"I have never encountered a disaster where I needed assistance, so it was quite a surprise and a great blessing!" Krystal Herline explained after visiting the Community Resource Center in Vinton, Louisiana.
Krystal and her family evacuated their home on Niblett's Bluff Road on March 6th and left with no idea what they'd come back to. A week later, they saw their home for the first time. Their worst fears came true. The flood reached historic heights and water filled their home up past the windows. Everything was destroyed, including furniture, clothing, equipment and sentimental items such as her marriage certificate and her daughter's birth certificate.
Krystal has been staying with relatives over an hour away. Driving every day to her home has taken a toll on her strength. Thankfully, the Crossroads Baptist Church was the community location for hot food, snacks, water and even showers. “Red Cross feeding efforts have been a blessing," she said. "We would have lunch, go back home and work and return for dinner,"
While surveying the area, Red Cross workers met Krystal and her mother, Rita, and recommended they register at the Community Resource Center in Vinton. Upon arrival, Red Cross case workers assisted in their application for emergency financial support. To help with the clean up process, mops, cleaning solutions, brushes and brooms, rakes, shovels and bleach were provided. They also met with the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and the United Way for longer-term recovery support.
Among the items lost in the flood was Rita’s medication and glucometer to test her blood sugar. Red Cross nurse, Shirlee Reding of Des Moines, Iowa, listened intently as she knew the dangerous predicament this is for a diabetic. Within 30-minutes, the Health Service volunteer not only replaced medications, but arranged for a new glucometer to be shipped overnight.
“While the road to recovery may be long, the distance there became shorter,” shared Krystal. "It touched my heart so much that the girl who took my application asked about me personally. It just made my heart smile. I've really needed someone to just sit and listen and then in turn say she cared."
You can help people affected by disasters like the Louisiana floods, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.