“A Bittersweet Birthday”

Birthdays are the one day a year dedicated to us. It’s a day that makes us feel special and important, allowing us to celebrate another year in a lifetime’s worth of memories. Unfortunately for Joe, his day was marked by a tragic memory that changed his life forever.

Monday May 9th, the day before his birthday, Joe had spent the night at a friend’s home bringing in the celebration. He awoke Tuesday morning to numerous birthday texts from loved ones. Suddenly the messages rapidly changed from “Happy Birthday” to “Are you ok?” Joe didn’t understand the messages he was receiving from his neighbors until a fatal call from his landlord came in saying there had been a fire.

Joe arrived to his home, only to find a concrete shell, and everything inside was turned to ash. Joe is an artist and a massage therapist. All of his canvases, supplies, and artwork were gone. His massage table and supplies were gone –  everything was gone.

IMG_0492Joe and MosesCropped

Joe was devastated. It was his birthday, and everything he owned was destroyed. How could he recover from losing everything? His whole life lost in an instant.

A miracle in the midst of tragedy came to him in the form of the Red Cross.  It was the support and comfort Joe needed to pull through this traumatic day. With no place to live and only the clothes on his back, the Red Cross delivered Joe from his nightmare by helping him get back on his feet.

“The Red Cross is absolutely wonderful! They were here to help me out. That is exactly what I needed today. I don’t know what I would do without their support. Because of the Red Cross, I now have a place to stay and I can now get clothes to wear. They gave me a reason to feel hopeful moving forward.”

Like with Joe’s story, there is no way to predict when a crisis will happen. The Red Cross Disaster Team is ready to respond at any hour of the day or night. Join us as we give hope to those who’ve been affected by home fires.


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