FACES OF THE FLOOD..Crestick on a mission to help othersCindy Crestick considers herself to be a “third culture kid” – a transplant to Cloquet from her home in Liberia, West Africa, where her parents served as missionaries.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Cindy Crestick considers herself to be a “third culture kid” – a transplant to Cloquet from her home in Liberia, West Africa, where her parents served as missionaries. Since moving to Cloquet 26 years ago, she has taken care of foster kids for Carlton County and she and her husband have raised their family in Cloquet.
When Crestik took a chaplaincy class in January, part of her studies involved learning about chaplains working in disaster areas and she also took a Red Cross class called, “Sheltering Under One Roof.”
“It was very insightful and it brought up a lot of questions about what we would do in our area if we had a disaster and where our shelters would be,” she said.
Little did she know how important that training would become.
Fast forward to June 23, when Crestik received a call saying volunteer chaplains were needed in the aftermath of the disastrous flooding. The very next day, she started working at the Armory in Cloquet, initially helping to answer phones and then taking over the responsibility of calling chaplains to help out with the emergency response effort. Later, she started working on a team of mental health and social workers, going door to door to find out what needs could be met. When the distribution center in Carlton started up, Crestik was there to help set up and has worked there ever since.
“Initially people were so overwhelmed wondering just what they needed to do,” she reflected. “Sometimes people just needed reassurance or to share their story,” said Crestik. “Sometimes we would even go back the next day and simply check up on how they were doing because day to day their needs would change.”
Though the distribution center hasn’t seen as great an influx as she thought they would, Crestik said she’s finding that she doesn’t think people are ready for that yet.
“Some aren’t even living in their own homes yet,” she said, “so why would they want to accumulate a whole bunch of things and clothes in their own home again? I think in a few months would be a better time perhaps.”
Her husband, part owner of Cloquet Sanitary Service, has offered a 40-foot container to store the goods until they can possibly open up again in a few months to help those who need it.