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Red Cross Helps Families Sift through Emotions and Destroyed Homes

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“Thank you Boy Scout Troop 119 from Canyon Country, whose members cleared homeowners’ property.”

August 2, 2016 -- The Sand Fire, which started July 22 in Santa Clarita and burned more than 41,000 acres, also left 18 homes completely destroyed.

During the week following the fire’s outbreak, the Red Cross responded by opening and staffing a total of five shelters, providing nearly 200 overnight stays, as well as 1,800 meals and hundreds of comfort items. Volunteers were also out in the field as part of Emergency Response Teams canvassing the burned areas and delivering food, water and comfort items.

As the response shifted to the recovery phase, on July 29 a very special Red Cross team of client caseworkers, including disaster mental health workers and disaster spiritual care members met with some of the residents who lost their homes at the very sites where houses once stood.

The Red Cross provided shovels, buckets, gloves and masks, as well as 50 handmade sifters. The sifters, made of 2 x 4 pieces of wood and wire mesh, were provided to help people search for valuables and any remnants of the homeowners’ lives that may have survived the fire.
Red Cross volunteer Saul Roe is one of the volunteers who helped build the sifters at Hart High School. "It's like sifting at a mine," Roe said.
A big “Shout Out” to Boy Scout Troop 119 from Canyon Country, whose members spent two days helping clear the homeowners’ property.

And thank you to everyone who helped with this community effort, including the Home Depot in Culver City, which provided the materials for the sifters.