Early in my career as Brown County Emergency Management Coordinator, I regularly worked with my local Red Cross office in Green Bay, Wisconsin. During times of crisis, which usually occur in the middle of the night, I could always depend on the Red Cross to mobilize volunteers at a moment’s notice. The Disaster Program Manager sold me on the idea of what the Red Cross is. She taught me how to serve something higher than myself.

I now work as Emergency Manager for the City of Bellingham, WA and still feel enriched by all the wonderful Red Cross volunteers I meet. When my job seems impossible, hearing stories of volunteers working through a crisis is the “B12 shot in the arm” that I need. When I see the logo, I see hope, I see charity, I see kindness in the face of all the active volunteers.

Paul GI also volunteer with the American Red Cross, as a Board Member for the chapter serving Northwest Washington. I participate in debrief events following disaster responses, and help fundraise at our “Fill the ERV” and annual golf events. I thoroughly enjoy getting out into the community during Fill the ERV to hear how the Red Cross has touched so many lives throughout the years.

Even though the Red Cross is a global organization, it always feels so local no matter the community. The core value of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies is so important to have in our world. Bringing hope during times of crisis is such a powerful action, and the Red Cross does this time and time again. How could you not want to volunteer for an organization like that?!



One thought on “Why I Volunteer: Paul Gazdik

  1. Abraham Lincoln said it best.
    “To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”
    Thanks for sharing this article encouraging all of us to help others.

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