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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Two Phone Calls Changed a Lyons Woman's Life

By Bob Lieber, Volunteer Writer
“What can we do to help?” That’s what the Red Cross volunteer asked Lana Hansen. Those words were so welcome -- such a lifeline at a time of need Lana couldn’t believe there was actually someone offering to help, just when she needed it most.

Lana had lived and worked on a ranch near Lyons. She lived in a trailer home where she managed the ranch for her uncle. The days were long and hard, but she loved the place and the area as well as the work. A month before the floods that devastated the area, Lana’s uncle was killed in a motorcycle accident, so Lana began the process of moving to a new home in Longmont. She had moved her dogs and a few summer clothes, but had scheduled a moving company to come on Sept. 19, 2013, to relocate the majority of her belongings to her new home.

Then came the phone call from the moving company: the roads in Lyons were underwater; Lyons was underwater; there was no way for the moving company to get to the property. When she was finally allowed to return weeks later, the trailer and all of her furniture, her clothes --everything -- was simply gone.

Lana had some friends who tried to help by providing a couch, a pad and sleeping bag, but she needed so much, she really did not know where to turn.

Then came the other phone call that changed her life: a Red Cross volunteer had gotten Lana’s name from the Lyons shelter and was just checking to see how she could help. When Lana heard the words “What can we do to help?” the tears just flowed.

The volunteer helped Lana to get some essentials: a mattress, a place to store donated furniture until a moving company could be secured, a link with other services in the area. The most important thing that the volunteer provided, though, was someone who cared, someone who listened and helped Lana start down the long road to rebuilding her life.

Lana’s house now is a picture of her new life. Her four dogs bound about with great energy welcoming every guest with wagging tails and maybe even a few licks. Recovery is always a journey and the tragic memories will take time to fade. Lana is so very grateful for the help that the Red Cross provided not only the measurable products and services, but the immeasurable value of another human being who cares. It is what the Red Cross does best.

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