thankful to have had a comforting place to be at the Red Cross House while they worked through their recovery.  

“It’s a place where they an ease your mind temporarily so you can focus on transitioning into the next level,” Jeffrey said. 

To learn more about the Red Cross House, visit redcross.org/redcrosshouse