What do you think about when you think of the RED Cross. My first experience with the Red Cross was as a young teenager taking the baby sitting course. My husband and I usually give blood with the Red Cross. I have also dealt a little bit with the Red Cross in helping get a military family member home when they had a critically ill loved one in the Intensive Care. I was like most people though when I thought about the Red Cross…..they are a great organization. They do great work. They help people…..but other people. The people in those others neighborhoods. Or those people in other towns that were wiped out by tornados. Or those people in that 3rd world country that experienced a massive natural disaster. But on Dec 3rd, 2011, I became one of those people. My family, my childrenl, we were the ones that needed help!
|Me speaking to some of the Heroes that volunteer for Red Cross|
Just a few minutes after I arrived, my husband and I were standing on the side of the road, watching the chaos, when I noticed a man in a jacket that said “Red Cross”. Initially I thought, he must be here to help the firemen, to give them water or food. But then as he approached us, I realized that he was there for us.
He took my husband to the side and they talked awhile. And I guess I still didn’t understand what was going on. I think in my mind I thought maybe they help with clean up or finding lodging. But then my husband came back and showed me a gift card with a substantial amount of money that was for us to help with immediate needs for the family. We are like most families. We didn’t have an emergency fund or a big savings account. I work full time and John works part time and is in school full time. We did not have the means that day to go out and buy our neccessties, so that card was tremendously helpful. Later that evening, we went to Walmart and used that card to buy immediate needs: socks, underclothing, snacks for the kids, diapers, sippy cups, a book bag for my oldest for school, toothbrushes, toiletries, things like that,every day essesntials. We also used it to buy clothing and shoes for the next day or two. We used it to survive.
There is a Bible verse that my husband and I took on as our mission verse when we served in Africa. It is Jude 22” And some have compassion, making a difference”. It is interesting to me that the Bible doesn’t say that all make a difference. It doesn’t say that everyone makes a difference. It is those who CHOSE to act on their compassion that makes a difference. Compassion without action is nothing! The Red Cross puts action behind their compassion to reach out to those in need to make a difference in their lives.
So now, when I think of the Red Cross, I don’t think it for those people, or for someone else, because they touched my family in very real way. And so we thank you, each of you, and we thank the Red Cross, because the Red Cross helped us to take the first step of many difficult steps on the road to rebuild our lives
We were so grateful for the oppurtunity to tell the Red Cross how much we appreciate all their help and assistance after our loss. The fire changed me in so many ways....I am thankful for that. And I am thankful for all the wonderful people that have come into our lives since that dreadful morning.