COLUMBIA, SC – July 20, 2009 – Red Cross Meets Real Life.
RED CROSS FIRE FAMILY FINALLY RETURNS HOME
On July 3, Todd and Michelle Collins had reason to celebrate. After more than seven long months of waiting, they got to move back into their Columbia home. When a house fire displaced the Collins family from their home in December, the Red Cross was there to help them get back on their feet.
The Red Cross provided them with lodging and a client assistance card for food, clothing, shoes and essentials such as infant supplies for Todd, Michelle and their kids: Todd, Jr., 3; and Leah, 1.
“We have insurance, but it isn’t instant,” Todd Collins said. “I really can’t tell you how appreciative we are for the Red Cross. It gave us a couple days to try to figure out what to do next. Y’all have done a wonderful job for us.”
The Collins family has shown their appreciation for the Red Cross by sharing their story at Leadership Columbia and also at the Heroes kick-off.
TEACHER USES RED CROSS TRAINING TO SAVE A STUDENT
Betsy Watts, who teaches first grade at Willow Drive Elementary in Sumter, recently used Red Cross lifesaving skills to save a choking student.
The students were doing their daily calendar routine, but one voice was noticeably absent.
“He’s one of my brightest students, so he always chimes in,” Betsy said. When I turned around, he put his hands around his throat, and I knew I had to help him.”
She performed four abdominal thrusts on the student, and a quarter flew out of his mouth. When the student began breathing on his own, Betsy walked him down to the nurse’s office. From there, the school nurse and other co-workers took over. The student went to the doctor as a precaution, but was back at school the next day. “Everyone should take a CPR/first aid class,” Betsy said. “You never know when you may use it.”
RED CROSS BRINGS MILITARY FAMILY TOGETHER DURING CRISIS
Kristen Lawhorn learned the importance of the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program
when her three-year-old son, Luke, was hospitalized with a severe form of staph pneumonia. Her
husband, Joe, was stationed at Fort Jackson in Columbia while she and Luke were home in Portland,
“Someone told me that I better call the Red Cross to get Joe home,” Kristen said. “That’s when I realized it was serious.”
The Red Cross sent an emergency message on behalf of Kristen to Joe, and within hours was headed home to be with his family. Joe was able to spend 14 days at home, and Luke made a full recovery.
Today, the Lawhorn family lives in Columbia, and Luke is the big brother to Grace and Ava, with another sibling on the way.
“The Red Cross is so important to military families,” Kristen said. “They were there for us when we really needed them.”
RED CROSS BLOOD SAVES CHILD IN NEED
As a longtime blood donor, Kerri Pennington knows the importance of giving blood. But she never knew that the need for blood would hit so close to home. Her two-year-old daughter, Mary Clare, was born with a heart defect.
She underwent surgery at five days old and had another surgery six months later. Multiple units of blood were given to aid in her recovery.
Today, Mary Clare is a happy, healthy little girl who enjoys chasing after her big sister. She will have to endure a third surgery between three and five years old.
“Blood donors saved Mary Clare’s life,” Kerri said. “Give blood – you never know who will need it.”