YARNELL (July 25, 2013) – Yarnell Community Presbyterian Church Pastor Paul D. Jones welcomed the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter with open arms this month when the Red Cross created a recovery center to provide resources to people displaced by the Yarnell Hill Fire.
“My wife, Ann, and I were evacuated from our home for a short time, and we were very concerned about our tightknit community,” Jones said. “Everyone in this community just wraps their arms around each other, so it’s wonderful to see the Red Cross come out and help our residents.”
Most of Yarnell is comprised of retirees who moved to enjoy the simple life and the beautiful scenery. “Yarnell residents come from all over the country to live out their life. Our elementary school has only 50 children,” said Jones, who had six families from his congregation lose their homes to the wildfire.
With a son as a Daisy Mountain firefighter and another son working for homeland security in Phoenix, Jones is familiar with the dangers of first-responder work. “These people who give their lives are heroes beyond question,” said Jones, who has been with the Yarnell Community Presbyterian Church for 18 years. “Our community is now coping with the guilt we feel for the loss of firefighters who ran into harm’s way to save our things. So the recovery from this tragedy is much greater than things.”
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. It’s a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Grand Canyon Chapter, established in 1916, re-chartered in 1999 and expanded in 2003, ranks as the fifth-largest chapter nationally, serving the more than 5.1 million people in Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties. For more information on the Grand Canyon Chapter, please visit www.redcross.org/gcc, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcrossgcc or follow us on Twitter under the handle @RedCrossGCC.