I arrived at a hotel operating as a shelter in Weslaco, Texas to volunteer and saw two people sitting on a couch in the lobby.  I decided to stop for a moment to make small talk, thinking there might be some way I can assist.  The woman, Rosa Rodriguez, told me she was just thinking about the chain of events that happened after Hurricane Hanna made landfall on Saturday, July 25th.

The man with her, Israel Aguirre, Jr., chimed in to help tell the story of how they were alarmed by the amount of rain the town had received as Hanna came ashore.  Their anxiety rose as they saw the water rising and became alarmed when the power went out.  But their concern turned to Rosa’s older sister who is mute and suffers with health issues.

Rosa found out about the Red Cross shelter from her daughter who heard the information announced on the radio.  Rosa, her daughter Angelica, and Israel left in the rain, scared.  The three adults were able to seek shelter at the hotel in Weslaco. 

With tears in her eyes, Rosa said, “I see advertisements on TV occasionally about the Red Cross.  We need to stop having such a cold heart and just give what you can whether it is $3 or $5. We need to help because you never know when it is going to affect you, a family member, or a friend.  We all need to cooperate.  The little that we give is not much in comparison to what the Red Cross has already done for us.” 

Israel offered a Spanish saying, “From a speck of sand you can make a sandbag.  If everyone gives a little of the gifts they are born with, it can make a huge difference.  We are so grateful to the Red Cross for all the help it has given us during our time of need.  Thank you.  May God bless you.”

Story and photos by Juanita P. Casanova, Red Cross contributor