Duck Lake Wildfires-More Than Houses Lost

Newberry, MI, June 4, 2012  Now that the residents from the Duck Lake Wildfire area have been allowed to return to their homes a local resident shared with a Red Cross volunteer“now your work really begins”!  In a way he is right.  While the American Red Cross has been on site since the inception of the fire response offering shelter, food, water and snacks to victims and responders alike now they will start working with residents who have suffered losses.  Volunteer client caseworkers will be meeting with these families individually to assess their needs as they move forward to rebuild their lives.  In addition to financial support the Red Cross continues to provide emotional support by its trained emotional support volunteers.
Stories of the most significant losses are being shared by the residents.  It is not just the homes, cars and outdoor recreational vehicles but the family history items.  Many have lost treasured antiques, guest journals covering many years, an antique car in the garage, handmade items, a eagle nest with eggs on their property, a deck or dock built by family members.  
The American Red Cross will continue to work out of the American Legion located at 7964 State Highway M123, Newberry, MI 9868 until their service for this major disaster is completed.  A shelter is still set up there to be used if needed.  The client caseworkers and emotional service volunteers will be at the Hall to meet with clients and give out clean up supplies.  Supplies made possible through a corporate grant from The Home Depot include rakes, shovels, masks, bug spray and gloves.  
Anyone interested in volunteering with the Red Cross for this or future disasters can sign up at the American Legion in Newberry and attend orientation sessions, scheduled as needed, to increase the number of local trained volunteers.  For more information, call Jeff at the American Legion (906) 293-8711 or email

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