Saturday, August 3, 2013

Being Thankful for Red Cross Friendships on Friendship Day

by Tonya Solis-Mosby, volunteer contributor

VFF (Volunteer Friends Forever)
We are a teacher, public relations people, photographers, a radio legend, and more.  Thanks to a common interest in volunteering with the American Red Cross, we are now friends!

Travel if you will with me down the Red Brick Road (Dorothy’s road was yellow, but not mine) as I introduce you to another reason I love volunteering for the American Red Cross. As I began my volunteer journey, I was sent on my first assignment with Dan Halyburton.  Just as Dorothy’s scarecrow was a little unsteady, Dan and I were a little uneasy when we first arrived on the disaster scene.  It was an apartment building in Corsicana that had been damaged by straight-line winds leaving several people homeless.  We were with our fearless leader, Anita Foster, and with her, we were representatives of the Public Affairs team. Excited? Yes we were! Were we uneasy about the uncertainty of our duties? Yes, we were.  But by the end of the day, we had learned some of our duties and had truly become friends in volunteerism! 

My volunteer friend journey didn’t stop there.

Next, as I followed the Red Brick path of volunteerism, I came to meet who would soon be my next volunteer friend. We weren’t learning the ropes together as Dan and I had, but when I met Kristina Brevard, I could tell she was one I could look to for answers. She was not seeking a heart as was Dorothy’s Tin Man, Kristina was all heart for those she encountered through volunteering no matter if they were client or fellow volunteer. We became fast friends.

And the story didn’t stop there.

As I continued, my Red Brick volunteer path led me to more volunteer friends.  No not, the cowardly lion because none of the Red Cross volunteers appear to be cowardly.  But just as Glinda was good, nice and friendly, Michelle Tanner, Allison Slomovitz and Kim Purintun, and of course, Anita Foster, certainly fit Glinda’s description and have become my friends in volunteerism, as well. This list doesn’t stop there, and I expect it will continue to grow.
I thought volunteering was going to be personally rewarding because I might have the opportunity to help someone else.  But the reality is that volunteering with the American Red Cross has helped me, too! I have learned through my new relationships that there is so much more to gain as a Red Cross volunteer.

On this Friendship Day, I say thank you to the American Red Cross for helping those in need in times of trouble.  I also say thank you Red Cross for helping me to find the friends I might not have otherwise found – my friends in volunteerism!  We are not just a group of volunteers; we are a group of friends!

You too can find your friends in volunteerism by signing up today to become a Red Cross Volunteer. Download the new ARC Volunteer App – Team Red Cross – from the iTunes store or the Google Play store. You can also go to to join the team!

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