On December 6, 2020, Kanaya Woods’ Pottstown home was destroyed by a fire, leaving her and two daughters with little more than the clothes on their backs. With just weeks to go before Christmas, Woods wasn’t sure where to turn. Then she got a call from the Red Cross.
“I would like to thank (Red Cross) for reaching out to me and my two daughters on the night of my house fire,” Woods said.
While observing additional safety measures put into place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, trained Red Cross disaster responders worked with Woods to assess her needs, confirm the damage done to her home, and provide her support to make sure she and her 2 and 7-year-old daughters would have a safe place to spend the night, and food to eat while they determined next steps.
“Red Cross provided many resources to me and my children, clothes, food and housing resources that were much needed. I’d like to thank everyone involved in the Red Cross organization because I had no idea what direction to move forward in and Red Cross staff, providers, first responders and outreach services helped me with the first steps to recovering from my disaster. Thank You Red Cross,” she said.
Every eight minutes, the Red Cross helps someone affected by disaster, and the vast majority of these are home fires. So far in 2020, the Red Cross has assisted more than 2,500 people after home fires in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Gene Maxey was one of the Red Cross volunteers who assisted the Woods family, and he regularly signs up for shifts to assist local families.
“It’s so tough to see families lose everything. Navigating this process has been even more difficult for people during the pandemic, and it’s heartbreaking when families experience a fire so close to Christmas. I’m glad we could provides some support to Ms. Woods and help her with the first steps in her recovery,” Maxey said.
To learn more about home fire safety visit: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire.html