Through the Heart of a Red Crosser: Being There When You are Needed Most

Steve Wise is a volunteer with the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois who has helped with many disasters including tornadoes, floods, fires and more. Now he is sharing some of his experiences on what it is like to be a Red Crosser.

It is commonplace to see Red Crossers responding to all sorts of disasters.

Whether it be helping the residents of flooded homes – to sheltering city residents displaced due to severe storms – to those that have lost everything in a home fire – the American Red Cross is there to help.

When we respond to such events…we are often meeting the families involved  on the worst day of their lives.  It is so common to hear them say that they don’t know what to do or where to turn to for help.


You can easily see their pain and sorrow in their eyes and hear it in their voices.  Sometimes it is hard for them to put into  words what they have been through or what they will need to help them take the next steps to recover.   And like the majority of us – we always think that that it can’t happen to me.  Imagine for a moment being in their shoes…what would you do?

But we come prepared to share their pain…and share our heart with them…when they need it the most.  We come with open ears and open arms.  We come with supplies to help them get their home back in shape.  We come with food for those so needing.  We come with external partners that can offer them free services to help them recover.

We know at times like these, it can be and often is very emotional for those involved and with much uncertainty.  But we know that if we can provide them initial assistance – it can help mend their broken heart…and give them the chance to regain the life that they lived…before that disaster came their way.


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