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Monday, December 5, 2016

Giving with meaning...now has even more meaning

Florence and Don Peck at their temporary home. "Before
we knew what we needed Red Cross was there"

By Mary Urban
Photos by Nigel F. Holderby/American Red Cross

On 11/13/2016 Don Peck and his wife Florence Myles-Peck escaped from their burning home in the early morning hours. Because they had working smoke alarms they were able to get out safely, but they indicated it was “only about 15 minutes before the roof collapsed.  When we spoke with them, they were very thankful the Red Cross had been there. Florence said, “You were the first ones there. Before we knew what we needed, Red Cross was there and knew what to do.”

From the moment you realize your house is on fire and your life is in danger, survival of household members is paramount.  “We just left everything and got out,” said Don. The Pecks were standing in the yard with literally the clothes on their backs. The Red Cross provided the elderly couple with a Client Assistance Card, or CAC.  This card provides money for food, hotels and clothing. “The card was great because the banks were closed and we don’t use those ATMS’” said Florence.

The Peck's home, now unliveable, waits for repairs. Red Cross
helped them move foreward after the home fire. 
Don, a military veteran, said he and Florence have always given a small gift to the Red Cross. “It seems like such a little amount now that I see how much it means to people who find themselves in a spot like this. We’re not destitute,” he went on to say, “and after this experience I plan to increase our gift in the future.” He went on to express the “attitude of gratitude” this situation has given him. He looked over at his lovely wife and shared with me a few things that were most important to him. “I’m grateful that we are safe…and thankful to the Red Cross for taking the worry out of that night.” The Peck’s home is expected to be unlivable for 3-4 months.

In November, 2016, Red Cross responded to help nearly 150 people who were affected by a home fire disaster across the Colorado & Wyoming Region. That’s an average of twice a day where we provided help and hope right here in our community. Your Gift on Colorado Gives Day provides:

·         A blanket to wrap around a disaster victim ($5)
·         A hot meal to someone affected by disaster ($10)
·         A blanket, meal, snack & comfort kit to a disaster survivor ($20)
·         A full day of food and shelter for a disaster evacuee ($50)
·         A full day of food and shelter for a family of 4 ($200)

Disaster knows no socioeconomic status nor does it discriminate the time of day or night it can strike. These folks saw firsthand where their donations were used and while it’s not something we ever hope anyone goes through, they wanted to share the importance of that gift with others, and what it meant to them. Click here to give a gift today: Colorado Gives Day 2016

With colder weather and in the midst of holidays, space heaters, fire places, candles and unattended stoves can all be potential fire risks.

Some Quick Tips to help prevent/prepare for house fires:
A fire alarm installed on every level of your home
Two ways to escape out of your home
Make sure space heaters are at 3 least feet away from blankets, curtains rugs or anything flammable
Practice escaping at least twice a year.
If clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP AND ROLL
Call 911 when all household members are safe

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