Don’t Count Me Out.

Don’t count me out just yet.
Sarah Centrella and the Red Cross
Thank God for the Red Cross

Many of you know my story, know the road I have been on the last three years in an effort to rebuild my life. It’s been putting one foot in front of the other every single day, good days and bad. I’ve been able to grow and learn so much about myself. In the process I found hope and faith and learned to trust God and the Universe to deliver me out of difficult situations and to lead me in the direction that is the vision for my life.

I have had setbacks the past few years like everyone does. But with each one I try my damnedest to get back up, brush myself off and solider on. When it comes down to it, I have no choice. I am the sole provide for a family of 4 and there isn’t time in my world for self-pity or laziness.

I’m a fighter, a survivor. It’s what I know. It’s what I do.

However, this is a particularly scary time for me and my children. As I write this, I sit in a little dive roadside motel, that in all honesty I could not be more grateful for. I don’t mind its smell of cigarette smoke; it’s dried-out and broken pool outside the front door. It’s bad location or general rift-raft. No I’m grateful like never before that myself and my children are safe, and that they are sleeping soundly. Never before has the term “grateful for a roof over my head” meant so much.  I’m forever indebted to the American Red Cross for providing us this refuge for the next few days as we try to decide what our next move can be.

Three fire engines responded

Yesterday the in-home sprinkler system went off in my daughter’s room, instantly flooding all three levels of the home that we currently rent. By the time the fire department showed up with two engines and about a dozen firefighters, the damage was done. There was standing water on the 2nd floor (main living area), water pouring through any available outlet in the ceiling like an open faucet. Three inches of water covered the kitchen floor, three drains poured on our couch and dining room table, and slowly the destruction made its way to the bottom level (garage) where it settled.

Trying to turn off the sprinkler

I looked around the house, firefighters in every room, and just put my hands to my face and cried. When the Red Cross disaster relief workers came, and offered hugs I cried harder. When they offered stuffed animals for the kids, a room to stay in and a debit card, tears streamed down my face.

The damage is severe. Crew’s came almost immediately to begin gutting the house on each level. The timeline is unknown if we can return home, if at all. Certainly not for the foreseeable future.
This in its own right is unsettling enough for my children who ask about 1,000 questions a second about what will happen next. But as many of you might know I was suddenly and without reason let go of my job three weeks ago, and have been searching for its replacement since.
So as I sit here knowing what the reality of our situation is at this moment…. I can’t help but believe that something better will come along and that after all the work I have done to rebuild my life that I’m not back where I started in less than three short weeks.
I refuse to accept this as defeat.
I refuse to give up.
I will not lie down or throw in the towel.
I won’t let fear destroy me.
I won’t let my children fear.
I will teach them that in life, disasters happen. 
Sometimes life gets scary. 
Sometimes mama doesn’t have all the answers. Doesn’t know what to do.
But we still have faith. 
We can still believe everything will be alright.
Life can kick you in the teeth on a regular basis but when it does are you going to go toothless??? Umm NO that’s not a good look! Find dentures till you can get implants! Fake it till you make it. Start over if you have to. It sucks. There is no denying that this sucks ass right now. But there are so many people around the world in SOOOO much worse situations than mine that it makes me feel stupid to even be afraid at this moment. But when it comes down to it we are all human and each of us has our mountain to climb big or small, so all I can do is put on hiking boots, barrow a backpack and start climbing.
I’m so grateful to each of you for the support and love you have shown me the past few months, it has without question given me more hope; inspiration, and determination then I could have ever given you.  I love you all, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  And stay tuned…cuz this is NOT over, not by a long shot!!! We are just getting started. I want you along for this ride no matter how ugly it gets, because I want you to see first hand that even still, magic can happen and anything is possible.Other posts from living in the hotel:
Show Up
Good News Everything Happens for a Reason
Have Faith
Give me Bikram Yoga!

Standing water three stories down in a mater of minutes
Almost immediately the house was torn apart to try and prevent additional water damage
All of our stuff on the decks, soaking wet
By the next morning, this was our house. Unlivable.
Mira sitting on the bed her and I share in the Red Cross hotel
Our new home.


Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella


  • Anonymous
    June 4, 2011 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Wow Sarah that’s just awful to hear! You are one of the strongest woman I know (well I really don’t know you but feel like I do) please keep your chin up and if you need anything please let me know

  • June 4, 2011 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much, prayers are very appreciated 🙂

  • June 4, 2011 - 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who reads this post…. If you are in the position to do so please give or volunteer to the American Red Cross, you never know when you might need them. thank you!

  • May 3, 2012 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Sarah for sharing your story with us. As I sit at my desk, with tears streaming down my face, I know that I am in the right place. Making a difference in the lives of real people is what we are here to do. Doing the right thing for others becuase it’s the right thing to do. I am so sorry that you are going through this mess, but honored to be a part of the organization of humanitarians that are providing some positive in your life. ~ Nigel Holderby, American Red Cross

    • May 3, 2012 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Nigel, thanks so much for your comment. The work you do with the Red Cross changes lives, makes a difference in ways bigger than you can possibly imagine. We are so grateful that you were there when we needed you, and hope that our story inspires people to act. Thank you 🙂

  • May 3, 2012 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing your story Sarah! It’s a tough road (trust me I know!) but keep your spirits up and keep moving forward! I lost everything in a fire a few months ago and was provided assistance from the Red Cross. That felt very strange to me because I am a Disaster Action Team volunteer with the Red Cross and ironically was on call that night and dispatched to the fire. I too am very grateful for the Red Cross! My experience has made me a stronger person and increased my desire to serve even more! Good Luck to you and your family as your rebuild! Stay positive!!! – Kathi McKinley, ARC volunteer

    • May 3, 2012 - 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Kathi… it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever been through (and I’ve been through a lot of crappy stuff!) But without the help of The Red Cross I cant even imagine how much harder it would have been. Thank God for people like you who are there when we need you!

  • May 8, 2012 - 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi Sarah!

    This is an incredible story. You are an inspiration to everyone who’s been through something life changing like this. I’m currently working with Uber Productions on behalf of the American Red Cross and we’re in the process of casting storytellers for an upcoming ARC project. Would you be interested in sharing your story and having the opportunity to participate? There is no pressure, as this is a very poignant story and I can only imagine how difficult it has been.

    If you’re interested in learning more about the project, please email me at I really look forward to hearing from you. Thank you again for sharing!

    Kirsten Stubbs

    • May 8, 2012 - 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kirsten, thanks so much for reaching out! I just sent you an email. I’d love to share my story with anyone you think it would inspire 🙂

  • June 13, 2012 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    you support a family of four alone? Well, that can’t be easy
    Women’s lives are hard, sometimes i think it is really unfair
    Good luck in your work, Sarah, you are doing really well!

  • August 3, 2012 - 3:14 am | Permalink

    It’s a tough road (trust me I know!) but keep your spirits up and keep moving forward! come on!

  • November 15, 2012 - 6:38 am | Permalink

    Would you be interested in sharing your story and having the opportunity to participate?

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