(Orange, Texas)

October 2, 2012

Making a difference

Reaching out to the community

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Fire hurts.

The Fire Hurts, Red Cross helps campaign is an effort to raise funds to assist the Red Cross in providing assistance to families affected by a fire.

National Fire Prevention week is October 7 - 13, 2012.

Volunteers from the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross will leave their homes in the middle of the night to help a family who has just lost their home in a fire. 

“The furthest I have gone on a Fire Call is Newton,” Disaster Action Team Captain Tina Wise said. “Usually the calls are within Orange County.”

The Orange Chapter covers Angelina, Nacagdoches, San Augustine, Sabine, Newton counties as well as Orange County.

A reorganization of the American Red Cross means Executive Director Sharon Tyler is over the Texas Gulf Coast Region which includes the Beaumont and Orange Chapters and includes a total of nine counties.

The Orange office has one paid employee and relies on volunteers such as Tina Wise and her daughter, Kristin, to answer phones, go on fire calls, organize, or maintain vehicles.

Hurricane Isaac required the chapter to open two shelters at area churches to host the 400 Red Cross volunteers from around the world until they could be deployed to the disaster area to help the families in need.

“The churches were wonderful,” Tina said.

The Red Cross is not just about helping in the time of disaster but also is showing support and caring within the community.

The organization is currently involved in the Texas Gulf Coast Region Military Support Project.

A team is collecting comfort items for troops stationed along the remote outposts in Afghanistan. The project ends Oct. 12, 2012 and is in need of many items as well as assistance in packaging the care packages for shipping.

The group is also preparing for Senior Cheer. Volunteers and students will give cards, cookies and a handmade stocking to residents of area nursing homes.

To volunteer with the American Red Cross go to and enter ones zip code, fill out an application.