Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lancaster Victims Celebrate Easter with Hope


Written by Tonya Solis-Mosby
People who lost their homes this week from a tornado that ripped through a section of a Lancaster, Texas neighborhood were thrust in the arms of destruction and devastation. Many sought shelter with the American Red Cross, while others sought refuge with family or friends.
But as the week turned into the weekend, thoughts of today being a holiday came to the forefront of the victims' minds.
“We have too much to be thankful for,” said Clyde Lee, who lived in the Portofino Apartments before the storm. “We are going to church. We wouldn’t miss it.”
Mr. Lee and his wife, Betty, made a second visit to the Lancaster HS Field House, currently serving as the Recovery Center, on Saturday to take part in the services offered by the Red Cross and other non-profit organizations who have partnered to bring relief services under one roof for those in need.  The Lees first visit on Friday, the first day of the Recovery Center, was for necessities such as food and clothing. Their return visit was to seek assistance with insulin for Mr. Lee to replace that which was left in their apartment.
“It’s going to be much like we usually do,” he said with Mrs. Lee smiling and nodding in agreement. “We are thankful that we are OK and that we had a place to go. So, today, we are going to church.”
The sentiment of showing thanks by going to church was echoed by Tiesha Wiley, who also visited the assistance center Saturday.
“It’s going to be life as normal,” Ms. Wiley said adding that she also lives at Portofino Apartments. She said she had visited her apartment only hours before coming to the assistance center. Damage to her apartment was limited to a leaking ceiling and some water damage.
“I have three young children,” she said while receiving donated Easter baskets, one of which was handed to Ms. Wiley’s 6-year-old daughter who scooped it up with excitement. “We are thankful for everything. So, we are going to church.”
Easter baskets are gathered as workers in the background prepare to meet residents.
Ms. Wiley said among the things for which she is thankful is the American Red Cross. 
“The response was urgent,” she said. “They were immediately here and they’ve been here the whole time. They opened the shelter quickly and it was very convenient.”
“Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for,” Ms. Wiley’s neighbor Toya Jeffery added. “I’m going to church, too. It’s Easter.”
Lancaster residents and the residents in the other North Texas cities affected by the multiple tornadoes that swept through the area are receiving help now, and they will continue to need help for community partners. The American Red Cross stands beside partner organizations during disaster all across the country to provide for the immediate needs after disasters. 
If you wish to help during a disaster you can help by making a financial donation to the American Red Cross. There are several ways to do it. Among them, you can call 1-800-REDCROSS, visit redcross.org or you can text “REDCROSS” to 90999. The text donation of $10 will be automatically applied to your phone bill.

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