By Lauren McMinn Clarke, ARC Volunteer
It wasn’t quite the back-to-school Sunday Rose Lascano expected. The nine-year-old was excited to start fourth grade in Houston; that is, until Hurricane Harvey forced her, along with her three siblings and mother, to seek safety in Dallas on Friday afternoon. Instead of spending her Sunday evening at home, prepping for the first day of school, she was recounting her escape from the storm in a North Dallas Red Cross shelter.
“The clouds were black, we were really scared,” she recalled. “We didn’t bring anything from home with us. We just got in the car and drove. We left at 10am and got here at 7pm.”
Close to 300 Houston-area residents are at the North Dallas shelter (housed at the Walnut Hill Recreation Center), including several dozen school-age children, according to Red Cross shelter manager Brenda Reed.
“We even have several babies (that are) just a few months old (here at the shelter),” said Brenda. “One lady went to the hospital last night and had her baby.”
Since arriving in Dallas, Rose and her family have received clothing, food, toiletries, hot showers, and a comfortable place to sleep. Time is passed playing with other kids at the shelter, such as an impromptu game of basketball in the gym, playing on the outdoor playground, or with donated board games in the makeshift cafeteria. Others entertain themselves on their parents’ phones, with borrowed phone chargers and charging stations courtesy of Verizon.
Providing shelter and comfort during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is just one way the Red Cross is helping fellow Texans weather the storm. But additional help is always needed and appreciated, and your donation can help the Red Cross make a difference in this relief effort. Donate to Hurricane Harvey relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Every dollar donated enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from this disaster.