Friday, October 4, 2013

Red Cross Delivers Aid in Milliken

Story and photo by DICK McGEE
American Red Cross,
We want to say Thank You for all that you are doing for our community, and for the sacrifices that you’ve made by being away from your families to take care of us. We so appreciate all of you. Again, thank you so, so much.
Marie, and her neighbors           

Mel and Zeb              
Drew and Ralph         

Deb and Ray

John Keesling of Muncie, Ind., proudly displays the
thank you card.
Thus read a lovingly written thank you note delivered to the American Red Cross volunteers at the Disaster Assistance Center in Milliken. The note was delivered to John Keesling and has become his proud personal possession. “John agreed to make a copy of it, but he won’t let it out of his hands,” Marlene Martindale laughs as she related the story at the Northern Colorado Headquarters of the American Red Cross Disaster Recovery Operation. “That note has become his prize possession.” 

“That’s right,” says John. “I’m going to frame it and have it displayed in our Chapter Headquarters back home in Muncie, Indiana.”

It all began soon after the Bulk Distribution site was established in Milliken. A lady, known only as Marie, came to the site to pick up a comfort kit and clean-up supplies. She was so happy to have what the Red Cross was offering that she took it right home and told her neighbors what was available for them in the parking lot of the Town Hall.

But, as the story goes, some of her neighbors were unfamiliar with the role the Red Cross plays in disaster recovery, and to them it felt a bit too much like welfare. Undaunted, Marie went back to the distribution site again. The explanation of her neighbors’ reticence, together with her obvious appearance of honesty, was enough for the Red Cross volunteers to give Marie a second helping of clean-up supplies and she promptly delivered them to one of her neighbors.

As the word spread around the neighborhood, more and more neighbors came to the Red Cross site for their comfort and clean-up kits. Another lady had been away from home when the flood waters hit, so Marie went back a third time and picked up another share of supplies to place on the front door step when she returned home.

As they all worked together toward recovery, these nine people made a plan. They prepared a big plate of muffins and other homemade food, and presented it, along with the thank you card, to the Red Cross volunteers. 

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