LONGVIEW/GREGG COUNTY (KYTX) - It's been a very busy month for the Piney Woods Chapter of the East Texas American Red Cross. We're just 19 days into the month of November and they've already assisted 20 families due to apartment and house fires in Longview. With most of their volunteers in New York and New Jersey for Hurricane Sandy, they say they can use more donations and more volunteers as fires increase during the winter months here in Longview."
"You find people that will say, if you need me call me and I'll be there, but when it actually happens no one is there."
Ruby Pierson was walking out of the door for church one afternoon when she smelled smoke coming from her mother's home.
"The fire Marshal said had I left I would've came back home to a pile of bricks."
The home did catch fire and everyone was fine, all because the fire department and red cross were there in minutes.
"When they see them arrive in that red vest you can see a relief come on their face."
"They came out, they were like if there's anything you need or anything we can do to help, let us know."
The American Red Cross is a network of generous donors, volunteers and employees who work to prevent and relieve suffering after a disaster. Cynthia Williams is one of them.
"That's what we're here for, our mission is to eliviate suffering."
"In the event of a fire or disaster The American Red Cross focuses on their victims most immediate needs so they show up with these comfort kits and they come with soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste shaving cream, deodorant and various other hygiene items."
The Red Cross also works to find victims shelter, food and clothing.
"I felt then they were sincere."
"It's also being there for someone to talk to."
Making the victims road to recovery just a little bit easier.
"I will be forever grateful for what they did for us."
"The Piney Woods Chapter of the American Red Cross say that they would not have been able to help the 20 families they have so far this month without the help from the Gregg County community. They would like to encourage everyone to keep donating, keep volunteering and most importantly to get involved.