When a fire damaged an apartment complex in the small town of Grangeville in northcentral Idaho last fall, Red Cross volunteers sprang into action, working closely with community partners to help meet residents’ immediate needs and jump-start their road to recovery.
More than 20 residents were displaced by the fire, most of them elderly or disabled. Red Cross teams opened an emergency shelter, served warm meals, met with clients face to face, provided financial assistance and offered leadership as the community began to move forward. Most importantly, they worked closely with partners to make sure no one’s needs were left unmet.
“We were just impressed, beyond words, about how the community came together to take care of their own,” Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteer Randy Clark said. “Not only with the initial response but to work through the process of getting everybody situated back into permanent housing so they could get well on the road to recovery.”
Clark said one community organizer was so pleased with the collaboration that took place, she and her husband signed up to become Red Cross volunteers.
“Is that not good or what?” Clark said.
“In my mind, Grangeville is a model community.”
Idaho Red Cross responded to more than 240 disasters last year, most of them house fires. To learn more how you can help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from local emergencies, visit www.redcross.org/idaho or call 800-863-2570.