Sometimes in disaster it’s a small thing that gives you the push to go on, like a cold soft drink. That’s what Fay Adams wanted as she worked in 90-degree weather with her daughter, Cynthia Burns, to pick up the pieces of her daughter’s life after a devastating tornado struck the Rancho Brazos community of Granbury two weeks ago.
As American Red Cross workers passed the structure that was once Burns’ house, they offered Gatorade or water. While Burns accepted water, Mrs. Adams said she’d “do anything” for a soft drink. Anita Foster, chief communications officer, went to her vehicle for personal bag where she retrieved a Coke Zero.
“You’re a woman after my own heart,” Adams said as a smile began to cross her face for the first time that day.
Burns was one of many residents of the community who was at home when the storm hit. She described the night as “horrifying,” adding that she and her husband were in their bedroom when the bedroom wall was ripped away exposing them to the outside elements.
“I crawled to the bathroom,” she said. “He was trying to come but he couldn’t because something fell on him.” She said before the wall was blown away, she was holding their pet Chihuahua who jumped from her arms when the wall broke. The dog ran outside. She said they later found the deceased dog under a tree limb in the front yard.
In the two weeks since the tornado outbreak that also hit Cleburne and other areas in North Texas, the Red Cross has provided 176 overnight stays at shelters for displaced residents, served nearly 30,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 10,000 relief items such as work gloves, rakes & trash bags. Additionally, licensed Red Cross disaster mental health counselors have had more than 650 conversations with residents to help them cope. The people of Rancho Brazos are still hurting, but they’re feeling the support of the Red Cross and others around them who want to reach out in ways that mean comfort and hope, be it a warm hug or a cold bottle of Coke.
Nearly 240 Red Cross disaster workers have worked on the relief operation in North Texas and hundreds more continue to work in Oklahoma. If you would like to help, you can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief today. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give a $10 donation that will be charged to your cellphone bill. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or donate online at redcross.org.