By Cindy Havens Service Center Manager, Mecosta-Osceola Chapter American Red Cross March is Red Cross Month \u2013 and our Mecosta-Osceola disaster volunteers responded to 37 fires last year. I\u2019d like to tell you about one. Last September, a family in Rogers Heights lost their home in a fire. When I drove out to meet them, they were standing in the dirt road looking at what was left of their home. The smell of smoke was in the air and as I approached them I saw that the woman was crying and holding onto her service dog. \u201cWhat will we do?\u201d she asked. We walked to a nearby diner and sat at a corner table where the waitress brought us coffee and told us it was on the house. As the Red Cross disaster responder, I sat with them and listened to their story of what had happened. The man had been at work \u2013 the woman was gone to a neighbors. Neighbors poured into the road to see fire trucks approaching. The man received a call at work and was told there was an emergency and he needed to come home. We talked about what they were facing \u2013 and what they needed right then. It was just the two of them and their service dog. \u201cWhat will happen now?\u201d they wondered aloud. They had no place to go that night \u2013 so it was arranged for them to be in a local motel for three nights. They had only the clothes they were wearing and nothing to eat \u2013 so they were given assistance to buy food and clothes. Vital medicines and prescriptions that were destroyed were replaced. When I left them, they were a little calmer and more prepared to face the long days ahead. Without generous local donors, none of that would have been possible. We are the American Red Cross. We\u2019re what happens next. The Red Cross is here to help. It\u2019s what we do. Last year our local volunteers responded to 37 emergencies, assisted 67 military families and trained 2,088 people in lifesaving skills. In addition, local residents donated 2,755 units of blood. Thanks to support from individuals, organizations and businesses here in Mecosta and Osceola counties, the American Red Cross is able to respond to disasters both large and small; help members of the military, veterans and their families; provide blood for those in need and teach lifesaving skills. We want to thank those whose generosity enables us to continue our work, both here at home and around the world. You can help by making a donation, becoming a volunteer, taking a class, or giving blood. Contact your local Red Cross chapter at 796-6562 or visit www.redcross.org.