Where there's trouble - there's Carl Moskowitz.
A member of Creve Coeur's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a disaster assistance employee with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and a member of the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team, Moskowitz's volunteer work routinely takes him to fires and disaster scenes.
On the job, Moskowitz provides food and beverages for rescue workers and helps find housing and supplies for displaced families. "Carl and volunteers like him carry out the mission of the Red Cross," says Becky White, disaster specialist for St. Louis area chapter of the Red Cross. "Carl's calm, compassionate manner and his dedication make him an invaluable member of our team. I greatly enjoy working with him."
With FEMA, Moskowitz worked for two weeks in Florida after Hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Ivan in 2004, for six weeks in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and for five weeks in Texas after Hurricane Ike in 2008. "This is fulfilling work," says Moskowitz.
Volunteering is not new to him. "I've been doing volunteer work since I was a young man," says Moskowitz. "After our marriage, my wife and I lived in North Jersey. At one point my wife needed an ambulance, and when I stopped by to pay the ambulance service a few days later, I learned it was a volunteer company." The service told Moskowitz they didn't need money - they needed people. "I joined, and signed up for a Thursday night shift, which ran from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m."
The family moved to St. Louis in 1972. Early on, Moskowitz signed up for Monsanto's emergency response team. Since his retirement, Moskowitz relishes having more time to work as a volunteer. He also serves as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner with the City of Creve Coeur, and once a week, he delivers donated food from the St. Louis Bread Company to the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry.
Moskowitz is a past president and lifetime board member of Congregation Shaare Emeth, a member of Partnership 2000 and he serves on the advisory board for the Union for Reform Judaism's Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Ind. He also is a trustee of the St. Louis Jewish Light.
In spite of his many good works, Moskowitz says he has never considered himself a hero of any sort. "My father, Charles, was my role model when it comes to volunteering, being involved," says Moskowitz. "He never turned down a request for help."
Regarding his own work, Moskowitz notes that there is a great deal of satisfaction in doing good things for people. "The firemen always thank us for coming out, the people we help give us hugs and everyone I met in Mississippi after Katrina thanked us for coming down," he says. "In the end, helping people is gratifying in and of itself."