Santa Rosa family turns to the Red Cross to get help they desperately need

By Mauri Shuler

When Stacy Cardinale stepped into the Sonoma County Red Cross Service Center in Santa Rosa this morning, she didn’t know what to expect. By the time she left the facility an hour or so later, she said the Red Cross “made sure all my needs are met.”

Just over two weeks ago, life seemed to be going on as usual. In a literal flash, all the routines of daily life went up in smoke — literally. Her son, Tony, had just arrived home from work early in the morning on October 9 when he saw flames off in the distance. They were far away, he thought. But before he could even enter their rented house in the Coffey Park neighborhood of Santa Rosa, burning embers began raining down around him.

He awakened his mother and her partner, David, as well has Tony’s twin brother, Joey. They rounded up their cat and three dogs and headed for their cars, grabbing only one personal possession, a signed Joe Montana jersey.

The house burned to the ground shortly after. The family is now staying in a local motel. For the time being, Stacy has let go of her small business. She had been contracting with local agencies to provide training to disabled adults so they can live independently.

While Stacy’s family looks for affordable housing, she decided that the Red Cross would be the best place to seek assistance.

The Red Cross provided her with financial assistance, referrals to FEMA, the California unemployment insurance office, and the small business administration.

When asked how she feels about the service she has received from the Red Cross, Stacy summed it up in one word: “Great.”


Lori Wilson and Jim Burns provided editorial support for this story.