This is one of a series of stories about the 15 nonprofit agencies that receive money from The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking campaign that runs through the holidays.
Seven years ago Roger Bram went into an American Red Cross office in California for information about volunteering. He had just retired.
That very day he signed up as a volunteer, and he has since deployed 10 times with the Red Cross. When he moved to Colorado Springs after his wife retired, he transferred to the agency’s Pikes Peak chapter.
His most recent trip was to New York, where he drove with one other volunteer from Colorado Springs to help support the victims of Hurricane Sandy. He handed out food and supplies, and provided other support in the 32 days he spent there.
“It was devastating,” he said.
Bram said the Red Cross is very important in the community because it gives people a shoulder to cry on.
“We’re there to help them get back on their feet,” he said.
According to its website, the American Red Cross relies on donations and volunteers, both individuals and from corporate partners. The agency provides a range of services for disaster relief, as well as offering support and education to people in need.
When Bram is not deployed he goes into the office a few times a week for several hours, but when he is deployed his days in the field may run from 4 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Bram has learned about disaster assessment, CPR and first aid, communications, family sheltering and support — and many other things.
“I enjoy it tremendously,” Bram said. “It has been fantastic. I’ve learned a lot.”
HOW TO DONATE
Make a secure donation at www.fillanemptystocking.org. Call 476-1673 to make a credit card or stock donation. Make check payable to the Empty Stocking Fund and mail to P.O. Box 910942, Denver, CO 80291-0942. Contribute $10 by texting STOCKING to 50555. Like us on Facebook at EmptyStockingFund or follow us on Twitter @esfsprings.