What do you do for the Red Cross?

Many times I am asked by people, “What do you do for the Red Cross?”. It’s a many faceted answer and can change drastically from one day to another. I work in the disaster services department at the Triangle Area chapter in Raleigh, North Carolina. My official job title as “Client Services Coordinator” barely scratches the surface of all of the fun and exciting things that I am priveledged to do. First and foremost, I help people whose lives have been affected by natural disasters such as floods, fires and tornadoes. Another part of my job is working with a group of amazing volunteers who are trained to help families on the scene of these disasters, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Red Cross is a volunteer-led organization, so as a paid staff member, I am able to facilitate the volunteers in learning the skills needed to provide Red Cross assistance to the families.
Almost every day, I am able to provide emergency assistance to someone affected by disaster. To me, this is not just a job, it is an honor. I often feel that what I do should not be a paid position, because of the gratitude I see in the faces of the people that our Red Cross team is able to help.
One thing that most people aren’t aware of is that the Red Cross is not a government agency. It is fully funded by donations from the American people. That is one of the things that drew me to the Red Cross as a volunteer in 2006. I knew that one of the best uses of my time and money that I am able to donate is to put it towards helping those who aren’t able to help themselves because of circumstances beyond their control.
So, whenever I am asked “What do you do for the Red Cross?”, I am never able to fully sum it up into one sentence. I am a Red Crosser, and it is the greatest opportunity in the world.
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