Red Cross volunteer shares gloves with woman affected by flooding

After a Red Cross volunteer pulled off a pair of knit gloves and pushed them onto her cold hands, Patricia Shaner thought “that was a magnanimous” act of kindness.

Shaner, 78, of Pierce City, hadn’t expected gloves or the monetary assistance she received from the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri during recent flooding. A Red Cross team doing disaster assessment and casework stopped at their home and discovered the couple with a flood damaged house and without heat. It was cold.

“I’ve been pleased. We don’t normally ask for anything. It was really a shock,” Patricia said. “It (the financial help) will make a difference… Do you know how great that was?”

One of the Red Cross team, caseworker Bonnie Brown, a Southern Missouri chapter volunteer, described the encounter with Patricia, “ I filled out the paperwork and asked her to sign the papers. As she reached for the pen her hands were like ice. It broke my heart. I removed my gloves and gave them to her. She started to cry and so did I. She said she couldn’t take mine from me and I said, ‘Look, they match your coat so it must be a sign’.”

Patricia and her husband George, 87, a U.S. Marine veteran of World War II now have an open case with the Red Cross. The couple recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Their case was opened by Brown and Rick Boggs, a disaster assessment volunteer, and is one of nearly 150 cases aiding almost 400 people in Southern Missouri. Their case is still being worked as the Red Cross and its partners such as the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities continue to deal with the impact of the severe flooding in Southern Missouri. New cases are still coming to the Springfield headquarters. The flooding disaster has led to more than 2,500 people getting Red Cross assistance in Missouri and Illinois.

The chapter also had nearly 250 overnight stays in area shelters before closing with almost 300 meals served and over 800 snacks given out starting in late December. People in need received over 330 comfort and clean-up kits – a number that continues to grow.

In this Missouri and Illinois flooding disaster, Red Cross teams as of Jan. 21 had examined more than 2,479 homes with 1,437 found to be uninhabitable. So far, Red Cross has served 48,777 meals and snacks and distributed 25,546 cleanup kits, comfort kits and bulk items such as shovels, tarps and gloves.

If someone would like to support the Red Cross mission and help those in need, they can visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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