HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s Christmas Eve which is typically a night for celebrating with families and friends. However, one Midstate mother won’t be able to spend time with her loved ones.
Over a week ago, deadly tornados ripped through parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and a huge portion of Kentucky. This is why Melinda Rosario is spending her holidays away from her loved ones.
Harrisburg mother Melinda Rosario is among the many helping hands in the trenches from the American Red Cross, working with recovery services so families in affected areas can get the help they need.
“A lot of these folks lost their cars, they have no transportation we need to be where they are we also got teams that are actually walking the neighborhoods going house to house and they can open up recovery assistance right there in their driveway if they need to,” Rosario said.
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Rosario has been stationed in Tennessee and has helped assess over a thousand homes.
There’s lots of work to be done even past the holidays and she says typically her Christmas consists of spending time with her loved ones including her 14-year-old son.
But this year that will be on pause.
“It doesn’t matter if we celebrate on the 25th or the 3rd, whenever we get to celebrate we’re able to do that these folk here, their trees got blown away their Christmas lights got blown away some of them are not going to have a house for a very long time so what we’re doing is needed here I can have Christmas any day at home my family is still there,” Rosario said.
The team says the biggest thing they can do is make sure these families know that they are not alone.
“We’re able to talk to them and listen to their story someone is validating the experience that they went through, the 20 to 30 minutes we spend with each family they have someone to talk to and just kinda let it out,” Rosario said.
The American Red Cross will continue to have boots on the ground while picking up the pieces.
“It’s exciting, it’s exciting to see them still being able to carry on and it’s just a beautiful thing and they are so happy to have someone here for them,” Rosario said.
There are ways you can help, the American Red Cross says blood donations are crucial and much needed.
If you would like to donate or become a volunteer click here.