Suzanne Hook, 49, from DuBois, Pa. was already in the midst of a taxing week when she witnessed a fatal car accident, leaving her stressed out and shaken up. Already emotionally drained, Suzanne didn’t expect to also suffer through torrential downpours and devastating flood waters in her own home this June.
Suzanne’s finished basement was flooded with one foot of water. Unfortunately, her insurance plan did not cover flood damage, like most other flood victims in the area. Over the past few years, Suzanne had undergone three spinal surgeries which caused her to rely on special medical equipment. All of the equipment was in the basement that day and ruined by water damage.
Suzanne found herself sitting outside of her house reflecting on everything that had happened that week and wondering what she was going to do when a woman walked through her yard and asked,
“Can I help you?”
Suzanne looked up to see a smiling woman walking toward her porch.
“It was like hearing the voice of a guardian angel,” Suzanne recalled.
The voice belonged to American Red Cross volunteer Wendy O’Brien. In the next few days, Wendy worked one-on-one with Suzanne, providing her with the guidance that she needed in a time of hopelessness. As a disaster relief organization, the Red Cross serves as a ray of light during a disaster victim’s darkest days, like that day for Suzanne.
The Red Cross was able to provide assistance to help replace the ruined medical equipment. Additionally, Wendy told Suzanne where to go to receive a clean-up kit and to meet someone who could help her navigate onto her path to recovery.
The Red Cross also connected Suzanne to the local Methodist Church to assure that she received all of the additional relief assistance she needed. Members of the church were able to come to her house and further help her with cleaning up.
The Red Cross made such an impact on Ms. Hook that she has decided to join the organization as a volunteer as soon as things settle down.
“I would love to help others the way the Red Cross helped me,” Suzanne said.