Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Red Cross Story: Nazia Hamdani 

Written by: Emily Goff, volunteer

My involvement with the American Red Cross began when I was in high school in Pakistan. The Red Cross was there for a blood drive. We were very excited and ready to donate our blood, and had heard about how this blood was going to save countless lives. We got to know what our blood types were, which was uncommon in those days. I still remember how extremely disappointed I was when I was rejected as a result of being underweight. But I was so determined to make a difference that I didn't give up, and eventually I was able to meet the requirements so I could give blood.

I started volunteering at the front desk as an admin at the American Red Cross National Capital Region headquarters, but my thirst to learn and gain knowledge made me want to try and learn to fulfill other duties within the organization. The Volunteer Engagement team is full of wonderful and amazing people. Teri McCormick, our Director, is not only a great person, but is also a great teacher and an amazing mentor. All the team members are very helping and cooperative. They help by teaching you how to grow yourself as an individual.

I have been a transfer manager, intake manager, have reported hours, organized surveys for classes, have worked on the Pillowcase Project and have worked with the Youth Clubs. Also, as a front desk admin, my job was to greet visitors, take calls regarding different issues volunteers have and handle email correspondence. Currently, I mostly work on data clean-up. Learning new tasks keeps me motivated and helps me to gain important professional experiences.

Last November, I got to be a part of the amazing fundraising event, The Salute to Service Gala. It was a wonderful experience – I got to work with the registration team. I was a bit nervous and scared about possibly making mistakes, even though I had been trained for it. It was also a live program, so the pressure was even more intense. However, it turned out to be a life-changing experience; everyone was amazingly helpful, and I felt like I was part of a truly significant activity.

While working with the Red Cross, I have seen how many incredibly kind and compassionate people are always ready to lend their incredible talents to the organization. The Red Cross is globally known, and people are always willing and ready to help out. The Red Cross is an inspiration for countless people who are interested in helping others and promoting human rights. It is an honor to be part of the organization.

Want to become a volunteer? Join us! 

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