Red Cross Opens Service Centers For Storm Victims - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Red Cross Opens Service Centers For Storm Victims

Bonnie Quillen Bonnie Quillen
Jamie Quillen Jamie Quillen

CENTERVILLE, Tenn. - The American Red Cross opened mobile service centers across the state to help individuals or families affected by last week's tornadoes.

"We came down here and we went over here in the area closer to the corner," said Bonnie Quillen.

Except for the basement, there's nothing left of her home.

"And we crouched down here underneath the mattress and all and hung on to each other," she said.

No one was seriously hurt, but her home was destroyed.

She will have to wait on her insurance company to help her rebuild.

But she is getting help right now from the Red Cross.

"The Red Cross does not give loans.  We only give gifts," said John Blackburn of the American Red Cross. "It's Americans helping Americans.  And that's what we're here for."

Mobile service centers opened across Tennessee including one in Centerville.

Storm victims are receiving debit cards to buy groceries, clothing, medicines and to pay for rent and, in some cases, emergency home repairs.

The amount placed on the card depends on the extent of the damages and the size of the victim's household, Blackburn said.

"This is the actual card they gave us to get personal items and things we needed.  It's got a PIN that acts like a checking account," said Jamie Quillen, another storm victim.

Quillen's card is worth more than $1,000.

The twister destroyed her home, but it didn't break her spirit.

"It was just like a big boom. It sounded like somebody dropped dynamite and it was right here. It's like a thunder that didn't stop," she said.

She said as the storm ripped through her community she and others prayed.

"What was the bet that night?  Uhh, staying alive, but we prayed.  Someone said a prayer and I said hang on.

The Red Cross sent out representatives to assess storm damage. 

All of the disaster assistance offered by the agency is free.

The centers will be located at the following sites:

„h  Hickory Hill Community Center, 3920 Ridgeway Memphis, TN 38115 Hours:9 a.m. to noon

„h  Old Sears Store, 329 Highway 52 Bypass East, Lafayette, TN 37083 Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

„h  Jackson Area Chapter, 1981 Hollywood Drive, Suite 100 Jackson, TN 38305 Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

„h  Arat Baptist Church, 3608 Brownsville Highway, Jackson, TN 38305 Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

„h  In Fairview 2714 Fairview Blvd. 32062

„h  Centerview United Methodist Church 103 College St. Centerville, TN 37033

„h  Hartsville Aid Station 303 E. Main St. Hartsville, TN 37074 Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To obtain information about Red Cross assistance for disaster victims, call the Red Cross Hotline at 1-866-GET-INFO or TDD 1-800-526-1417 for hearing impaired callers.

The American Red Cross is teaming up with St. Thomas Hospital to refill prescriptions destroyed in the storms. They will fill a two-week supply of medications for free. 

For more information, contact the Red Cross.

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