Flood Affected Resident Brings Optimism to Red Cross Supported Shelter

By Courtney Wilson, Canadian Red Cross Public Affairs

“I’m happy, life is good,” says Bill Dixon, a flood affected individual from Goldsboro, North Carolina. This is the first thing Bill says to me as we sit down to talk and he repeats it multiple times throughout our conversation. I’m instantly floored by his positive outlook and sunny disposition in a time when it would be very easy for him to be anything but.

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Flood affected resident, Bill Dixon, 76.    

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Bill & Linda Hayes, Red Cross Shelter Manager

Just over a week ago, Bill woke up to find his home surrounded by water. He put on his boots and waded through the water to safety.  By ‘home’ Bill is referring to a van that he normally lives out of. “I’m a vagabond,” he says. “I like to travel and I love the freedom it gives me.”

Unfortunately, due to the floods, Bill has yet to return home and has been staying in a Red Cross supported shelter. “[The] people who set up this shelter are incredible” says Bill. “I’m deeply impressed.”

Chatting with staff, volunteers, and other flood affected residents staying at the shelter, it is obvious that it is not just me who is impressed by Bill. “He has such a positive outlook,” says Red Cross Shelter Manager, Linda Hayes. “It’s inspiring.”

As our conversation comes to a close Bill reminds me of his favourite life motto: “Your attitude determines your latitude providing you share your gratitude.” This quote is now posted in our Red Cross response headquarters, and I think it’s safe to say that there are many people who are grateful that we have people like Bill in this world.

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Meeting Bill definitely made my day.

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