For four-year-old Nicolas Zipperer and his little sister, Salma, moving into the gymnasium at Yavapai Community College is an adventure. There are other youngsters to play with, toys they haven’t seen before, even a stuffed animal for each child.
But for their mother, Mary, evacuation to an American Red Cross shelter is a mixed blessing. She’s profoundly grateful for a safe place to stay, but anxious about what faces her family when the Yarnell Hill wildfire is finally tamed.
While most of her neighbors in Peeple’s Valley, Ariz., went to stay with family or friends when the authorities told them they had to evacuate, “We’ve only lived her six months. We don’t know anybody here,” Mary said.
While her husband goes to work each day, Mary looks after Nic, Salma and their six-month-old baby sister as well as her husband’s uncle, whose medical condition is aggravated by smoke thrown up by the massive fire.
She clings to her faith that their home will be spared. But in the meantime, she appreciates that her children are happily unaware of the fire and that Red Cross volunteers are on hand to cheer her.
Dr. Amanda Theys, working with Medical Reserve Corps (pictured far right) is facilitating a 24/7 no-cost medical clinic at Moore Community Center in Moore, OK.
Dr. Theys and nurses Stephanie Gehrke and Sally Wallace from Moore Medical Center are giving free tetanus shots to people who are sifting through the debris.
Allie Joyner and Aly Humbles stopped by the clinic to get their eyes flushed after getting dust in them.
The Medical Reserve Corps and the Red Cross are working together to meet the health services needs of people in Oklahoma after the tornadoes.
Red Cross disaster worker Keith Anderson of Kansas is proud to volunteer in the Oklahoma tornado response on Memorial Day!
Beautiful flowers brighten up the Moore Community Center
The OK State Florists’ Association donated these beautiful flowers to the Red Cross shelter at the Moore Community Center to comfort and show gratitude for volunteers.
Many growers of flowers in California, Florida and South America wanted to donate the “Thank You” bouquets.
Story by Christopher Sommer
The response to the devastating Oklahoma tornadoes on May 19 and May 20, 2013 brought in American Red Cross volunteers from across the nation.
After seeing the outpouring of support following the tragic events of Sept. 11 and Hurricane Sandy, 14 Red Cross volunteers from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), are now working with the relief efforts here in Oklahoma as a way of giving back.
“What the World needs more is giving back to people, getting back to the grass roots, helping your neighbor out and make this world a better place,” said Chris Edwards, Red Cross volunteer and FDNY DART member. “With the help of the Red Cross giving us the opportunity to be able to come down here with the knowledge we have…it’s a team made in heaven.”
Edwards and a group of fellow FDNY have been helping in the communities by loading trucks and emergency response vehicles as well as going through neighborhoods helping directly with assisting Oklahomans. Even more, they represent a symbol of hope to those they encounter, commenting on disaster victims seeing their team and knowing help is there.
This is not the first deployment this New York City DART has mobilized to help others along with the Red Cross. Edwards and the DART members have responded to numerous disasters around the country, such as Hurricane Katrina.
“When people need us, we’re here,” said Ronaldo Robledo, retired FDNY.
“With [the support of the Red Cross] and our moxie, people get the help,” explained Michael Mondello, retired FDNY and DART member.
When speaking about the impact of volunteers and the support that poured into New York after their disasters, Edwards remarked on his drive to help others, “…whatever it was they did for us, it was the idea that they went out of their way to help us out…it’s a thirst to help people that will never be quenched.”
Thanks to volunteers like Edwards, Robledo, Mondello and Irving DeShields, the Red Cross is able to carry out its mission of proving humanitarian service to those affected by disasters.
Red Cross volunteer Larry Fortmuller explains the workings of the Multi Agency Resource Center in Moore, OK.