It was a phone call Bruce Hearns never thought he’d get. His Philadelphia home, in the city’s West Oak Lane section, was on fire.
Fortunately, nobody was home at the of the time of the fire, which started in a vacant home next door and spread to Bruce’s.
But the damage was done, and Bruce, his wife and their four children would have to stay someplace else. “It was traumatizing,” recalled Hearns.
That’s where the American Red Cross stepped in. Volunteers with the Red Cross Disaster Action Team responded to the scene of the fire, meeting with Bruce to provide care and comfort to he and his family. They also talked to determine what kind of help his family would need. Hearns had no idea the Red Cross did this. “The Red Cross is very beneficial to the City of Philadelphia,” said Hearns.
Together, Bruce and Red Cross volunteers determined the best place for the Hearns family would be Philadelphia’s Red Cross House. It’s a comfortable place where families stay together in their own hotel-style room following a disaster like a home fire or flood.
The Red Cross House also provides three meals each day, access to disaster recovery resources, emotional support and more following the disaster.
The Hearns family called the Red Cross House home for about three weeks while repairs were underway on their own home. “Red Cross is the best. They offer the right care,” said Hearns. On the family’s last day at the Red Cross House, Hearns said, “Our family definitely appreciates you. We’re so grateful for the assistance provided.”
- By Dave Skutnik