While many people may see the work of the Red Cross during our response to large scale events such as Vermont's Spring flooding or Tropical Storm Irene, most of the work of our volunteers is done out of the spotlight and with little fanfare.
To a family who has lost their home, it doesn't much matter whether it was swept away by a raging river or lost to fire. Each family must start the process of recovery and the Red Cross is there to help. Most recently, at 2:30 a.m. this morning, the call came in that fire crews were combatting a fire in Burke, Vermont. Two members of the Caledonia Disaster Action team answered the call.
Today's devastating fire forced a Burke Hollow Road couple and their dog from their home and left them without a place to stay and their possessions were caught in the blaze. The Red Cross volunteers met with the couple to determine their immediate needs, arranging for a few nights lodging at a local hotel and providing some financial assistance. The aim of both is to help the family in the initial phase of recovery from their personal disaster.
In addition to work assisting the displaced family, the Red Cross volunteers provided rehabilitative support to the fire and other first responders. Such support is in the form of food and beverages to help those crews through their difficult work.
Over 100 times a year, Red Cross volunteers in our region are answering the call for help, whether it is a fire, flood, or other natural or man-made disaster. We owe a great deal to these dedicated and compassionate volunteers.