While the rest of the country prepares to observe Veterans’ Day, residents of central Texas are cleaning up after last week’s devastating flooding. The American Red Cross is there with them, making sure people get the help they need as they begin to plan their recovery.
Red Cross disaster workers are providing people with a place to sleep and shower, food to eat, access to health and mental health services and relief items to help them clean their homes.
Officials report as many as 1,300 homes are affected by the flooding. Red Cross workers are assessing the damage and working with partner agencies to connect families with the resources available to help them. The Red Cross is also traveling through the affected areas in emergency response trucks, distributing meals and relief items.
Since last week, more than 240 people have sought refuge in Red Cross shelters and workers have provided more than 52,000 meals and snacks. The Red Cross has distributed thousands of relief supplies and provided more than 380 health and mental health contacts.
VET FEELS LUCKY Four feet of water does not dampen Jesse Cazarez’ spirit or the American flags that he proudly displays around his home. After serving in the Vietnam War and watching his friends and brothers get injured, Cazarez knows how fortunate he is.
“I am the lucky one,” he says, standing in the middle of a water-logged garage next to two destroyed cars and piles of rubble. A sense of gratitude and optimism shines through as he begins to rebuild after the floods that hit his neighborhood on Halloween.
“Red Cross feeds me every day, and they’ve given me a lot of help,” Cazarez said. “This is nothing. After everything I’ve seen, I know you can always bounce back.”
WANTED TO HELP Annette Saldivar saw stories about the floods on the news and decided to step up to help her community. As a former resident of one of the flooded neighborhoods, she knew she could connect with the families who were affected. This is her first time volunteering with the Red Cross.
“I do speak Spanish, and I think my ethnic background has been helpful,” Saldivar said. “Families have been afraid to ask, afraid to come forward, and I want them to be as comfortable as possible in such a trying time. I want them to know that we are here to help.”
HOW TO HELP You can help people affected by disasters like floods, tornadoes and other crises by making a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. You can donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.