Lubbock Red Cross to the rescue but stretched thin - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock Red Cross to the rescue but stretched thin

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Lubbock's Red Cross normally rushes in to help families in the midst of disaster, but now the local Red Cross chapter finds itself stretched too thin, having responded to 12 disasters in 19 days.  Nine of them have been in Lubbock.

The latest disaster happened Monday with a car smashing through a house, and ending up in the living room. Plywood now covers the massive hole in the side of the house, but the local Red Cross still had to put the family in a hotel. The other disasters include 11 fires that destroyed homes.

"Almost all the families we've worked with have been displaced some of them temporarily some of them permanently," said Bill Curnow, Red Cross chairman.

In three weeks 50 people have been affected by the disasters, 41 of those live here in Lubbock.

"Well, we've certainly spent more than we budgeted t his month," said Curnow. "There's a common misconception out there that we're a government agency and we're not. We're a non-profit that relies solely on donations from the public."

One of the recent disasters includes a family who lost everything. "The Ramirez family obviously was the most tragic disaster that we worked. Anytime you lose a life, especially a life of a young, one it's devastating to the whole community," said Curnow.

About two weeks ago a house fire took the life of four-year-old Jeremiah Ramirez. His three-year-old brother Joseph was sent to the hospital with second degree burns covering his face and arms. "The doctors kept telling us they weren't sure he was going to make it. It wasn't until the third or fourth day when he woke up that we knew he was going to be ok," said Crucifica Castillo, Joseph's mother.

Joseph was finally released from the hospital a day before Thanksgiving. Burns and bandages still cover his arms, but he is healing quickly.

"We're absolutely thrilled," said Curnow, "We had the opportunity to see him in the hospital and obviously spend quite a bit of time with the family. We're tickled to death that he's been released and he's doing well."

In order for the Red Cross to continue helping people like the Ramirez family, they need donations and are asking for your help.

"We went from having everything to having nothing, and then with people's help we went to having everything again," said Crucifica holding back tears.

If you would like to make a donation you can call the Red Cross at 806-765-8534 or by (clicking here).

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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