By Jeff Strozer, American Red Cross

Booms of thunder and strikes of lightning are all around you as torrents of rain smash into rivers and streams across the area.  Your house — your beloved land and home — are but open doors to the flood waters destroying everything in their path. The panic of your family and the loss of all you know and hold dear is upon you and there is nowhere to turn.  Soaked to the bone, you pray that you and your family will not become casualties of this massive, destructive storm.  Not knowing where to turn or how to reach safety, you fear the worst and hold your loved ones tight to your body and soul. Out of nowhere, the hand of an emergency responder reaches you and grabs your arm, pulling you into a boat you did not see or hear in the wind and rain. You are desperate to save your family and pull them in with you; you will not rest until each one is on the boat. Once on it, tired and drained, you notice something from the corner of your eye: a person in a red and white vest. The vest says “Red Cross.”

Once the boat reaches dry land, a blanket is draped around your shoulders and you know you are with people who care and want you and your family to live for another day.  You are moved from the destructive force of the rain and rivers to a dry and safe shelter with hot food and basic comforts.  You have access to news and information and you know your family is now warm and safe.  Red Cross volunteers are all around you, trying to make sure you and your family’s needs are being met.  It is their duty to comfort and shelter you all, taking care of basic needs and developing a path for your recovery and a start to rebuilding your future.


People sometimes ask, “Why the Red Cross?” Why contact them when in need or join them as a volunteer? Why support them with a donation? All of the services offered by the American Red Cross could never be covered here, so I encourage you to click about us and learn more.  In the meantime, consider the water, the rain, the lightening, the fear—and then food, comfort, shelter and the kindness of Red Cross people. Why the Red Cross? This is why.

Please click here to find your local chapter location.