Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"The Red Cross literally picked us up from our apartment."

Cousins Gil and Tim Silverbird have been performing together since Gil was 6 years old and Tim a year younger when they toured the U.S. with their parents’ singing group, Los Coronados. They are members of a family that has been singing, acting, and playing music together across the United States and around the world for five generations.

For 26 years Gil and Tim shared an apartment near Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, filling it with a collection of Native American costumes, photographs of their Apache and Navaho ancestors and many musical instruments. On April 7 a fire broke out in the kitchen of their apartment. Gil ran out with his new computer and Tim left in his underwear with nothing. “The Red Cross literally picked us up from our apartment, gave us food, clothes and put us in a very nice place. I didn’t know the Red Cross did that,” said Tim.

On April 16, just nine days after the fire that destroyed their apartment, Gil and Tim gave a noonday musical performance at Chapter headquarters in Manhattan to thank their new friends at the Red Cross for all the help they had given them—emergency funds for food and clothing, personal hygiene comfort kits, temporary housing and emotional support. “The Red Cross got us out of a slump,” says Tim. “They didn’t just give me stuff, they were one-on-one nice to me as a human being, which snapped me out of my depression. They said, ‘Hey, look, don’t worry about it; we’re going to help you out. We do this.’”

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