Red Cross Helping Flood Victims: The Red Cross is providing food, shelter, and clean up kits to Milwaukee residents.
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MILWAUKEE – Marie Irby is 77-years-old and living on her Social Security check. When the foundation of her North 19th Place home washed away in a sea of sewage last week, she felt helpless. Though she still tends the perfect garden behind her condemned home, she is frustrated.
“They are saying now I can’t live in the house,” she says as she stands in front of her tidy cottage. “I still want my own house. I want somewhere to go. I don’t have money to start all over again.”
Irby believes the city bears some responsibility for the destruction of her home. After all, it wasn’t rain water that washed away the structure; it was sewage backing up in her basement drains. Angry tears fill her eyes when she talks about what she sees as a bumbling bureaucracy responsible for the mess she must now deal with. That’s when a brief moment of contentment begins for the enfeebled woman. An American Red Cross truck pulls up and begins serving chicken dinners to all those struggling to clean up their sewage-soaked homes.
“A lot of people are cleaning up, but you forget to take care of yourself,” says the Red Cross’s Shannon Hext as she stands beside Irby’s home. “You forget to eat.”
Marie Irby collects one of the foam trays containing a tasty, hot meal. The food may be enough to fortify her. She vows to fight for her condemned home.
“If they tear it down, they’re going to tear it down with me sitting on my porch, cause I’m not going nowhere!” She exclaims as she sits on that same porch.
The best way to help the Red Cross continue its important work is to make a cash donation. The Red Cross is also eager to add volunteers willing to undergo training for disaster relief.
How You Can Help: You can help people affected by disasters like floods, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.