American Red Cross: They come through

By Eric Butler

The American Red Cross is well-known as a group that comes to the aid of victims of large-scale disasters around the globe.
However, the Clovis-based Zia Chapter of the Red Cross aims to help local people in need too. And no one is happier about that than Rosemary Madrid.
Last summer, Madrid’s Clovis home was swamped by flood water to the point that she used a canoe to get from the front porch out to the car. That”s when Madrid knew she needed some assistance.
“I didn’t know what to do. I was crying, I was scared. I said, ‘What am I going to do?’ because the house was in bad shape,” Madrid recalls. “I’ll be honest with you — we slept in our car.
“That night, I said a prayer and asked God to help me find an answer. A few hours later, I woke up and the Red Cross came to my mind.”
The Zia Chapter helped Madrid, her husband and four children by paying for them to stay in a motel for three days while the family looked for another place to live. When they did move into a rental house, the Red Cross provided beds for the family to sleep in.
“We didn’t have any beds, any furniture — so they helped us with the stuff that we needed,” Madrid said. “We’re all blessed to have the Red Cross and the United Way. They were very good to us.”
“We do everything from help people who have lost houses to flooding or lost their house in a fire. We make sure their emergency needs are met — like food, clothing and shelter,” says Eloise Edwards, director of the Zia Chapter. “If they have no family in the area, or they can’t stay with family because there isn’t room, we make sure they’re put up in a motel until they can get more permanent housing.”
The Red Cross also offers a variety of health and safety classes, including CPR training that ranges from instruction to children to courses for medical professionals.
Some of the courses are taught by Red Cross volunteers and employees at the Zia Chapter’s office at the corner of Second and Main streets in Clovis. Others are instructed on-site at the location of a business that’s trying to train a group of employees.
“We go all the way. The EMTs (emergency medical technicians) have to be certified every year, even though they are EMTs,” Edwards says. “We do everything all the way down to having a first aid class for children who are in kindergarten.”