Friday, December 5, 2014

Another Reason to Support the Red Cross on Colorado Gives Day

Casework Volunteer Peggy McCown(L) provides food and
 clothing vouchers to Walter Booth after fire took his home
in Pueblo, CO.
It was a chilly night in Pueblo Nov. 23, 2014, when Walter Booth stepped out of his mobile home and saw flames coming out the back. Neighbors called 911 while Booth tried to rescue his pets. The fire took his mobile home, all of his belongings and one of his dogs. Fortunately, he was not injured and is now staying with a friend until he can move forward with recovery.

A Red Cross Disaster Action Team was deployed to help and quickly began working with Booth to determine immediate needs.
Volunteer Kathy Sharkey, team captain, quickly determined that he would need a place to stay and money to get clothing and food. “When we arrived we could see the stress on his face,” said Sharkey. “He still had a smile though and we could tell he was glad to see us.”

Red Cross Nurse Esther Savage(L) talks with Walter Booth
about resources after fire took his home in Pueblo, CO
A few days later Booth met with Red Cross nurse Esther Savage for follow up and referrals. Turns out his glasses were ruined in the fire so a referral was made to get them replaced. “The more Walter and I talked the more I found additional resources to help him,” said Savage. “He is a veteran so I called the Veterans Affairs and helped arrange to get his glasses replaced.” Booth was also able to pick up some additional vouchers for food and clothing, additional blankets and even some food for his dogs.

Recovering from a loss like this is a process, which lasts for much longer than the cleanup. The Red Cross is there to help every step of the way. “I really appreciate what the Red Cross has done for me,” Booth said. “They gave me a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food. They helped me with everything I needed.”

Every eight minutes the Red Cross responds to an emergency, the vast majority of which are home fires. This was just one home fire that occurred in Colorado that weekend. On Saturday, Nov.22 the Red Cross responded to fires in Grand Junction, Vail and Las Animas. An additional fire occurred Nov. 24 displacing another family in Pueblo.

The frequency of home fires increases as the cold season wears on and the Red Cross has safety tips to help you and your loved ones be better prepared for emergencies at You can help insure that disaster services continue by supporting the Red Cross on Colorado Gives Day. Go to to find out how you can support the American Red Cross in Colorado.

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