Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Red Cross Volunteer Story: Aselina

Did you know that those who volunteer have better health? According to researchers, volunteers “have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.” This fact came as a surprise to me too! However, after my own research, I realized that there are numerous more benefits to volunteering, such as career exploration, personal growth and other skills. I recently moved to the U.S. to pursue my master’s degree and realized that while volunteering with the American Red Cross I could further develop my communication skills!

My experience for the annual Giving Day with the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region was everything I expected and more! I assisted throughout the telethon and flexed my social media skills, discovered new digital tools and learned more about the organization. For example, I used Periscope to broadcast interviews with volunteers and staff. I also learned the advantages of cloud sharing and quick photo editing tools.

Giving Day was a great experience to see how volunteers and staff support the humanitarian mission across five key service areas. It felt great to help share and promote these services on social media platforms and to see the online community reacting to it. Thanks to this volunteering opportunity, I discovered the Red Cross’s incredible local work and their amazing staff. As soon as I entered the building, a staff member who was busy entangling wires greeted me with a huge smile. Later, I learned that he was Geoff DeLizzio, the COO in the National Capital Region. He and other staff members are always ready to do any work to contribute to the organization’s progress and mission. Besides being funny and friendly, I also learned that people who work at the Red Cross are very professional. They did an amazing job preparing for the Giving Day by creating detailed plans, messages, and many other helpful materials prepared far ahead for the social media team and this is just one of their many amazing attributes!

I recommend anyone and everyone to volunteer with the American Red Cross! It feels great to be part of a professional, passionate, and fun team. It is also a unique opportunity to practice your existing knowledge, learn new and practical skills, and get to know your local organizations work!

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