Monday, October 22, 2012

The stories behind the Tweets

As you can see from our Twitter feed or Facebook page, our Disaster Action Team had a busy weekend, providing immediate emergency assistance to multiple families after separate fires on Lasalle Avenue and Holly Street in Buffalo. While they provide great updates on the work our amazing volunteers do throughout this community every day, these posts can be a little cold and unemotional. It's impossible to describe the impact these calls for help can have on both the victims and our DAT members in 140 characters. But this email from a staff member and Disaster Action Team leader regarding an incident last weekend does the trick pretty well:

I happened to be on call for Emergency Services this weekend and got a call at 3:30 Saturday morning that there was a house fire in Hamburg and a family of 5 that needed our help.  Any fire I respond to is devastating, but this one in particular reminded me why we do what we do and why our fundraising is so important.  One of the family dogs woke the father up just in time to get his wife and three girls safely out of the house, but unfortunately the house and all of the family’s belongs were utterly destroyed.  As we talked to the mom, there was so much stress and uncertainty about what to do next and the girls were clinging to the few photos and pieces of clothing they were able to salvage before the firemen boarded up the house.  One of the young daughters was clutching the worn pink blanket – her “woobie” that dad grabbed before running out of the house.  I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful this family’s neighbors were, taking them in, listening to what we were telling the family and most importantly just hugging and crying with their friends – in relief that everyone was safe and in despair at the devastation in the house.  My teammate and I drove back home just as the sun was coming up and I really couldn’t have been more proud of the work we do… 

Any one of our DAT volunteers could share similar stories of the emotions felt by everyone at a disaster scene, and we can only be there to turn heartbreak into hope thanks to your support. Even if you are not able to feel this impact for yourself by volunteering, please consider making a donation to help us continue to be what happens next for our neighbors in need across Western New York. 

And if you would like to share your own story of how the Red Cross helped you in your time of need, or how volunteering with us has touched your life, please click the "Share Your Stories" link on the bottom of this page!

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