The American Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters every year, emergencies ranging from a fire affecting one household to larger disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes that devastate entire communities.
During Red Cross Month people have come forward to report on how Red Cross Disaster Services helped them during an emergency. Here are some of their stories:
“My apartment caught fire a few years ago,” Adam reported. “Luckily nobody was injured, but personal items were lost and many people did not have supplies or a place to stay. The Red Cross was there within a few hours with supplies. Over the next few weeks as the residents dealt with the fire, the Red Cross continued to provide supplies and other items. One family had a few small children that were about to start school and lost all of their school supplies. The Red Cross was able to replace these items before school started.”Fire Safety Checklist.
In 1989, Monika’s subdivision and house flooded. Friends came to help her. “The Red Cross came by and left cleaning supplies, sandwiches (I hadn't even thought about getting food for my helpers), juice and bananas,” she said. “Since we did not have flood insurance, I also received a grant to buy new mattresses and a voucher to have all electric outlets checked by an electrician. The Red Cross was a life-saver.”
“My apartment caught fire in 2002,” Margie said. “I had just returned from a trip to visit my family with my deceased grandmother's engagement ring. A Red Cross volunteer spent over two hours looking through debris with me, and we eventually found it. It was the only possession saved from that fire, and it is so cherished. I decided right then that it was the only thing I needed to save. What I remember most was the Red Cross volunteer's kindness and selflessness.”
“Our family was one of the 254 who lost their homes in the Angora fire in South Lake Tahoe, California,” Anna Maria wrote. “From my first moment of contact with the wonderful volunteers, the Red Cross was a saving grace not only for me but for my community. They could see by the look on my face that I was one of the people that lost everything in the fire. They sat me down and gave me something to eat and drink and some on-the-spot emotional support. In the following days they drove around the devastated streets bringing us sieves to work through the ashes and food to keep us going. They provided food and clothing to those who needed it and helped people find shelter. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank the Red Cross for all that you do. We could not have come through this tragedy without you.”
If you would like to help people affected by disasters, you can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.