By Amy De La Fuente, American Red Cross volunteer
When a fast-moving fire displaced about 100 residents at Chatham Village Apartments in Tustin on Wednesday, February 12, first responders and volunteers from across Orange County rallied with the American Red Cross to support those affected with food, water, emotional support and much more. From the Orange County Fire Authority to the Tustin Parks and Recreation Department, the Red Cross found no shortage of people willing to help.
Local public transportation also lent a helping hand by providing two buses that took residents from the apartments to a Red Cross shelter located at the Tustin Senior Center. At the shelter, residents were greeted by Red Cross volunteers and Parks and Recreation officers. Acting like superheroes, the Department of Parks and Recreation opened its doors to those that had lost their homes, treating residents to smiles, food and assistance.
After taking a much-needed rest at the shelter, displaced resident Ana said, “I cannot believe everyone I have met here is a volunteer, you cannot image how much your smiles are helping me cope with the loss of my home right now.” With the arrival of partnering mental health staff, medical professionals and the constant support of the Parks and Recreation staff, it is obvious that team work makes the dream work.