By Georgia Duncan
“I couldn’t believe it could happen twice.” That’s how Heather Hournay, an Event Based Volunteer with the American Red Cross, began our conversation.
Heather and her family reside in Redding, California. She explained that on Friday the 13th in January, 2017 she and her family were sleeping when her husband awoke and discovered a fire in the ceiling of their daughter’s room. Just as the family had everyone and all the pets out of the house there was an explosion and the home was destroyed.
Heather said her church contacted the Red Cross and a Disaster Action Team arrived at her home. Red Cross volunteers offered the family comfort, gave them much-needed hugs and offered them assistance to get through the next few days. The family began their road to recovery.
Fast-forward to Thursday, July 26, 2018. The Carr Fire began moving toward her new home. Heather and her husband gathered their children, their pet rabbit, Guinea pig and dog and fled to a friend’s home. As of today she is unsure if she has a home to return to.
Knowing her family was safe, Heather began searching for a place she could help others affected by the fire. She found the shelter at Shasta College that was helping evacuees. She found the Red Cross new volunteer intake area and applied. “It only took about 15 minutes and I was an official Event Based Volunteer,” reported Heather. Immediately she began talking to evacuees, offering a sympathetic ear and when appropriate, a hug. Heather said she has laughed and cried with other in the same situation she finds herself.
When asked she had decided to volunteer, Heather said, “I just had to work and serve to get through this.”
KCRA has once more stepped up to support the American Red Cross and our local communities!
Currently, the American Red Cross is helping more than 1,130 people at 7 shelters across Northern California that have been affected by the Rough, Butte and Valley Fires.
At the shelters, Red Cross volunteers are providing meals, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, health services such as replacing medications and eyeglasses and emotional support for the people affected by the fires.
The telethon is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15 from 4:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KCRA3, with a cut-over to MY58 from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Help people affected by the California Wildfires. Your donation enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.
The telethon number to make a donation is: 800-513-3333 and it will be staffed by Red Cross volunteers and corporate partners.
We have some exciting check presentations by our wonderful community partners!
And this just in! Salem Communications and I Heart Radio have begun promoting the telethon in their radio programming! (KKFS- the Fish, 1380AM-The Answer, 710AM KFIA, 105.5FM and I-Heart Radio Modesto!)
Thank you to everyone who has been calling to help!
PS. If you are not able to call during the telethon, you can donate to the California Wildfires to the Gold Country Region of the American Red Cross:
- Mail in your donation to: American Red Cross Gold Country Region | Attention: Laura Thompson | 1565 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95815
- Call: Laura Thompson, r | 916-993-7080 | Please note, this is a recording, please leave a message and Laura will call you back to ask for your donation which will be designated to the California Wildfires.