Central and Western Oklahoma American Red Cross organizes Community Resiliency Project

Community Resiliency Project organized by the American Red Cross begins by assisting south Oklahoma City neighborhoods
BY SARAH HUSSAIN shussain@opubco.com Published: February 5, 2013
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Fire safety and prevention door hangers in English and Spanish were provided to the homes the volunteers visited, Friesen said.

In conjunction with the Resiliency Program, concerned community members in south Oklahoma City meet to develop plans to partner with businesses and churches so that residents might see familiar faces and be more comfortable with the help and changes being proposed, Friesen said.

Holy Angels Catholic Church, which has a congregation of 600 mostly-Hispanic families, recently hosted a Resiliency Program event which included the fire department bringing a truck for the children to enjoy.

The success of the event was enhanced by a bilingual firefighter, said the Rev. Mike Chapman, Holy Angels priest.

“Sometimes when you don't speak the language it can be difficult,” Chapman said. “They were well-respected and well-accepted, they did well to make themselves available for questions the families had about fire safety.”

The Red Cross has bilingual volunteers who help after house fires and other disasters but is always looking for more support.

“At these events, we are trying to build support from the community to show help is needed,” Friesen said. For volunteering opportunities, go online to www.redcross.org/ok/oklahoma-city/volunteer or visit the Red Cross office at 601 NE 6.

“We want the Hispanic community to be included in what we do and vice versa,” Friesen said.