The American Red Cross responds to fires more than any other disaster. More than hurricanes. Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Fires occur in the United States every 80 seconds.
In the Central Valley, disaster volunteers are called to home fires on average every 16 hours. They arrive on scene oftentimes while firefighters are still there, and they provide families with food, shelter, infant formula, teddy bears for the kids, access to medication… whatever the family needs to survive.
This relief is almost entirely delivered by volunteers and funded by donors. When we arrive, more often than not, we encounter families who are grateful. Though they may have lost everything, they say “thank goodness” that their loved ones survived. “Everything else can be replaced,” they say. When a family survives a fire without deaths or injuries, they usually first think of their pictures – the memories that can’t be replaced. One of my most striking memories as a disaster volunteer was helping this family wipe away smoke damage from baby photos that we were relieved to find intact.
To be a part of a life changing mission, join the Red Cross by volunteering or donating today!