If you’re a member of the First Aid Services Team of the American Red Cross, you might be volunteering at the Columbus Marathon, an OSU football game, and a roller derby – all in the space of a few months..
The First Aid Services Team provides first-aid services at public events locally. Team members might assist a person suffering from heat stroke or a potential heart attack, for example. They are trained in what to do – and not do – until emergency medical personnel arrive.
It’s that kind of variety that got Don Lowe’s attention when he learned about what the team does.
“I get a personal sense of enjoyment.” said Don, “I like opportunities to get involved. I’ve gone to football games, basketball games, the circus and places I’d never go to-like roller derby. It’s also an opportunity to meet people and to make friends.”
“I wanted something to do, something to get me out of the house and give me opportunities to meet other people,” he said.
Like Don, many Red Cross volunteers aren’t aware of all of the opportunities available to them. Learning about the areas of service opens their eyes to the many ways they can both use current gifts and talents and develop new ones. Learning what the team does, Don felt it was a natural fit for him.
But he didn’t stop there! After getting his feet wet with the First Aid Services Team, the multi-tasking Don decided to add to his Red Cross resume by becoming a blood transport specialist. In that role, he delivers blood and blood products to hospitals throughout the region.
“It felt like a natural progression to me,” said Don, a truck driver. “I deliver stuff for my job. Now I deliver blood.”
For Don, it was about more than giving back to the community; it was also giving back to the Red Cross.
“I felt like I was paying the Red Cross back for their training and letting me participate in the First Aid Services Team program,” he said.
It is a lot of work, but for Don, that is the whole purpose of volunteering.
“You’re going to get out of it what you put into it,” he said, “If you just sign up then don’t participate or are regularly active, you’re not going to get anything out of it. If you’re there on a regular basis you are going to improve everything all around for you.”
To find out how you can “improve everything around you” with the Red Cross visit http://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer#step1