Thursday, March 18, 2010

“I never knew Red Cross helped at emergencies this small.”

Charmaine Berry was at work when a fire broke out on her street in Jamaica, Queens, and spread to her home. Her daughter, Tenisha, called to say their house was on fire. “I thought she was joking,” said Charmaine, who left work and raced home. When she arrived, she discovered that the Red Cross was already at the scene, and that she was unable to go back into her home of 16 years because of water damage from putting out the fire.

“A man from Red Cross saw that I was getting agitated,” she said. “He took my blood pressure and calmed me down. Red Cross took care of us—they put us up in a room, gave us some money for clothing.” Tenisha broke in to remind her mother that “The Red Cross also fed us that day. They gave us hot chocolate and cookies and water.”

Charmaine said, “I’ve always thought highly of the Red Cross. But I never knew Red Cross helped at emergencies this small. Now I think even more highly of them. I knew I was going to get through this, but at that moment, I didn’t know where to turn and they were there to assist us.”

–Charmaine Berry, Jamica, Queens

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