Woman: 'For the first time in my life, I don't know what to do'

Cross residents line up for Red Cross assistance. (Source: Emily Landeen/WCIV)

By Stacy

CROSS, S.C. (WCIV) -- People in Cross got a rare hot meal this week with the help of the Red Cross.

Since Sunday, the Red Cross has been serving lunch and dinner to those without power or who don't have any food or money left.

"I spent all this money through trying to survive the immediacy of [the storm]. We're sitting ducks so to speak," said Tracy Speigel, who lives off disability checks that she said wouldn't come again until February.

"By me having a meal like that, it's a less bit of money I have to spend on my kids. I am happy to take the donation," said single mom Theresa Prioleau, who cares for her three special needs children.

Both women owed the meal to their neighbor Linda Fontaine, who recognized the need and called the Red Cross, an organization for which she has volunteer for 30 years.

"I said, 'Look guys, I'm a volunteer and I've been doing this for years. I'm telling you this community is hard hit. We need help,'" Fontaine said.

She said 500 people have turned up for each meal since Sunday.

Fontaine also played her own part in the community. She hosted 16 people who didn't have power at her own home. They lived off her disaster preparedness kit, including a generator which gave them electricity.

"I spent over $500 between gas, generator and I did have to buy a chainsaw," Fontaine said.

Like Speigel, Fontaine also faces uncertainty, but she saw the incident as a blessing.

"Being prepared allowed me to step aside from my situation to help others," she said.

But Speigel feared what would happen, once the Red Cross truck left.

"I don't know? I have no clue. For the first time in my life, I don't know what to do," she said.

The Red Cross will again serve lunch and dinner at the Cross Community Center Wednesday at noon and 5 p.m.