Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Volunteer - It Does a Mind and Body Good

This week officially marks “Volunteer Week” across the country. It is a week to not only appreciate those who do volunteer their time but also to try to recruit more volunteers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the end of September 2013, the rate of volunteers dropped 1.1% to 35.4% nationwide. What’s amazing is, according to, from 2010 – 2012, Rochester, NY ranked 2nd as far as the most volunteers with 35.1% of the population volunteering.  Most of those volunteers were over the age of 55.
Volunteers make up more than 90% of the American Red Cross workforce. That is an incredible statistic. More than 90%! These extraordinary people give of their time to help others and carry out the Red Cross mission of “alleviating human suffering”. It really is a remarkable gift that these people give our organization and our community. They do so unselfishly and without complaint.

When I joined the American Red Cross, I got to see on my first day what it was like to be around these selfless and compassionate people. With little notice, as is the case with most disasters, they mobilized quickly and were standing ready to help their fellow citizens in need. It was something to behold seeing those faces, those bodies come together on a mission to be that glimmer of hope for those who needed it. It was a humbling and inspiring day for me.
With that being said, I would encourage everyone and anyone to volunteer and or donate to help those who do volunteer.  American Red Cross volunteers are the heart of this organization through their selflessness and giving spirit. Thank you volunteers for being an example for all of us.