This I Believe: Nursing at the American Red Cross, (ARC)

Laura - Fort Worth, Texas
Entered on October 19, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe: I’m a valuable older student. During the summer semester volunteered at the American Red Cross (ARC) right before the North Texas floods occurred. The Haltom City flood validated my chosen profession of becoming a nurse.

June 19, 2007 – As a new volunteer I found myself driving on a hot, muggy morning up Denton Highway in Haltom City. I turned left at the Skyline Mobile Home Park; every thing seemed normal, except for the cleanup crews and the ARC vehicles parked at the club house. I kept thinking to myself, “Where is all the devastation the news broadcasters were reporting on?” My hands were shaking and my heart was pounding.

As I nervously met up with my disaster mentor, Jill, we immediately got into her car and drove down to the area. Some of the park was built on a hill and some of the park was build down the hill next to the creek. The flood line met us at the bottom of the hill. Everything changed. Most of the mobile homes were lifted off and twisted around its foundation, some were down the street. One home had exploded with the occupants inside, they were in the hospital, I never found out what happened to them. Another home next door flooded its occupants out into the street. The mother had lost grip of her baby never to see her alive again. Across the street a woman and her family were floating on a mattress inside their home watched as the two previous events unfolded in front of their eyes. She was shaking and crying… all I could do was to hug her. The ARC was able to help most of the families who lived in the Skyline Mobile Home Park with donated funds. The ARC is an amazing organization, but as a compassionate human being it never seems to be enough.

This I Believe: When I am witnessing devastation, I understand, I’m only one person, but at the very least, I can do something and give back to my community.