Sunday, September 15, 2013

Meeting the Community Needs

Article and Photos by Kaila Muggli, Red Cross Volunteer

Roger Bram awaits requests from community members.
Red Cross Volunteers have come forward offering their assistance during the floods throughout Colorado, from sheltering to delivering supplies. A team of volunteers set out on Saturday to distribute supplies in Colorado Springs to the Cheyenne Road and the surrounding areas. Shovels were the most popular item requested; quickly followed by sandbags.

“We didn't have any sandbags and we had to direct them towards the Fire Stations,” Red Cross Logistics Lead Roger Bram said. “It was a pretty devastating mess; they couldn't really start cleaning up until the water could be controlled.”

Members of the community had band together to help friends, neighbors, and loved ones attempt to redirect the water that was roaring by their homes. Many individuals had thought of creative solutions to the problem by using empty cat food bags to hold the sand, but that was another commodity in short supply.

David Cichowski looks on as waters
rise around residential areas.
Seeing a need within the community, the Red Cross partnered with representatives from the City of Colorado Springs, asking for sandbags to be brought out to the site while they arranged to have sand delivered.

The materials were on site within an hour and people came from all over the neighborhood, including Boy Scout Troop 101, to help fill, tie and deliver the sandbags. Despite the original plan to just deliver supplies, Red Cross Volunteers quickly joined in and began filling sandbags.

David Cichowski (Left) and Kris Sampson (Right)
deliver supplies.
“I firmly believe in the concept that many hands make light work,” Red Cross Volunteer Kris Sampson said. “More can be accomplished together.” That concept was proven as sandbags were turned out by the truckload.  As the sandbags were filled one family built a wall to divert the water away from their garage, while others used the sandbags as preemptive measures.

When the Red Cross supplies ran low the team made a second run to deliver water, snacks and more gloves. Smiling in the face of adversity the residents tried to take it all in stride. When water was offered to one resident there was a smile and the question, “Do you have anything other than water?”, as he looked around at the water surrounding him.

Seeing a need, David Cichowski (Left) and
Kris Sampson (Right) pitch in to help fill sandbags.
Ben Thatcher (left) of Boy Scout Troop 101 receives
a helping hand from Mike Baker (Right) as volunteers
within the community continue to fill sandbags.

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