Friday, April 9, 2010

Volunteering: Rewarding, Inspiring, Fun!

Being a volunteer is an incredible experience. Helping someone, even in the smallest capacity, has a lasting impact not only on the person or community you help, but also you as an individual. Knowing you make a difference is incredibly rewarding.

As a full time volunteer with the Red Cross, I have been able to see the incredible work that the community of Salt Lake and the surrounding area provides.

After the devastating earthquake hit Haiti this January, the response from our community to help was inspiring. The Office of Volunteers here at the Red Cross, was buzzing with calls from people wanting to help.

During times of disasters there is usually a surge in spontaneous volunteers. When people called during those first few weeks after the earthquake they were hoping we could send them overseas. While we were not able to send anyone to Haiti, we encouraged everyone to get trained and registered with the American Red Cross so that they could respond to future disasters, first locally and then nationally. The response was tremendous. In fact, from January 13 to February 17 we received 200 new volunteer applications.

About 90 of our new volunteers have already attended a New Volunteer Orientation. More than 35 have started training in disaster services, have helped out in the office on a weekly basis, or have started taking classes to become certified Red Cross Instructors.

Almost 96% of the work of the Red Cross is performed by volunteers. The organization would not survive without the work of those volunteers who are dedicated to supporting and fulfilling the mission of the American Red Cross, to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters.

Knowing I am a part of such an incredible organization with a dedicated group of outstanding volunteers is inspiring. You too can volunteer with the Red Cross here in Utah by going to our website Be a part of this great work.

And a big THANK YOU to all volunteers here in the Salt Lake Area. Your work makes a tremendous impact on the community.

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