The house and land on Neal Road has been in the Pickard family for over forty years. For the last few, it has just been Stephen Pickard, his 17 year-old son Jean Luc and the family dog Tracy.
Through the ashes you can see the torched remains of that life; bicycles, trailers and a refrigerator stick out of the ashes. Next to a recently used camping stool you see evidence of a struggle to cook regular meals that provide the energy needed to begin their recovery from the damaging California wildfires. In an effort to lessen the family’s struggle, the American Red Cross is providing assistance for food, water, and household items.
Since mid-June, the American Red Cross has opened 23 evacuation centers and shelter sites, provided more than 600 overnight stays and served more than 5,000 meals and snacks as the wildfires raged in California. Counseling services were also provided to help the evacuees cope with the emotional strain. In addition to providing shelter and emergency assistance to evacuees, American Red Cross volunteers are also making food and beverages available to emergency personnel.
"We have needed help so badly. The American Red Cross is the one organization that has been totally around to help us," smiled Stephen. "Their trucks have been here dropping off food and water, while their office was open to get help with the eye glasses that burned up and some sheets and stuff for the trailer that we are living in now. That’s why I put the sign up out front saying I love the Red Cross. A lot of people are saying thank you to the fire fighters because their house is still standing. Me… I love the Red Cross"
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.