Evacuating her East Palo Alto home was the last thing Elaina Cook expected to be doing on her 21st birthday on March 7.
Elaina, her family, and 10 of their neighbors, escaped the fire. The damage to the building was extensive and Elania’s family lost most of their belongings. The Red Cross Bay Area Chapter provided the families with shelter, comfort, and emotional support. The Chapter also worked with the San Mateo Human Services Administration and other partner agencies to provide services until the family could find long-term housing.
“We really appreciated how all the Red Cross workers were courteous and on top of things,” said Elaina’s sister, Fuka Cook. “Not many agencies provide the generosity that the Red Cross does and we are very grateful.”
Fuka’s nine-year-old niece, Luisa Cook, was in a state of shock after the fire but was comforted when she saw the Red Cross helping her family. While staying at the emergency shelter Luisa was given markers and paper to keep her occupied and she drew a beautiful picture to thank the Red Cross.
“[The Red Cross volunteers] were really good because they helped my family,” Luisa said.