Monday, December 20, 2010

You help families to stay together.

L to R: Paula McCullough, granddaughter Lauren, and daughter Contina
Paula McCullough never imagined that she would need the services of the Red Cross, until she and her family—three daughters and five grandchildren—found themselves outside their Staten Island apartment at 4:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning, watching their building burn. Their third floor apartment was deemed uninhabitable due to the damage caused by the fire, which started on their terrace, possibly from an electrical short. That’s when the Greater NY Red Cross stepped in to help.

“It never dawned on us that we would need the Red Cross until the FDNY told us that they had called them,” Paula said. Since they were unable to grab necessities from their apartment in time, the Red Cross provided the McCullough family with emergency food and clothing assistance at the scene of the fire.

“The Red Cross took the burden off of our shoulders,” said Paula. She added that when Red Cross relief workers said they would provide the family with housing assistance, she realized the McCulloughs would have to move and start over. Paula said she was grateful that the entire family was able to remain together in Red Cross arranged housing. “When I get back on my feet,” she said, “I am going to donate because I know that you help families to stay together.”

Paula McCullough, Staten Island

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