The North Star Chapter of the American Red Cross disaster volunteer Terry Sluss assisted eight people, including six children aged five to 11 years, following a fire in a rental home Thursday in Verndale. According to Sluss, the family was not home at the time of the fire, but lost everything in the blaze.
On that same Thursday, the North Star Chapter also assisted a Crow Wing County family after a fire in a Brainerd four-plex left at least one family homeless. Disaster volunteers Tom Bickman and Alyssa Johnson responded to the blaze. According to Johnson, two people, including a child, were given Red Cross aid that included emergency lodging for three nights, warm clothing and a food allowance.
Red Cross disaster relief includes emergency lodging, food, clothing, medicine and medical supplies, health services and mental health counseling. Relief is typically provided in the form of Client Assistance Cards for use in local businesses, designed to both encourage clients to participate in their own recovery and support local economic growth.
The North Star Chapter of the American Red Cross is headquartered in Bemidji and responds to about 40 local emergencies each year in a 10,000 square mile jurisdiction. The chapter is accepting donations now. You can help victims of this and other local disasters by sending gifts to the North Star Chapter at 1900 Division St. W. Unit 1, Bemidji, MN 56601. More information about how to help is available at (218) 444-9490 or by visiting www.redcrossmn.org.