Story: Old Friends in New Places

Julie Daigle/American Red Cross volunteer
90-year-old Irene Dunn weathered Hurricane Sandy from her Landing, NJ home. Thankfully Irene’s house was spared from countless trees strewn over power lines, houses and roads. Despite not having power after Hurricane Sandy hit, Irene stayed at home for a few more days. As the temperatures continued to drop, the house became too cold and Irene sought warmth at the Red Cross shelter in Hopatcong, NJ.

The Red shelter has been Irene’s home for the last 10 days. “We’ve become family here in the shelter. The Red Cross has treated us with love and they’ve looked after us. They’ve helped us with everything we needed.”

Longtime friends Milagros Colon and Helen Verdi hadn’t seen each other in ages until they ran into each other at the Red Cross shelter. Milagros headed to the Red Cross shelter after a tree fell through the roof of her Hopatcong home and the accompanying rain soaked everything in the top floor of her home. Twelve days after the storm, the tree still sits atop her house. Milagros said that that a warm place to sleep, hot showers and three meals a day have given her great comfort. It was evident that sitting with her old friend also helped.

Helen Verdi didn’t know what to expect as the headed for the Red Cross shelter. Helen said, “This is my first time in a Red Cross shelter. They’ve been just great with everything. They check on me at night and I feel safe. I thank the Lord that they’re here.”

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