“There is no better feeling”

What should have been a typical Friday night for the Elwood family quickly turned into a scary one when their Hickory home caught fire.

Volunteers from the Catawba Valley Chapter, American Red Cross, quickly arrived on scene and provided immediate support to the Elwoods.

“They didn’t know where to turn or have any idea what they needed to do,” said Mike Townsend, the Red Cross caseworker working with the Elwoods. “The three children were sent to a neighbor’s house, and the parents kept going back and forth making sure they were OK.”

Comfort kits, which have basic toiletries, to were givent to Amaro Elwood and his wife for the entire family. The children received stuffed animals. The Red Cross provided support for food, shelter and clothing for the family.

“While I was at the counter taking care of the hotel bill, the children walked up behind me with their Mickey Mouse in hand and hugged me,” Mike recalled. 

“We never realized everything the Red Cross does,” Amaro said. “You have no idea what your support and assistance means to us.”

Each of the Elwoods hugged Mike one last time before he left. Later, Amaro texted Mike, saying

 “You are all amazing. As soon as we are back on our feet we are looking forward to hopefully do some volunteering ourselves.”

“This to me is what it’s all about, and why we all do what we do to help people,” Mike said. “There is no better feeling or thanks that can be given than to see the appreciation and thankfulness from the families we serve.”

Kayla, Tristan and Braedon Elwood embrace their Red Cross Mickey Mouse toys while in the hotel after their home caught fire.

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