American Red Cross Helping Oklahomans Pre and Post Storms

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They (the Red Cross) have done almost everything for us. They have been our hero.

The wind blows strong over the hill where William Harris and his wife live in a travel trailer. Their make-shift home sits parked next to the storm shelter that likely saved their lives in May of 2013. That’s when an outbreak of tornadoes struck, hitting eastern Cleveland and Pottawatomie County. Their house was mangled to pieces leaving them with little refuge.

“They (the Red Cross) have done almost everything for us,” Mr. Harris stated. “They have been our hero. They were there when we needed them. They got us the motor home. I thank God for that.”

The Red Cross stepped in to assist with food, clothing and to help coordinate the rebuilding of their lives. A Red Cross case manager identified volunteer groups who could assist with construction of a new foundation for their home and that case manager has been there every step of the way through their recovery on this disaster.

It is a strong bond between this Red Cross case manager and client that started before the tornadoes. As it turns out, a year earlier, a fire leveled the Harris’ home on the exact same property. The Red Cross was on scene and provided them a hotel, food, and financial assistance to get them back on their feet.
When the tornadoes rolled through Oklahoma, Mr. Harris traveled to the Multi-Agency Resource Center to find help and that’s where he says he recognized someone immediately. The same Red Cross worker who had responded to his house fire was there in the resource center. So for a second time, the case manager and client sat down and started building the Harris’ road to recovery.

“It’s personal with him,” Harris stated referring to his Red Cross case manager. “He cares for people. You can’t find that very often anymore.”