Friday, October 07, 2011
Last night I had the pleasure of meeting the Leslie family. I just wish it was under different circumstances.
I find myself meeting a lot of amazing people in the worst of circumstances these days. See I am there for some of the worst moments in someone’s life. After disasters strike, fires demolish and hope is low- that is when the Red Cross pulls up on the scene and I jump out with a heavy heart.
For Angela Leslie and her three children Dalissa (9), Sasha (6) and Mitchai (4) it was a three alarm apartment fire last night. Angela was in class when the fire started. Her mother was watching her kids when a neighbor came to the door and told them there was a fire and to get out quick.
Angela rushed home with a million thoughts running through her head. She didn’t know what her family would do, where they would go or where to even begin. Ten volunteers from the Red Cross were quickly on the scene to help answer those questions and offer comfort.
It came in the little things; the tiny flip-flops for four-year-old Mitchai who ran out without shoes on. The Mickey Mouse stuffed animals and comfort kits with coloring books, crayons, bubbles and activities to keep them occupied while mom worked out the details with the Red Cross.
“It feels so good to have somewhere to go to stay so I have somewhere to figure out what to do next,” Angela said. “We had nowhere to go and now I can think. I really appreciate the Red Cross and their help. I plan to give blood to thank them and someday when I’m out of school and a doctor I will become a volunteer to help the Red Cross like they helped me.”
When I asked Dalissa and Sasha how it felt for the Red Cross to be there to help they said, “It feels really... really good. They felt helpful and I felt thankful. I felt loved.”
This is just one of the many stories from the sixty-four residents we assisted last night- but I truly hope they all felt loved too.
Thanks to last nights volunteers: Sue Severin, Cindy Ritzman, Jeff McLaughlin, Jane McLaughlin, Bonnie Venhaus, Phylis Andrews, Bill Dreyfus, Ingrid Johnson, Verlan Rumbaugh and LeRoy Fuglsang.
The Red Cross depends on the generous support of Omaha metro residents to respond to our neighbors who are affected by home fires. You can help the Red Cross continue to be ready to respond and help fire victims by making a financial contribution to Heartland Chapter today. To make a financial donation, visit www.redcrossomaha.org, call 402.343.7700, or mail a check to 2912 S. 80th Ave, Omaha, NE 68124.
For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit www.redcross.org/homefires.