Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Grateful Client and Current Volunteer
Eric Kiltz was fourteen years old when he watched his house burn down. The house his family was renting in Central Kansas caught on fire due to faulty electrical wiring one chilly October afternoon. When the flames started to rise, Eric ran to get a bucket of water. After throwing it on the fire to no avail, he decided he needed to get out and get help. He went to a neighbor’s house to call 911.
Eric, soon saw a Red Cross emergency response vehicle pulling up to his house.
Eric, who had no idea what the Red Cross did, was home alone at the time and remembered, “This lady came up and put a blanket around me.” The lady was with the Red Cross and gave him and his family vouchers for Wal-Mart and a hotel room. “The fire pretty much gutted our entire house,” Eric said. Without renter’s insurance, Eric’s family was left with nothing. It was thanks to the Red Cross assistance that Eric’s family was able to pick up the pieces. The Red Cross even worked with the media to share the story of what happened and asked for donations of toys and model kits for Eric. As a result, strangers started donating items to Eric and his family.
Now some thirteen years later, Eric is a volunteer at the Red Cross in Utah. Because of the help the Red Cross gave to him, Eric wants to give back, “I always wanted to volunteer with the Red Cross. A year and half ago I finally said, ‘What have I been waiting for?’” Eric currently volunteers at First Aid Stations, occasionally teaches CPR and helps educate the community about disaster preparedness. Recently he has helped around the chapter with a telethon for Haiti, and with the Day on the Hill event. He is so grateful for the help and support the Red Cross gave to him, and he feels volunteering is a great way to say thanks and to give back.
To volunteer with the Red Cross go to www.utahredcross.org and click on the blue Volunteer tab.