A time of need - Peter’s story

In the midst of a family emergency, Co-op employee Peter Brown experienced first-hand how the Canadian Red Cross helps people in times of need.

In the winter of 2014, Peter Brown moved his family to Melfort, Sask., to begin his new job as the Operations Manager for the local Co-op. After unpacking the family’s belongings, Peter relaxed in front of the television while his two young daughters played in the basement.

When his wife, Jamie, entered the room, she noticed dark smoke coming from the ceiling.

“I just had a sick feeling in my stomach, instantly,” says Peter. “I knew it wasn’t good.”

Peter and Jamie gathered their children and exited the house immediately. They drove their vehicles a safe distance away, called 911 and watched as smoke billowed from their new home.

“We were in a state of shock,” Peter remembers. “We didn’t know what the next steps were going to be.”

Soon after firefighters arrived, Peter heard a knock on their truck window, and turned to see a local volunteer from the Canadian Red Cross. The volunteer provided toiletries, blankets, gift cards, lodging at a local hotel and counselling services to the family.

“We were new to the community and didn’t really know anybody, and the Canadian Red Cross helped us straighten things out with dignity,” said Peter.

Luckily, their home was not completely destroyed and his family moved back in after repairs were made later that year. The incident gave Peter a new perspective on the Canadian Red Cross.

“I always thought the Red Cross was for big situations, the stuff you see on the news. But they came through for our family, when we needed it the most.”

Stories like Peter’s are part of why Co-op launched the annual Give Card Campaign, where $1 is donated to the Canadian Red Cross from each sale of specially marked CO-OP® Gift Cards in November and December. All donations will help the Canadian Red Cross prepare for and respond to emergencies in Western Canada, large or small.

Click here to learn more about the Co-op Give Card campaign and our proud partnership with the Canadian Red Cross.

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