Something like the Mount Pleasant fire, just over a year now since it happened, reminds us just how important the volunteers of the American Red Cross are to our safety and well-being. For those of you who were out of state at the time I’ll recap for you and summarize the update on the ARCNCA site.
A five-alarm fire broke out in an apartment building at 3145 Mount Pleasant Street in Northwest DC in the early morning that displaced all the residents. It was the first five-alarm blaze in the District since 1979. The Red Cross activated its Disaster Response Plan, called in volunteers, including Spanish-speaking volunteers who arrived on scene around 1:30am to work with residents, many of who speak little or no English. They set up a reception area for residents at a local recreation center and were brought from the fire scene by Metrobus. Many had seen their apartments completely destroyed; assessments indicated at least 40 apartments were uninhabitable.
A Red Cross canteen truck on the scene of the fire from early Thursday morning and throughout the day, provided food, water and hot drinks to residents, fire fighters, police and others. Food services were set up by the Red Cross at the Reception Center and were available throughout the day. Victims of the fire (48 families, a total of 105 clients) were provided for immediate emergency needs, which included shelter and assistance for food, clothing and personal items. All those present had a place to stay for the night thanks to the Red Cross who returned to the Reception Center on Friday morning and continued providing client casework services, canteening and a preliminary damage assessment where possible.
That’s what it’s like when the volunteers answer the call to an event. Food, clothing, personal items and transport all cost money. These are purchased with the money raised by public generosity through such things as car donations and cash donations. If you are considering making a vehicle donation, it could be a boat trailer say, not necessarily a car donation, any sort of auto donation or vehicle donation could realize capital that is essential to this voluntary organization.