Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Your volunteers are amazing!"

Julie Perl at the Red Cross shelter at Westcott Community
Center in Syracuse Wednesday afternoon
Julie Perl thought her Tuesday was winding down as she left class at Bryant and Stratton College and headed home around 10pm, but unfortunately, her evening's journey was just beginning.

"I was headed down James Street, saw the fire trucks, and started freaking out," Perl said at the Red Cross shelter at the Westcott Community Center in Syracuse Wednesday. Heavy rains had caused flash flooding in many areas of the city. At Perl's apartment complex, the power had been cut as the waters filled the basement and reached the electrical wiring, and the fire department told Julie and her family they had to leave.

"I've been here since 2:30 this morning," Perl said of the shelter. "The volunteers have been amazing. On the news, you see they're everywhere, but I've never had to deal with a situation where the Red Cross stepped in. They brought out snacks for the kids at 2:30 a.m., gave us water, blankets, breakfast this morning."

Perl and a couple of her fellow shelter residents actually helped set up the cots that 18 people slept on Tuesday night. She feels that's the least they could for the volunteers that were helping them. Volunteers like Rich Plumpton, who had just returned from two weeks working with the Red Cross relief efforts in Oklahoma three days earlier.

Julie Perl and her grandson enjoying lunch at the Wescott
Community Center shelter
"You couldn't ask for a better bunch of people," Perl said. "They actually felt bad that they didn't have any toys for my grandkids. But they gave them Mickey Mouse, and that made the kids so happy. They actually slept with the Mickeys!"

Later Wednesday afternoon, the shelter moved to St. Lucy's Church on Gifford Street, where 20 people spent Wednesday night. Julie Perl says she doesn't know what she would've done if it wasn't for the Red Cross.

"I have family, but they have things that they do, and don't have the room to put us up," she said. "We probably would've been in a shelter that's not fit for kids."

No comments:

Post a Comment