Stories and Photos by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross
|Jessica Frye(second from left) and her volunteers at the|
Red Cross shelter in Lusk, WY
The American Red Cross Colorado and Wyoming Region has been responding to the devastating flood that hit Niobrara County Wyoming. We thought you would like to see how people in that county are stepping up to help each other.
The call came in late Sunday afternoon. The voice was tired but the level of concern was easily identifiable. “Everyone is leaving,” the voice said. “They’re leaving us on our own.”
Jessica Frye was the voice on the phone. A tireless advocate for the community of Lusk, WY and rightfully concerned. The movement of Wyoming National Guard trucks can be scary, whether they are coming or going. When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a flood the sight of any resource leaving can be paralyzing even if that resource is just shifting locations.
|The feeding team serves up food at the Red Cross shelter in|
The American Red Cross, however, is not one of those departing resources. Instead, the Red Cross moves volunteers, equipment and resources into the community to help with short term relief and longer term recovery.
The sense of relief in her voice was evident after that conversation and when she realized that the Red Cross encouraged the community to be part of the process - that was all Jessica needed. Within hours she had met with Red Cross leaders on scene and together they set up a feeding plan. She put the call out for volunteers and got support from a broad segment of the community. Monday they started serving and by the end of the day they had served food to 54 local residence, first responders, volunteer cleanup crews and 15 or so Red Cross responders. Red Cross provided the food and Jessica’s team cooked it, served it and even cleaned up after.
|Red Cross volunteers enjoy breakfast provided by|
Jessica and her team at the Red Cross shelter in
Jessica is just another example of how people can turn their compassion into action. She has worked tirelessly for Lusk, her community. “We need to stay strong and work together,” she said while serving the morning meal. “We can get through this if we work together.”