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Arizona Red Cross volunteers to aid Philippines

PHOENIX — Two months after a typhoon devastated the Philippines, Glen and Julie Bradley are preparing to help.

The husband and wife from Lakeside, Ariz. are part of a six-person Red Cross team that sets up emergency Internet, phone and radio communications.

“There’s usually a big concern and emphasis when these things first happen and a lack of understanding that they go on,” said Glen.

According to the Grand Canyon Chapter, Bradley was among the first dozen Red Cross volunteers on the ground after Typhoon Haiyan killed 6,000 people and displaced over four million.

“It was difficult in that we had such a wide area,” he said. “We had health units located on tips of one island and then relief units or water and sanitation units located on other islands and we had to be able to service all of them and that made it pretty difficult. Plus, a lack of electricity and any kind of infrastructure support for telecommunications made it hard.”

Bradley expects to return to the Philippines soon and to take along his wife and fellow volunteer, Julie. She expects to help with economic recovery through a Red Cross program called Cash Transfer.

“They empower the family and reignite the supply chain and the local markets by issuing micro-grants to families in order to rebuild their homes or to help them plant crops for the coming season and help them get back on their feet,” she said. “It’s not a large amount of money, but it’s enough to get them started.”

The Bradleys started volunteering in 2005 after they retired, sailed around the world and felt compelled to give back.

“We’re so fortunate in so many ways,” Glen said.