Hurricane Hanna made landfall on South Padre Island, TX, as a category 1 on Saturday July 25th.  That day “was really weird, it appeared really calm and fresh,” says Patricia Thomas, a resident of Corpus Christi, Texas.  “Then, all of a sudden, it began to pound with rain; the water was actually coming in through the walls of the apartment,” continues Ms. Thomas. “We had to use towels to stop the water from coming in.” 

After suffering severe damage and a power outage in her leased apartment, she and her son Julian decided to leave and get safe at a shelter hotel run by the American Red Cross.

Patricia and Julian stayed for a few days at the Motel 6 in Corpus Christi.  “We have been so blessed; I’ve never been helped like this before,” Patricia says with teary eyes. “The Red Cross is a godsend.”

While at the shelter, the Red Cross provided the Thomases food and a safe place to stay, completely free of charge. In addition, the family received free mattresses and bed frames to replace the damaged ones at their apartment through the services of Red Cross’s wide network of partners.

Patricia Thomas considers herself a staunch dog and cat lover. “I’ve always donated to an animal organization because they rescue cats and dogs,” Ms. Thomas expresses with pride. “But now I’ll be donating to the Red Cross.”

Over a week after the hurricane’s landing, Pat and Julian discuss ideas beyond their recovery. In the future, “I would like to help the Red Cross” Pat says, because “I’ve seen firsthand what you do for people in a time of disaster.”

Story and pictures by Juanita P. Casanova, Red Cross Contributor.