Thursday, May 7, 2015

Letter from Tennessee River Executive Director, Faye Anderson - May 2015

The Smallest Things Mean So Much

The Red Cross is known for being on the scene to give comfort to families struck by disaster. Our dedicated volunteers arrive on the scene, assess the situation, and then provide assistance with food, clothing and shelter.  These are the things that this organization is known for.  What we don’t always hear about are the things that go beyond our mission, the things that happen on the scene that mean even more than providing the family with basic necessities.

A few weeks ago, our volunteers responded to a duplex fire in Dickson County.  The volunteers responded as they always do, but this time the scene was different.  Lives were lost, and emotions were running high.  While some of our Disaster Action Team members worked with the family, other volunteers began to canteen the fire department and other emergency responders.  They supplied food through our partner agencies as well as coffee to the emergency responders.  

One of our volunteers gave a Mickey Mouse to a little girl who lost a family member in the fire.
What happened next blew me away.  

Through my personal Facebook came a post from one of the family members that had lost her sister in the fire, along with a picture of the Mickey Mouse doll that was given to the little girl.  I want to share with you what this family posted and how this small act of kindness touched this family in a big way.  

The post read:  “The Red Cross team is at my house and they brought this toy for MarLeigh, none of these people knew my sisters’ nickname was Mickey.  They didn’t know that we called her Mickey Mouse.  I’m not a religious person, but someone up there is looking down on us.  The smallest things sometimes have the biggest meanings.”

One of our DAT volunteers went to the funeral home to show additional support.  This incident has shown us what an impact a small gesture can make on a family’s life.  Thank you to a great group of volunteers who showed up and then let their heart lead their actions.  The smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference in the hearts of others.

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