red cross psychologist in queensBy Tula Karras
On a blistering morning last June, Danelle Stoppel, a mental-health volunteer with the American Red Cross, spotted a man standing in front of a smoldering structure in Waldo Canyon, CO. It was his home, one of hundreds lost to the wildfires that scorched 18,000 acres. He was holding a burned gas cap in his hand. Something about the way he looked at it, turning it over and over, drew Danelle to him. "I asked him about it," she says. "He told me the cap was the only thing left from an old Datsun he and his 10-year-old son were rehabbing together. He was planning on giving the car to his son when he was old enough to drive," says Danelle.
Read More »from Healing Hurricane Sandy Victims
Talking it Through
Danelle offered him what she says all disaster victims need: a chance to tell his story. "It's the first step in healing," she says. "They need you to hear it. It makes it real for them. And they need you to bear witness to all that they've lost," she says. The man explained that the fire had hit on his son's