Red Cross working to bring smiles back to those impacted by Sunday’s tornadoes

Published: January 18, 2022 5:02 PM EST
Updated: January 18, 2022 5:11 PM EST

Something as simple as a sandwich or a coffee can make all the difference in a crisis. Those are the things hardworking Red Cross volunteers brought to storm victims on Tuesday.

When disaster strikes, Claudia Pisa packs her bags and goes.

On Sunday, she got the call to come to the Century 21 Mobile Home community, where the tornado caused a lot of pain.

Pisa’s mission is to offer people whatever they need to survive their worst moments, whether a meal, a coffee, or just an ear.

“It definitely, you know, affects your heart for sure. But it’s amazing the strength that people have to get through these storms,” said Pisa.

Pisa and other Red Cross volunteers go about their work without complaint because they know they’re making a difference.

“It’s very rewarding. Each yesterday, each and every person thanked us and it was like, wow, welcome back. Glad to be here,” said Judy, another Red Cross volunteer.

Pisa said, “people are, you know, are so thankful for any little thing that you can do. And, you know, but if they’re constantly thanking us, and we say, please, this is the least that we can do to help you.”

While they often prepare for and deal with the worst, they also witness the best sides of humanity.

“I mean, some people are letting others stay in their homes and just getting food for their neighbors. And I mean, that’s kind of it’s incredible to watch,” said Pisa.

Emotions can change quickly because the reality is grim for so many. It can be a struggle to keep their spirits up.

“Sad. We have a lot of damage. It’s…” said Anthony, who got emotional as he spoke about the destruction in his neighborhood.

Kathleen said, “Exhaustion. We’ve been picking up for three days now. And there’s still so much to do.”

Seeing the Red Cross truck pulling up stocked with sandwiches means a lot more to the victims than just a meal.

“It’s heartwarming. Everybody’s coming out to help and it’s nice. That Red Cross, you name it. Everybody’s been here,” said Anthony

Pisa said, “hopefully, we can, the world can take a look and see that they need to be thankful for everything that they have, and help each other out a little bit more all the time. I think that’s a good, good little message for people.”

If you would like to help the Red Cross help those impacted by the tornadoes, you can donate by visiting redcross.org/donate. You can also apply to be a volunteer by clicking here.