Brandy Ziegler, a Southeast Texas mother of two, choked back tears as she looked at the furniture that would lighten her burden after multiple disasters destroyed her home and belongings.

“We were left with nothing,” she said. “We feel blessed to receive this furniture today.”

The Ziegler household is just one of fifty-five survivor families that recently received furnishings at a recent distribution event in Beaumont, Texas, organized by the American Red Cross in partnership with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities and the Southeast Texas Food Bank.

Aida Ramirez also benefitted from the collaboration between the Red Cross and its partners. “Our home flooded during Hurricane Laura and on October 6 we had a home fire,” the Lake Charles, Louisiana resident explained. She went on to share that her entire family of six contracted COVID-19 shortly after being impacted by those disasters. “It’s been one thing after the other,” she said wearily as she held her two young daughters, ages seven and four, in her arms. Her family received much-needed furniture, kitchen utensils and backpacks for the children.

“The families we assisted today have in common that they lost everything during the first hurricane,” said Felix Colon, volunteer Latino Engagement Team lead. “During the second hurricane they lost even more. Donation events like this aim to help those most affected with items many people take for granted.” 

Brandy Ziegler had words of appreciation for the Red Cross as she stood next to a trailer loaded with furniture. “This donation tugs my heartstrings,” she said through her tears. “Your kindness and generosity amaze me.” 

Volunteers who helped distribute the items were grateful they could assist with the critical process of recovery. “Helping those in real need is the biggest satisfaction ever,” Felix Colon reflected. “When I see those who have lost so much, I feel I am really able to help them get back on their feet – I know I’m making a difference.”