Chuck Karlstrum, President of Black Forest AARP Chapter # 1100, and I believe it is appropriate to bring to your attention an exceptional event which has just culminated. It involves AARP Chapter # 5451 in Parker, Colorado.
Very soon after the devastating Black Forest fire, I was contacted by Yevette Gunther - Wilson who remembered me from when I was a volunteer on the AARP Colorado staff. She also remembered that I was a member of Black Forest Chapter 1100, and that we were one of the premier (her words) chapters in Colorado. Her concern, and that of her chapter, was for the Chapter 1100 members who had been effected by the fire. I told her that a total of eight chapter families lost their homes to the fire. When she asked how they could help I told her that our people were scattered but safe, and there was not much anyone could do at that time. A few days later she contacted Chuck Karlstrum. They had a similar conversation.
Yevette called me again a month or so later. She again spoke for her chapter and again pressed the question of what they could do to assist the Black Forest Chapter fire victims. By this time individuals were dealing with insurance issues but still living with friends or relatives and did not have much capacity for accumulating "things" because they had no where to put or store them. We discussed what they could use at this juncture in time, and decided that gift cards would be useful because they could be used for essential and miscellaneous needed items. She said she would suggest gift cards to her group.
On Aug. 15, Yevette called me again. She said that she was mailing gift cards and a check for $80 and that it should be distributed to the fire victims. On 19 August I received the package and a very nice card signed by Chapter 5451 members. The check was enclosed along with the gift cards which ranged in value from $10-25 each. I discussed it with Chuck Karlstrum, our Chapter President, and he made sure that the items were presented to their intended recipients at today's chapter meeting.
Needless to say we did thank Yevette and Chapter 5451 for their friendship and generosity, but I hope AARP Colorado will likewise give them credit for this act of charity and concern. I believe that they have truly responded far above and beyond that which is required or expected of any AARP Chapter.