Bishar Alsibai was recovering in a Redwood City hospital when the nurse passed him a message that the Red Cross had called to check in on him. Earlier in the day, Alsibai’s apartment had caught fire, destroying everything he owned and sending him to the hospital. His only consolation was that his seven-year-old twin daughters had been at school when the fire happened.
“I wasn’t expecting the assistance, it just came out of the blue,” Alsibai said.
After returning to his apartment complex to check on his girls who were safely in the care of a neighbor, Alsibai met with volunteers at the Red Cross office in Burlingame. They arranged for his family to stay in a local hotel and provided him with financial assistance to cover basic expenses, like food and clothing.
Over the following days, Alsibai worked with the Red Cross to find a new apartment for himself and his family. Once he found another apartment, the Red Cross helped him with the security deposit and first month’s rent. All through the process, Red Cross volunteers kept in touch with Alisibai, providing him much needed support.
“The Red Cross was extremely helpful. They helped me get back on my feet,” Alsibai said. “I had always heard about what the Red Cross does in the war and overseas, but I didn’t know that they could help me like this at home,” he said.
Alsibai said it took six months and his family’s life to function normally once again, but it could have taken longer with out Red Cross assistance. It was because of the help he received from the local Red Cross chapter that he was able to regain control of his life and provide for himself and his children.