My name is Heather, and I’m a Washington Service Corps AmeriCorps member serving with the American Red Cross as a Volunteer Services Coordinator. More than 80% of individuals at American Red Cross are volunteers – individual citizens taking time out of their lives to help their community thrive and help in the hours their community is in need. One segment of my [service] is take care of those people, volunteers that are sometimes laboring more that forty hours a week to make sure the massive organization that is American Red Cross functions smoothly. These volunteers are the life system here, and without them we would fall short of our mission.
One of my favorite parts of my [service] is being able to meet, interview, place and welcome new volunteers into our organization. It’s a great pleasure to see someone so excited to volunteer be placed into an opportunity they love. Once such person is Emily: the first time she walked through the doors to be interviewed, you could just see the compassion and excitement. The second she started talking about what she wanted to do at the American Red Cross, the passion to help people came across her face like the sun rising after a deep winter, uplifting and inspiring. Talking with her about how she wanted to participate was my first true indication of the all the people I will be meeting, encouraging supporting, and lifting up in the future. Her enthusiasm quantified mine.
She is active in almost everything with the American Red Cross now – the Services to Armed Forces event, preparedness presentations, volunteer services and tabling events. She is there for all of it, making me proud of the people that volunteer with us all along the way. I feel like every day my AmeriCorps service has impacted me in a positive, nurturing manner due to the amazing people that I get to have conversations with and help every day. I’m looking forward to supporting the amazing volunteers at the American Red Cross during the rest of my term and learning the best ways to lift them up.
Submitted by Heather Freeman, WSC AmeriCorps member serving with the American Red Cross of Washington State