Arizona Red Cross sends volunteers to Midwest for disaster relief

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Meet Jim Anderson, a retired computer programmer, that may have left his job but hasn't given up helping others.

In his second year volunteering with the Red Cross, Jim is on his way to provide relief in Little Rock, Arkansas -- an area that's seen record flooding in the wake of storms.

Jim says in times of emergencies he's seen it all -- people who have lost everything and are still optimistic and those who need a little more convincing that everything will be OK.

"Other people are really in shock over what they're experienced... try to talk to them, offer them some comfort," he said.

When he's not working on WiFi connections and providing smartphones, laptops, and printers, Jim is offering a more human service.

"In addition to a blanket and a cot and a hot meal, just some comfort, and sometimes they want a hug and I give hugs too," he said.

Packed and ready to help, Jim says he's always prepared for the unexpected.

"I just have my clothes and such for the two weeks," he said. "I have a few tools that I have to bring. I have to check those because you can't carry those on the plane -- that I'll use to work on the computers... that sort of thing."

Jim adds that even though there's no financial gain of volunteering, the value of helping others in a time of need is priceless.

"I firmly believe that this is one of the toughest jobs that I've ever had, it pays the least which is zero, and it's the most joy," he said. "Tremendous joy and satisfaction with helping someone who's in distress."