I am fortunate to be able to touch the Red Cross mission on multiple levels. First, as a Corporate Relationship Manager for the Northwest Region. In my day job, I work with partners on engagement strategies for their own employees. Including, of course, volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross.
One of those opportunities is called Missing Maps, using OpenStreet Mapping technology and volunteers to add geographic detail to maps in vulnerable parts of the world. I get to lead Map-a-thon events and after a bit of instruction, watch the details of these remote areas come to life.
Read more: How you can fill in what’s missing from world maps
Other ways to engage your employees? Teach them Hands-Only CPR. It’s a personal favorite opportunity because I get to play Stayin’ Alive as we practice chest compressions. Or join us for a day of installing smoke alarms in homes that need them. After participating in either of these activities, you know you’ve taught something or done something that could one day save a life. It doesn’t get much better than that.
But I’m not just an employee, I also volunteer.
Four years ago, I decided to train and become a member of our on-call DAT (Disaster Action Team) in King County. I wanted to see the work we do after a disaster and give a first-share accounts of how we help, to current and future donors.
Being a DAT member is a life-changing experience. You meet families and individuals who have lost everything. You’re there as they watch smoke pouring from their house, wearing nothing but pajamas, clinging to each other, and frightened pets.
Witnessing the moment they realize the Red Cross is going to help them with shelter, food, diapers, and a change of clothes is incredible. These stories and images stay in your heart forever. This is why I volunteer, to be part of the hope and help that is given to those who have lost so much.