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Meeting Red Cross on Road to Recovery


This last year has been a long road of recovery and discovery for me. After losing my home and office in the Jesusita Fire last May, I have journeyed the rocky road that leads from a cathartic experience like this. As an uninsured, self-employed renter, it has not been easy starting over. “A heart-breaking liberation” is how I describe my experience.

However, recently, just when I felt my cup was empty, and was not sure what steps to take next, an unexpected check arrived from the Red Cross’s long-term recovery fund. While some would have considered it a drop in the bucket, when your bucket is empty, every bit makes a big difference.

I want to thank the Red Cross and everyone in Santa Barbara who contributed to the fire recovery efforts. This gift gave me the breathing room to re-launch my business, Spreading Solutions, focusing on the sustainable food production method called Aquaponics. I hope to make it to Haiti this summer to help others who have lost everything; to help bring hope and empower them to grow food with very little.

I know the economy has been rough on many lately, and so that is why these gifts mean even more. Disaster can strike at any time, anywhere. Helping each other is what helps everybody on the road to recovery. Thank you Red Cross, and thank you Santa Barbara.—Hannah A. Eckberg

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