“Simple Beginnings”: Words from a Youth Volunteer

Local Red Cross youth volunteers host a Love Feast. (Photo by Charlie Oliver)

“My time with the Red Cross had simple beginnings: I needed 30 hours for community service to graduate and they needed volunteers. When I started volunteering, I was ignorant of the work that took place at the Red Cross. I knew about the basics: disaster relief and blood drives. I was, however, unaware of all of the other services being provided and how they all work. Thankfully, just a mere 10 hours into my service, I have started to gain a real grasp on the work provided by the Red Cross.

My volunteer hours have been split into 2 categories — general office work and specialty work. The office work often finds me partnered with other volunteers, doing work like stuffing fundraising envelopes, fire safety brochures for children and even helping with repainting the office. The specialty jobs were a little different. They were designed to get me more involved in the Red Cross. I was able to research fresh new ways for youth to be involved in service learning. Another day, the chapter’s youth leader challenged me to write a youth leadership camp brochure. These tasks moved me to do more for the Red Cross than I thought to do before.

After my brief time with the Red Cross, I have started to realize how it works. Behind every program, there are two types of people: the paid staff that coordinate the work being done and challenge the volunteers to do more, and the volunteers who give of their time to do the everyday tasks that keeps the organization rolling. With these two types of people, the Red Cross is able to change the world.”

-Caley, local Red Cross youth volunteer

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