A burning exclamation mark to a sweet celebration, Kim Isaac’s garage burst into flames moments after her final guest departed from the baby shower she was hosting at her home in southeast Manitoba.

When Kim opened the door to the garage, it looked like the site of a massive tornado touchdown. Her husband was on fire and jumped into a snowbank to douse the flames. She quickly got the kids out of the house and her husband was rushed to the hospital.

The next few days were a blur as she tended to her husband and a neighbour watched over the children. Kim never did find out who contacted the Canadian Red Cross, but comfort blankets were sent to the children right away.

Small tokens of comfort provided to those in need“They kept those blankets forever. It was something that Red Cross gave them to help ease the trauma.”

They lost everything in that fire but the hardest loss for one of her children was a beloved doll. A Cabbage Patch doll. Kim’s house fire occurred 31 years ago.

“My 49-year-old daughter still remembers that doll they brought her. She remembers the colour of her hair. The original one was blonde, and she got a brown one from them. That’s how much the doll spoke to her.”

Small gestures can have a big and lasting impact, especially when people are trying to recover from a devastating experience.

“Those little things were just huge for our family. It’s not only helping you with physical things like blankets and pillows, it was helping with the emotional trauma of a disaster, and sometimes the emotional is the biggest part.“

If you are experiencing a personal disaster and require assistance, contact the Canadian Red Cross at 1-888-800-6493.