Why I Want To Marry the Red Cross

February 10, 2009 at 11:59 pm (Charitable Organizations) (, , , , , )

Why I Want To Marry the Red Cross

I used to think that The Red Cross only showed up if there was a disaster of biblical proportion to be dealt with and throngs of people in crisis to soothe, shelter, and feed.
Well, they also show up when your house burns down.
They not only show up, but they VOLUNTEER to show up.
If I could marry an organization, (and polygamy was legal in my state), I would marry The Red Cross.

As the firefighters fought fiercely to subdue the blaze consuming our house and now also the neighbors’ roof, my husband and I lay on the carpeted floor of a neighbors’ house across the street.
We were trying to stay calm as various police, fire inspectors, EMTs, and friends came in and out.
In the midst of all the chaos, a soft-spoken diminutive old man entered the room. He said he was from The Red Cross and showed us his credentials. He sat with us for over an hour through almost constant interruptions. Somehow, he managed to get all of the vital information he needed. We were in such shock, that it was almost a comfort to answer his questions.
After he had ascertained that we’d be staying with friends as opposed to going to a hotel, he announced that he was done.
He handed us a debit card from the Red Cross worth $500.
Before I could thank him properly or even get his name, he had vanished.
Talk about your everyday heroes! Who was that unmasked man?

That debit card was a life saver. When you have lost 98% of all your material possessions, it is a remarkable thing to be able to buy food for your pets, a pen, a notebook , shoes, (I had left the house barefoot), and much more.
When you have lost all of your stuff, it is a great gift of dignity to be able to buy your own underwear.
I urge you to make a donation to The Red Cross. You never know when you will be on the receiving end of their amazing services.

P.S. Here is a way to directly help a fellow-blogger who recently lost her home to fire.

* Thanks Liz for sending this my way !

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6 Comments

  1. Alison said,

    Rachel,

    You and Henry are in my thoughts and heart so often. I’m glad you are in a place to to be able to process your experience with as much karma and class as you approach everything in life. And of course, I’m just gratified that you chose to include me in the sharing. And just so you know, although you may not hear from some of us every day, this doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten.

    Can’t wait to catch up with you guys — before Folklife! 🙂 Thank you for spreading your hopeful nature into my world…

  2. jerzegurl said,

    I lost everything I owned twice, in a fire. The first time I was 8 months pregnant and separated from my husband. Red Cross didn’t help me. I had to move from friend to friend’s house and one night even slept in the burnt out house. It was awful. I hired a private insurance adjuster he was the one that helped me the most.

    The 2nd time we had a fire was on Jan.13 1988 and it was 20 below.. we left the house without our coats even.. my daughter who was having her “friend” didn’t have extra tampons.. it was awful. We spent $500.00 on things like toothbushes etc.. the next day. Again the red cross did not help us. We again hire a private insurance adjuster.. We did not get any money at all from our insurance co. until April 30.

    We also lost our beloved pug in that fire.

    Fire is awful…. I never want to go through that again…

  3. rachelanncross said,

    Dearest Jerzegurl,
    So sorry to learn that The Red Cross was not there for you after your fires. I am thinking that since 1988, The Red Cross has undergone major structural changes, so that they can be available to folks on a local level.

    As you know, there are many heroic and helpful people in our midst, and I’m so thankful that some of those folks found you and your daughter.

    Thanks so much for sharing a bit of one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. You are a brave soul.

    I can’t imagine the horror of having to go through fire twice.

    Many blessings to you,
    Rachel

  4. Why I Want to Marry the Red Cross said,

    […] on our trails around the internet we found a blog post by Kindlingarden with the title, “Why I Want to Marry the Red Cross.” It doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Especially Valentine’s Day […]

  5. Kim said,

    not to take anything away from the Red Cross, but I do think that Karma also works in all this. You both give everyone,and so many different communities so much. What you have received during the whole experience is just a tiny bit of what you’ve given. It is a good thing for us all to see that being a kind and generous person does help in the equation of life. THanks for the lessons!

    xoxoxox
    kim

  6. rachelanncross said,

    This post was picked up by the official Red Cross blog, http://redcrosschat.org/ and featured during Valentine’s week.
    I feel so honored, and also in awe of the raw power of the written word and the internet.

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