By Carl Boisvert, a Canadian Red Cross staff member deployed to the Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick during the ice storm response
Doris and her husband live in Pokemouche, New Brunswick. They were without power for 12 days before coming to the Red Cross warming centre in Tracadie-Sheila to find out what could be done.
When they arrived, Doris and her husband met Red Cross volunteer Michelle Gauthier, who gave them a friendly and comforting welcome.
“When they got here, I immediately sensed that they needed to talk and, most of all, unwind. They were in a stressful situation. They were alone, with their children out of the house and their neighbours living quite far. By chatting and especially listening to them, I was able to guide them to the right resources. I could feel their energy returning,” said Michelle.
“As they were getting ready to leave, I invited Doris and her husband to stay for lunch. They humbly refused, but when I insisted we eat together, she started tearing up. They stayed with us.”
While waiting for the power to be restored, Doris chased away her boredom by knitting little wool muffs for the kids. To thank Michelle for her great kindness, Doris gave her several pairs of muffs for her granddaughters.
“I am so fortunate to be a Red Cross volunteer. I love what I do. I enjoy working with people. When we talk to them, it feels like they are the ones giving us a gift. Life led me to Acadia, where I meet people who are so strong despite everything they’re going through. They are truly incredible people, just kind-hearted folks.”
On February 5, NB Power announced that all its customers had been reconnected. The Red Cross continues to support
the Government of New Brunswick in this response and to analyze the needs of those most heavily affected by the ice storm.
The Canadian Red Cross is accepting donations for the New Brunswick Ice Storm 2017
fund to further assist people affected by the disaster. These donations allow the most flexibility to meet urgent needs that we identify and help people recover.