Nearly four years ago, on Thursday, June 7, 2007, a tornado devastated the Bear Paw Outdoor Adventure Resort along the Wolf River in White Lake, Wisconsin. Thankfully, no one at the resort was seriously hurt or killed despite several buildings being blown off their foundations. Dozens of paddlers who had regularly stayed at the resort rushed in to assist with the clean-up over the weekend. My husband and I went up to help on the following Monday. It was the first time I have ever witnessed the aftermath of a tornado at a place that I had known so well. Words don’t begin to describe what we saw. We had just been at the resort about 10 days prior to the tornado for a whitewater canoe lesson. We saw the canoe that we had been paddling during that lesson torn in two pieces.
Almost immediately after the weather cleared, the Red Cross was on the scene to help. On the Monday that my husband and I were there, there was a trailer with volunteers still handing out water and sandwiches to everyone who was helping with the cleanup.
Nearly two months ago, after the huge earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan, the Red Cross was there. Two weeks ago, the Red Cross was at my local church conducting a blood drive. Just last week, after the tornadoes hit Alabama and blasted a path of destruction through the American South, the Red Cross was there, too.
I am blessed to say that so far, in my life, I have not had to live through the loss of my home and possessions, nor have I needed a life-saving blood transfusion. But if it ever happens, I expect the Red Cross will most likely be there again. Please take the time to make a donation to this organization, in whatever amount you can. I’m not going to collect money for them. It’s easier for them and you if you just donate directly. I’ve put the link here to make it even easier. I know gas prices are really high right now, but we can all probably put off some gear purchase, or brown bag it for a day instead of eating at a restaurant. Those few dollars saved would be a big help to people who have lost everything.