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Lily's story: volunteering in the Turks and Caicos Islands

Lily joined the Red Cross in 1974, and is deputy chair of the Turks and Caicos Islands Red Cross.

Volunteer helping woman down stairsThe morning after the hurricane Lily was very anxious to see her family as she had been sheltering with other Red Cross volunteers. She says: “When I went outside, the houses had literally been swept onto the roads. Even the airport’s warehouse had been destroyed.

“The island has been cleaned up a lot since then but the morning after the hurricane there was debris everywhere. I come from Jamaica and I’ve seen hurricanes before, but this one was different. It’s been such a traumatic experience for everyone here.”

Red Cross shelters

The Red Cross co-ordinated two shelters on Grand Turk, where people could seek refuge the night of the hurricane. Afterwards we distributed tarpaulins, water purification tablets, jerry cans and mosquito nets for three days to reach as many people as possible.

Lily says: “We went to people’s homes to deliver these items, visited them house-to-house not to leave anyone out. It was very hard work.

“I tried to be strong. I visited one of the affected areas and I cried, for so many reasons. I live in an old house, which is still standing, I am so lucky but I couldn’t believe the state of everything else. So many people have lost their houses, completely.”

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