Here's the back story- a couple years ago, the Red Cross put out a call asking for people's "Red Cross Stories." I wrote a little paragraph about how for years I kept the box from the comfort care kit I received after my childhood house fire as a place to keep my treasures and remember the goodness of people. The Red Cross folks liked it, interviewed me on the phone, ran background checks to make sure my story was legit, then asked if I'd like to have my story be part of their campaign. They sent a photographer to take some pictures and gave me a package with a video camera and instructions. (See video above. My package on our filthy stoop is in there.) I filmed a little bit, went home and interviewed my family and tried to get some shots of the neighborhood where our house was. I included some photos of the aftermath of the fire and sent the whole kaboodle off to the Red Cross.
They first ran the ad about 3 years ago, as well as posting it on their website. There were a lot of other Red Cross stories that were really gripping- people who survived floods, received a blood donation, saved a life thanks to CPR and First Aid classes, or survived other disasters, including house fires. (I recommend checking them out.) This past fall, they asked me to sign another release to keep using it. I figured it was something they did automatically. Then about a month ago, they started really churning this sucker out, and apparently, my little video is now everywhere.
|My sister's room|
Which I'm okay with (obviously, or I wouldn't have signed up for this) since it's a good cause. There have been a bunch of really terrible house fires in our area recently and hearing people's struggles to get back on their feet reminded me of how important the work the Red Cross does is. Most folks think if you have home insurance, you're set. Have a fire? Lose everything? Well, too bad about the memories and keepsakes, but insurance should replace it all, right? Not even close. For one thing, no insurance will ever replace everything you had, and it's important to remember that it's the insurance company claims adjuster's job to give as little of the insurance company's money to you as possible.
|Note the melted light fixture|
When I went to my parents' house with my Red Cross video camera and got my family all in one room
|1st floor smoke & water damage|
Because there are a lot of folks- and probably more as winter goes on- who will be standing on their own lawns looking at a burned-out building that used to be their home and wondering how on earth they're going to get back to normal. Give so that they have someone standing by their side in the cold, offering help and support. Give because there's another little girl trying to sleep on a neighbor's couch but wide awake from the trauma she's just been through and only starting to realize that everything she's ever called her own in her whole short life is gone. Give so that when she receives that comfort care box, toothbrush and all, she gets that physical reminder that not only will life be normal and good again, but that people are good, too.
PS- Don't forget you can volunteer or donate blood too!