“You Rescued My Family”

It was more than 40 years ago, but Mary still remembers waking up to the orange glow at the top of the stairs. Her home in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago was on fire. Suddenly Mary, her parents, and seven brothers and sisters were standing outside in the dark night.

We were homeless. Nothing was salvageable from the house. We had only our pajamas—what we wore to bed. Our clothes left in the home were either burned or saturated with smoke. Then, the Red Cross stepped in to help us. It was the Red Cross that put us on our feet after that devastating fire. You rescued my family.

I tell this story to anyone who will listen. It is my effort to pay back the Red Cross—hoping it will encourage others to contribute to the Red Cross. Their help is so much more than all the tangible stuff, it’s knowing someone is looking out for you and will lift you from the ashes and put an arm around you when you think things are hopeless.

Written by: Mary, Wheeling, Illinois

Grandma’s hug makes everything okay

Grandma’s hug makes everything okay

As far as 4-year-old Darian is concerned, everything’s ok again when you’re with Grandma – Tunya and granddaughter Darian share a moment together, thankful that after fire struck their Maywood apartment Sunday afternoon that they are all ok. The fire department responded quickly and prevented major damage, but said the unit would be unsafe to live in until basic repairs were made.  The Red Cross assisted the family of five by providing aid  for shelter, food, infant supplies and two stuffed animals for Darian and her little brother. 

The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago helps people, like Tunya and others, affected by 3 to 4 home fires a day, every day in Chicagoland. This assistance is provided free of charge to all disaster victims and is made possible by voluntary gifts of time and money made by our community residents.  Get your family prepared by reading these fire safety tips to avoid a disturbing home fire or help by making a donation or volunteering

Written by  Judy Gustafson

Get Blown Away by giving a donation!

      “Hey, good girl.
        With your head in the clouds.
        I bet you I can tell you, what you’re thinkin’ about.”
                                                   -Carrie Underwood, Good Girl
You’re thinking about buying your Carrie Underwood ticket for her Blown Away Tour, just like me!
I am a huge fan of Country music and this year I can enjoy one of my favorite artists while donating to a great cause.
Carrie Underwood announced she will be donating one dollar to the American Red Cross for every ticket purchased. So while her fans are enjoying her concert they will also be helping out the American Red Cross disaster relief.

One dollar doesn’t seem like much but; do you know how many people the Wireless Center in Moline and the United Center in Chicago can hold? A total of about 35,000 people, which is about $35,000 in donations!! And to think that’s just her concerts in Illinois.
The American Red Cross responds to a disaster every nine minutes and these donations can help out in a big way.
Just to give you an idea…
$25 – Provides five blankets at an emergency shelter
$75 – can cover a doctor’s visit for an individual injured in a disaster
$350- will provide emergency food and shelter for 25 disaster victims for one day
$2,500- deploys one emergency Response Vehicle and drivers to a disaster relief operation
$3,200- is the average yearly maintenance and fuel for one Emergency Response Vehicle
I can’t wait to be one of those dollars!
But don’t worry! If you’re not a Country music fan, you can still help the American Red Cross by making a donation of your own. Your donation can help the Red Cross fulfill its mission of helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.
So whether you’re getting Blown Away at the Carrie Underwood concert or just sending a private donation you will be helping the American Red Cross help your community.

Written by Dana Morones

Red Cross Month – Join Us

Today marks the beginning of Red Cross Month. This is a time of awareness, volunteerism, and generosity. Red Cross Month is a reminder that we couldn’t carry out our mission without the support of our volunteers, followers, and staff.

One disaster that goes under the radar for many Chicagoans is fires. People usually think of hurricanes, tornados or earthquakes. Home fires may seem to have minimal impact but the people that are affected in a year by fires can equal or surpass those of a hurricane or earthquake.

Last night alone, Disaster Services for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago provided shelter, food, and comfort care to over 50 individuals affected by an apartment fire. On the weekend they responded to six fires where a total of 30 adults and 20 children received assistance. In the past 3 days the Red Cross of Greater Chicago has assisted over 100 individuals.

Robert, one of the people impacted by last nights fire, stated that after seeing thick white smoke making its way through the halls of his apartment complex he knew it was time to leave everything behind and evacuate. Like people affected by a large scale hurricane or tornado individuals affected by a home fire in a matter of minutes loose everything that they hold dear.

Robert is one of many that are displaced daily by home fires. Disasters happen all around us on a daily basis. This month you can help by raising awareness, volunteering or donating to the Red Cross.

Written by: Erica Serna

Feel like sharing?

Are you expecting a tax return from the government? Most of you will probably also get a tax rebate from the economic stimulus package, which means you might even have a few bucks to spare:

What if you could help others with that money, and feel pretty good to boot?

Disaster recovery can be expensive, especially for those who live paycheck to paycheck. Read about the potential your tax rebate has to change lives.