Friday, July 15, 2016

My Red Cross Volunteer Story: Sara El Saied

By Emily Goff

Within Sara El Saied, a spirit of profound selflessness glows, receiving its life from the most enriching fuel of all: volunteerism. More specifically, this admirable woman contributes her time, energy and skills to the Red Cross as a faithful volunteer and cherishes the extensive variety of experiences she has collected throughout her time thus far. Sara has been volunteering with the Red Cross since April 2015 and embodies what one ought to do in order to transform our society and world into a better place.

What kindled Sara’s linkage to the Red Cross was a friend’s recommendation, as well as a substantial amount of personal appreciation for the organization’s fundamental pillars. In fact, she informed me, “I was inspired to become involved with the American Red Cross because of the mission. To me, I have felt that there is tremendous value in being a volunteer because of my core belief in serving others. I felt pulled by this organization of volunteers who are committed so strongly to saving lives and ending human suffering around the world.”

In terms of her experiences as a volunteer for the Red Cross, Sara has been involved, and continues to be involved, with numerous crucial efforts.  She stated, “I served as the Volunteer Recruitment lead for the Salute to Service Gala, where I supported Volunteer Engagement with recruitment and orientation for the Gala. Currently, I am one of the Community Volunteer Leaders for Fairfax County and Youth Lead. I manage the recruitment/on-boarding of new high school or college/university clubs and support the logistics of their activities throughout the year. I also work with the Denise Miller, Executive Director of Fairfax County, to plan and execute quarterly meetings for all clubs. I work with her to support local fundraising events such as our In the Bag purse auction event, as well as work with local fire departments on the Home Fire Campaign.” There is seemingly no end to her compassion, dependability, and her generosity to the Red Cross.

The humanitarian spirit of Sara has been shaped by countless experiences, with one in particular that still lingers in her mind with perfect clarity, even months after its occurrence. Sara recalls, “The one profound moment that still stays with me is when I heard the story that Erwin [The Executive Director for Price William and Loudoun Counties] shared with the youth at our kick-off event about a woman who saved her husband's life because she performed CPR. The procedure she applied was the one that was taught by a class she had taken with the Red Cross. The strength of that woman speaking to a 9-1-1 operator while performing CPR – and especially after hearing that the ambulance first arrived at the wrong house – is absolutely remarkable.” Such a story certainly motivates and empowers Sara to help others through the Red Cross.

Sara’s story shares a critical truth we all should tuck into our pockets and invite to guide our actions as citizens, as aspiring volunteers, as current volunteers, as leaders and as humans: lives are fragile and we must always strive to preserve them, however minute our individual efforts towards such a large-scale goal may seem to be. As Sara voiced herself, “A pint of blood can save a life, taking a CPR class can save a life, informing your community about fire safety can save life – the list goes on and on.”

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