Overcoming challenges to deliver a hot meal and a smile

By Michele Maki, american red cross
Red Cross Volunteer Michele Maki pitches in to carry in meals to an otherwise inaccessible home.
Red Cross Volunteer Michele Maki pitches in to carry in meals to an otherwise inaccessible home.

Close your eyes and image for a moment, you have survived a terrifying flood that tore through your home in the middle of the night. Now the flood waters have receded and the process of recovery begins. Drywall, appliances, floors, carpet, furniture-it all must be torn out and thrown away. There is humidity and mold. There are continuing severe storm outbreaks that bring more rain. This nightmare never seems to end. And, to make matters worse, your home has been cut off from your town and neighbors by a collapsed bridge.

Bridges destroyed by recent flood waters in Wimberley, TX have created challenges for the delivery of services, such as hot meals and clean up kits by the American Red Cross.
Bridges destroyed by recent flood waters in Wimberley, TX have created challenges for the delivery of services, such as hot meals and clean up kits by the American Red Cross.

On the other side of the river, a Red Cross volunteer vents her frustration that she has not been able to get her Emergency Response Vehicle across the river to reach folks cut off by this disaster. “There are areas we haven’t been able to reach yet” Mary Brown, a volunteer from Tucson, AZ shares, “and it weighs heavily on all our minds. Those folks must have thought time forgot them.”

A little reassurance comes from the local sheriff who advises Brown and her response team that the road is now open for emergency vehicles such as hers and local residents who are trying to recover. Brown is assured that it is now safe to cross.

Damaged homes can be seen here and there from these narrow country roads and now the challenge is, how to reach everyone? Where homes are clustered together, lots of volunteers and clean-up crews can be seen, the team stops and feeds everyone who is hungry. But how to reach these scattered homes in opposite directions? A plan is devised and the team splits up and hand-carries meals in, walking down the narrow. Even the Red Cross photographer who has been following the team pitches in. With this kind of teamwork, the mission is completed.

Red Cross Volunteers Mary and Dick Brown carry in meals to workers and homeowner in Wimberley, TX
Red Cross Volunteers Mary and Dick Brown carry in meals to workers and homeowner in Wimberley, TX

“Sometimes we have to think outside the box to make it happen.” Brown explains. “These dirt roads are so narrow and overgrown with trees, that getting our feeding truck in safely would be near impossible. But we got it done! I’m happy with that. Teamwork and Red Cross ingenuity works every time!”

ERV overcomes challenges
Mission Accomplished! ERV navigates the narrow, winding, debris filled roads back to headquarters
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Overcoming challenges to deliver a hot meal and a smile

One thought on “Overcoming challenges to deliver a hot meal and a smile

  1. Hi there! I am hoping you can publicize this updated information!! thanks for any help!

    Ways to Help Flood Victims NOW: Currently, there are more requests than volunteers. **Please volunteer, and RIGHT now, repost the information blurb below by hitting the ‘share’ button below to place this post onto your Facebook wall, cut and paste it onto your social media, share with relevant community organizations and/or send the info out in emails to your contacts.

    **********************
    Repost this info today:

    Flood Volunteers: How to Help Today:
    The Volunteer Resource Center is located directly behind the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, which is located at 202 N C M Allen Pkwy, San Marcos, TX 78667. You can call them: 512-753-2320 and they are open 8am-5pm).**For a list of the most up to date volunteer opportunities in San Marcos, please go to the Serve San Marcos webpage at: https://www.facebook.com/serveSanMarcos?fref=ts or go to the City of San Marcos’ Flood Resources and Situation Update Page at:
    **********************
    Volunteers in Wimberley can go Cypress Creek Church, 211 Stillwater, Wimberley. 512-715-4134 and they are open 8am-5pm. To contact them via email, write to: wimberleyresponse@gmail.com

    +++++++++++++++++++

    **Another source for volunteer opportunities is: KVUE’s How to donate, volunteer to help Central Texas flood victims page at: http://www.kvue.com/…/how-to-help-texas-flood-vic…/27912539/

    **Help us Spread the Word Today. Please repost this information by hitting the ‘share’ button below to place this post onto your Facebook wall, and/or cut and paste it onto your social media and into emails.

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