Story by Patricia Rojas
A frantic Elizabeth Perez arrived at Plaza Towers Elementary High School to pick up her daughter Jennifer, 11, just a few minutes after the school was hit by the tornado that struck Moore on May 20th.
Fortunately her husband had already picked Jennifer up, and she was safe at her dad’s home. But sadly two of her classmates had to face the loss of a younger brother and others suffered broken limbs.
Jennifer and her mother are among the hundreds of people who have visited the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) that the Red Cross and partner agencies set up in Westmoore High School in Moore to help residents affected by the tornado. This center is one of four MARCs opened in the impacted areas where residents can access assistance from different government, not-for-profit and religious organizations. The other three centers are located in the communities of Shawnee, Carney and Norman.
Elizabeth found out about the centers through a Red Cross volunteer that visited her neighborhood in one of 45 emergency response vehicles (ERVs) that have been distributing food, meals and cleaning supplies throughout the affected areas.
“A Red Cross worker, with her red vest, went by asking if we had received assistance,” said Isabel Rodriguez, a friend and housemate of Elizabeth’s. “We then received a follow-up from the Red Cross office.”
This is how Isabel, Elizabeth and her daughter arrived at the MARC in Moore where they were able to meet with a mental health specialist from the Red Cross and were able to access the services of the other agencies present at the center.
“The Red Cross suggested we come here for help, so here we are,” added Rodriguez.