Thank you from the Red Cross

More than 400 members of the American Red Cross came to Marshalltown in the days after the tornado hit on July 19. Members of the Red Cross here in Iowa were joined by Red Cross staff and volunteers from around the country as we joined many other agencies taking on the massive task of helping provide relief, comfort and refuge to thousands of people impacted by the destructive storm.

Most of the Red Cross workers you saw in your city, on your streets, at your homes, were volunteers. Many are long-time members of our organization who have responded to multiple disasters over the years. Besides the calling to serve others, another attribute of a disaster deployment that keeps our volunteers coming back is the intense gratitude from those they help. The hugs. The heartfelt thank you. The kind words from people who are so thankful to meet someone in a Red Cross vest asking “what do you need? How can I help you?”

Now, it’s time for us to say thanks to Marshalltown.

Thank you to all who welcomed us with open arms, from our community partners in Marshall County to local business owners to the people we met every day who live and work in Marshalltown. All are working alongside us as we establish and execute a plan for how to best meet the enormous needs in the aftermath of the tornado.

Thanks to all who made us feel welcome, providing us with a place to rest at night and providing meals to keep our staff and volunteers energized and ready to continue the relief effort.

Thanks to all who felt a calling to support us financially, from the kids handing over dollar bills after a lemonade stand to the corporate pillars of the community standing up to show their support of our mission in Marshalltown.

We are honored to be a part of the hard work being done to make your city even better than it was before the tornado. Please know that Marshalltown holds a special place in the hearts of many members of the Red Cross and we will continue to be part of not only your recovery from this disaster, but your city’s future as well.