American Red Cross helps more than 2,000 Washington wildfire victims in two weeks
SPOKANE, Wash. — Wildfires are devastating so much of the West Coast this summer — from California, to Oregon, to Washington. Thousands of acres have burned and hundreds of homes went with it.
The American Red Cross is helping pick up the pieces. The organization has helped more than 2,000 families in Washington since September 1. These are people in our community who have lost nearly everything to violent wildfires.
Keep in mind, fire season isn’t over yet. Now, the Red Cross is asking for our help.
This fire season has brought utter devastation to too many families along the west coast.
“Their lives have been turned upside down. We are rallying to support them,” said Ryan Rodin, executive director for American Red Cross Inland Northwest.
Neighborhoods where communities once thrived have been burned badly to the ground.
“You can see it locally with the Malden/Pine City fires, Bridgeport, other areas just in our backyard,” Rodin said.
The houses families once called home are left damaged.
“I think about how there is one house in Malden where there is nothing but a foundation and a 20-foot chimney,” Rodin said. “Realizing that there are hundreds of thousands of Americans in the western U.S. affected in the same way. They had to leave their home in ten minutes and come back to nothing but rubble.”
American Red Cross has been working to help families with a place to stay in the meantime.
“We have folks in hotels all over the western U.S. right now,” Rodin said.
They’ve provided almost 115,000 overnight shelter and hotel stays and more than 177,000 meals.
American Red Cross knows these things are just temporary, but they want to do whatever they can to get people back on their feet, moving forward.
“Begin to put those pieces back together, and start to have some hope and work on recovery,” Rodin said.
Beyond food and shelter, American Red Cross also helps with medications and mental health services to these wildfire victims who need someone to talk to after the pain they just endured.
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