Thursday, September 08, 2005

One Selfless Act of Support for Relief Efforts Inspires Others

Written by Kevin Titus , Special to

Thursday, September 08, 2005GULFPORT, Miss. – When Drake Cox’s two daughters saw the devastation from Hurricane Katrina on their television set in Springfield, Mo., they asked their father: "Who’s going to help them, daddy?"

Initially Cox told them he didn’t know. Then, his little girls, ages 5 and 9, asked: “Daddy, can’t you help them?” That is when he knew he had to do whatever he could.

His family had been saving money for years for a trip to Disney World. Like most families, it was going to be their dream vacation. But, like so many on the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Cox family's plan would be put on hold.

The young girls told their mother and father that they would rather donate that money to the American Red Cross to help those affected by Katrina than go on vacation – Mickey would just have to wait.

“They inspire me to do everything,” said Cox about his loving, concerned daughters.

Moved by his children's generosity, Cox knew that he too could make a sacrifice. So he sold his beloved 2002 Honda Shadow motorcycle – that he had pampered and treasured – on eBay and gave 100% of the money to the Red Cross in support of the relief efforts. Their act of selfless charity has spurred others to action; when friends, neighbors and even strangers heard about it, they made sacrifices of their own and donated to the relief effort.

Cox, with his employee Jeff Paul, then set off to deliver their donations in person to the Red Cross on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The last thing he did before he left for the coast was stop by his children’s school to say goodbye. His nine-year-old daughter gave him tearful hugs of pride, while his five-year-old girl gave him a high-five.

"Go get 'em dad!" she said.

Cox and Paul drove through the night and arrived at the Red Cross relief headquarters in Gulfport, Miss., with their donations, not seeking recognition but looking to provide relief to many who are suffering from losses caused by Katrina. Meanwhile, back in Missouri, his wife Pamela was coordinating available hotel rooms for evacuees who had come to the Springfield area seeking shelter far from the devastated coast.

The sacrifices of this little family in support Hurricane Katrina relief operations has attracted a lot of attention from the local media and even People Magazine – although Cox made it clear that this wasn’t about them. He indicated that his family didn’t want the attention; they only wanted to provide whatever help they could.

It is thanks to the generosity and compassion of families like this that the Red Cross is able to provide relief to the victims of disaster.

Kevin Titus has been deployed to the Red Cross relief efforts on the coast since before Katrina made landfall. Residing in Cincinnati, Ohio, he weathered the storm in a Red Cross shelter near Biloxi and is currently providing Public Affairs support in the area.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of this disaster and thousands of other disasters across the country each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting


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