Four and a half years ago I moved to Spokane, WA from Austin, TX.
I always knew that I wanted to volunteer, I just needed the right opportunity. That came when the Red Cross launched its Home Fire Campaign in 2014.
I work for PEMCO Insurance, so you can imagine home safety is pretty important to our company. The Home Fire Campaign and its goal of installing smoke alarms to reduce the risk of death and injury from home fires became the perfect cross-section of my work and my desire to volunteer.
My company offers each employee 8 hours of volunteer time a year to work in our community. That first year I used my time to install smoke alarms. It was a very rewarding experience and I really enjoyed doing it as well as giving back.
I liked it so much that I now manage the program for PEMCO in Spokane and started working directly with the Red Cross to set up times to help when it was available. I also got the opportunity to go to the Hometown Heroes luncheon in Spokane. This was a really moving event, and my first time there was a story about a gentleman saving the lives of young girls from a home fire. I myself have a young daughter and it hit really close to home. This made me want to help even more.
Going through a couple of years doing these events with the Red Cross was awesome. I told my family about it all the time. My wife and I knew that we wanted to set a good example for our daughter and show her how important it is to help people in their time of need and help those who may not be able to help themselves. Since then my daughter, Charlee who is 4 years old, has gone to help with smoke alarm installations. This was such a great opportunity to give back with my daughter that I definitely want to continue. Charlee even asks when we get to go again.
I am also lucky that a PEMCO executive serves on the Red Cross board in King County. He told me how rewarding an opportunity it can be. After reaching out to Chapter executive director, Megan Snow and meeting the Greater Inland NW Board, I was excited for the chance to join. The best part is meeting all the great individuals who are giving their time for the same reasons, to help where they can!
After some time being involved now, I have come to find out that my mom was a Red Cross volunteer for years. I told her that I am now keeping our family’s tradition with the Red Cross.
Through volunteering I really get a chance to help and give in times of need. This has truly been a great gift for me.
Join the American Red Cross today!