STORY: Finding Comfort in a Red Cross Shelter

Story written by Red Cross worker Anna Kate Twitty.

Oklahoma Tornado Response
Red Cross mental health worker Charlotte Taylor provides support to father and baby at the Red Cross shelter located at Moore Community Center.

More than two weeks after devastating tornadoes hit Oklahoma, people are still coming to American Red Cross shelters to seek a safe and positive place to stay, like the Hueso family whose home was severely damaged in Moore. After staying with relatives for nearly two weeks, Jesus Hueso and his young family decided to seek additional help by coming to the Red Cross shelter at Moore Community College.

“I’m originally from Arizona and didn’t even know what a tornado was,” said Hueso. “And I certainly did not know what all the Red Cross did to help until I actually needed it.”

Jesus and his family have been spending some time with Red Cross volunteers while staying at the shelter. His family has formed a special bond with mental health volunteer, Charlotte Taylor.

“Everyone here is super nice and helpful,” said Hueso, “I can’t walk 10 feet without someone asking if we need help.”
When talking about the shelter and how the Red Cross is helping, Taylor said that, “people know when they come in that no matter how hopeless or helpless they feel, we care about them. We line them up with counselors, case works and health services.”

“It is joyful to see them leaving with a bit of hope knowing that there is help and that perhaps there will be a more joyful future,” said Taylor.

Taylor, a three time cancer survivor, is a long-time Red Cross volunteer that deployed from South Carolina to help with relief efforts in Oklahoma. “I believe in what the Red Cross does with everything I am, so I am glad to be a part of the Red Cross team deployed to Oklahoma to help relieve the suffering,” said Taylor.

So far the Red Cross has deployed more than 1,100 Red Cross disaster workers to provide shelter, meals and supplies throughout the affected communities in Oklahoma. The Red Cross has also served more than 257,000 meals and snacks, has distributed more than 46,000 relief items and has provided more than 12,000 health services and mental health contacts.

Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations help provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

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