As the flames continued to grow, you could feel the heat radiating across your entire body.

The glowing orange light and the faint sound of firetruck sirens in the distance lured neighbors out of their homes to see what was going on.

As the neighbors slowly crept out, the look of dismay cast over each person’s face while watching the Smith’s home be destroyed by a horrific fire. The flames continued to grow and emergency responders arrived on the scene, rushing to stop the spread of the fire. After working tirelessly, the firefighters were able to fully contain the disaster, leaving the remains of only rubble and smoky ash.

Luckily, no one was injured, but the family lost every single possession they owned. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many families facing house fires, including Broome County. With no home and no clothing, many who face this situation ask, “where do we turn?”  This is where the American Red Cross steps up.

Going well beyond blood donation drives, the American Red Cross Southern Tier Chapter is powered by dedicated volunteers, and responds to everything from small house fires, to natural disasters, and travels wherever they’re needed so people can have clean water, safe shelter, and hot meals, when they need them most. The American Red Cross pledges is to comfort and support families or individuals who have gone through a disaster.

As soon as the volunteers arrived on the scene, they were able to aid the Smith family in multiple ways, including finding a temporary living situation, providing clothing, and giving them basic necessities. This is the reason why the American Red Cross has such a significant impact on communities around the world, including ours. With high rates of flooding, house fires, and significant winter storms in Broome County, they are constantly learning the best practices and innovative ways to be successful in the work they do.

Whether it be a house fire or hurricane, or any other natural disaster, the American Red Cross is there in times of great distress. They turn compassion into action and use the gift of their empowered volunteers to educate, prepare, respond, and recover. To learn more about the American Red Cross and how to get involved locally, visit redcross.org

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