By Michele Maki, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross
“I just want to find that picture. I just want to see Mama again.” These tearful words were spoken by Bernadett North-Fox of Garland, Texas. “My home is gone. I just want to find Mama.” Local volunteers heard Bernadett’s pleas and sprang into action. For more than 4 hours, volunteers and neighbors searched through the rubble of Bernadett’s home.
Red Cross volunteer and mental health professional Sandra Morley, comforted Bernadett and started to ask about her other needs. “Bernadett is also very worried about her husband, but in chatting with her I found out that she had not eaten for some time. So while the volunteers are helping to clean out her home and look for anything that can be saved, we made sure several Red Cross volunteers ran out to get her and her husband a meal and more water.”
As Bernadett opened her packaged meal, a neighbor brings a blanket she found and wraps it around Bernadett’s shivering shoulders. Mortley helps her open her packaged meal then everyone hears: “We found it!” Bernadett looks up and immediate tears of gratitude flow. Mama has been found. Under a bed and debris, an undamaged vintage portrait of her mother and father are found and carried out to her.
Weeping and tenderly touching the image of her beloved mother, Bernadett whispers, “Mama.”
As we continue to support families affected by tornadoes in North Texas, our trained mental health caseworkers are going out into the communities to speak with people who need their help. If you or someone you know would like to speak with a Disaster Mental Health worker, you can call the Red Cross Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.