I woke up one day in the earlier months of 2013 knowing I wanted to volunteer again. It’d been about two years that I volunteered with Read International and joined a bake sale at BCU (that was a lot of fun)!
And so I said I’d join the Red Cross, partly because I knew my mum’s been a member since forever, and also because I’d read (several times) of the various ways the Red Cross helps to make lives in difficult situations easier.
I guess the time wasn’t right then because a few things went south soon after (talk about the universe aligning to royally screw a person), and so I shelved the idea after I’d sent the first email asking for the procedures.
2014 rolled by, and with that, a deep desire to do things I’d never done before, get over as many fears I can get over (because I’m scared of a lot of things), and read very widely.
And then the urge to join the Red Cross came back, even stronger than before. I knew I’d go ahead with it this time, especially since I’d seen an accident recently and I felt hopeless because I couldn’t do anything to help.
And that’s how I picked up on the thread of emails from the year before, attended an interview with the lovely Hannah, and after a welcome session, guess who became the newest member of the British Red Cross, Kent and Gravesend area? Moi!
I must say, attending Monday meetings and training sessions have been a blessing. I’m grateful for the privilege to interact with the very lovely members of my team, for the space to ask the dumbest questions (and not feel silly or judged), and for the privilege to learn.
Here’s a video telling the story of the birth of Red Cross, pretty impressive to note that simple care/love/regard for the next man was at the heart of this massive body we have today, 160 years and still going strong!
A few bits and bobs about the Red Cross flags (and so far there are three). I took notes on our induction day
- The flag with the cross is just the Swiss flag inverted and is the third most recognized trademark symbol in the world, next to McDonald’s and Coca Cola.
- The Flag with the crescent is the Turkish flag inverted and was adopted because Islamic countries felt the movement was originally Christian (and it is not).
- The flag with the star was adopted in 2005 because Israel, followers of the Star of David, refused to use either of the two already existing symbols.
With a 100 million members and currently in 189 countries (of the 208 recognized by the UN), we (yes o) are the largest humanitarian organization around today. Whoop!
From identifying and catering to various appearances of trauma and injury, to building my confidence, and the satisfaction that comes from knowing I can provide First Aid (I’d mention I’m now a certified First Aider but I’m much too modest for that), I’m grateful I yielded to the nudging to get up and sign up already!
A few photos off our training nights…
To be honest, there are some Monday nights I’d rather be curled up in bed, at the movies or some other fun activity (especially during the winter) but the time and money sacrificed to get to and from my meetings always leave me feeling satisfied, a little wiser than I was at the beginning of the day. Plus there’s always a hot cuppa something to take the bite off!
So, do you volunteer anywhere? Officially or unofficially? Share what it’s about in the comments section. What excites you about it?
And for the children of God reading who currently not volunteering anywhere, I’m greeting you o! Lol. I’m not judging o (God forbid) but I’d encourage you to give your time and energy to a cause you’re passionate about. It doesn’t have to be the Red Cross (wherever you are obviously), but find something you’d be happy to commit to and inconvenience yourself for every now and then. Will you? Let me know when you do!