Natural disasters such as tornadoes are rare here in Western Pennsylvania. Maybe it is all the mountains that help break them up, or maybe we don’t have the right weather conditions. Whatever the reason, it made the one that I experienced in March of 2011 all that more rare.
After the F2 tornado touched down, it carved a seven mile-long path of destruction. In all, it damaged over 100 homes and businesses, completely destroying 30 of them. In fact, my own house was damaged by wind and hail, but it was nothing compared to what some others had lost.
In the following days I read about relief efforts taking place in the areas affected and felt called to help out. That Saturday, everyone gathered at a local firehall and the American Red Cross checked in volunteers and provided tetanus shots for those helping. Some of us were assigned to groups to help clean up debris, others were to directly help the homeowners who agreed to help. Luckily, I was one of the ones who got to help the homeowners.
We spent the day helping an elderly woman, whose house was destroyed, remove as many of her personal possessions as she could. We removed furniture, pictures, and even architectural elements from the house and worked until we no longer had light. It was hard work, but was one of my most rewarding experiences.
Seeing families lives completely uprooted in an instant is absolutely heartbreaking. This is why I found it so important to help out those affected by the tornado. It could just have easily been me and my family.
Thankfully, the American Red Cross was there to help those affected by the tornado with shelter and other necessities when these families had lost everything.
Disasters can happen in an instant and completely destroy lives. People lose the roof over their heads, their clothes, and their most cherished possessions. Trying to determine what to do next can be overwhelming. In fact, nearly every eight minutes the American Red Cross meets families that have lost everything to a house fire or other disaster.
While you can’t always actually help hands-on, your donations can go a long way toward making a difference. In fact, a gift of $88.50 can provide a family with a day’s worth of food, plus blankets and other essentials.
This year, on March 28, help the American Red Cross make a difference by helping families in need. Your donations will support Red Cross Giving Day which is raising money to help support families after disasters big and small. Even if you can only help one family, you are changing that family’s life. To find out more about The American Red Cross mission and Giving Day, visit the Giving Day website.
This Giving Day I am supporting The American Red Cross because I realize that none of us are immune to disaster and it is important to know there is someone there in case the worst actually does happen. This is why I chose to GIVE NOW.