A Father’s Devotion – The Red Cross Story of John and Bella


The American Red Cross is working with families to provide not only the emergency needs of shelter and food after disaster left them homeless, but now the next steps towards recovery. Red Cross Caseworkers will begin to visit with each of the families today, to determine the best way to help them get on the road to permanent housing and back on their feet. Families like John and his daughter Bella who are staying at the Red Cross shelter in Hollister. John is a single dad who has been raising his young daughter on his own since she was 3 months old. Bella is his world and all that matters to him is making sure that she has a safe place to grow up.
The home, which Bella has lived in all of her young life, has been deemed uninhabitable by the city of Hollister since it was completely ruined by flood waters from Turkey Creek that reached more than half the height of the mobile home.  John wonders what will happen to he and Bella now that they have no place to return to. “It took me a long time to be able to provide that home to Bella, and now it’s all gone. She is all I have.” said John.
As John and Bella begin to work with the Red Cross casework team, they will be able to move forward to a new beginning and a new normal. Life will never be as it was for John but with the help of Red Cross and the community, he and Bella will not be homeless and lost.
“I don’t know what we would have done without the Red Cross and the kindness of this community” said John as he rocked young Bella to sleep. As I watch the tiny little eyes drift slowly shut and her little head come to rest on her daddy’s shoulder, I know they will be ok and this is why I am proud to be a Red Crosser, providing hope and help to those whose lives are forever changed by disaster.
Story and photo by: K. Nigel Holderby
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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