"For a shield, from the storm for a friend, for a love; To keep me safe and warm, I turn to you" When I hear this line from Christina Aguilera's 1999 song "I Turn To You," it makes me think of the work we do here at the Dallas Area Chapter. Day in and day out, victims of disaster turn to the Red Cross for help when life's storms take away all that they know.
Hurricane Katrina was quickly approaching the Gulf Coast when Denise and her six year old daughter raced away from their home to seek safe shelter at Reunion Arena, the Red Cross shelter set up in Dallas, Texas. Sadly, they soon learned that the hurricane destroyed everything they owned so they decided to start over in Dallas. The Red Cross, along with community partners, facilitated their transition by helping Denise find a job, an apartment and a school for her daughter.
Unbelievably, the family soon found themselves without a home again. Their apartment caught fire in the middle of the night. Denise said she felt completely helpless as they watched their lives disappear for the second time. Just like before though, she was not alone. The Red Cross was there to help as volunteers gave the family new clothes, meals, blankets, a few nights in a hotel and a teddy bear for the little girl.
When disasters happen, families turn to the Red Cross to provide a place to stay when they no longer have a home, to provide meals when they cannot eat and to provide a shoulder to cry on when they have nowhere to turn.
However, who does the Red Cross turn to for help? We turn to you, our community, and ask you to donate your time and money so we can help those whose lives have been ravaged by disaster. Just like Denise, we have needed to turn to you again and again for help and thankfully we have always found many of you willing to help each time.
In 2005, The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas saw the many needs that arose in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and they stepped up to help the Red Cross respond by making a generous donation. Then in 2008, when they saw how the Red Cross had to shelter 5,000 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area during Hurricane Ike, they once again made a large donation to support relief efforts.
Now, two years later we are facing a tumultuous hurricane season. As NOAA forecasts 14 to 23 named storms, including 8 to 14 hurricanes, of which 3 to 7 could be major hurricanes, it is imperative that our community is prepared to offer help if needed. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas recognizes this need as well and this time has provided another gift to ensure the Dallas Area Chapter is prepared in advance.
Without a doubt, the Red Cross could not be more grateful for companies like The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas that take the lead in helping our community deliver care to those impacted by disaster. Without their support, we would not have anyone to turn to as we try to sustain hope during times of tragedy.
Whether it is a community evacuating because of approaching hurricanes or a family of two forced from their home by a fire, the Red Cross promises to respond and because of generous donors like The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and its member financial institutions, you can trust that when you turn to the Red Cross for help that it will be there.