Monday, December 20, 2010

Volunteering

Two days ago, I had an orientation for a new volunteering opportunity.  I look at it not so much as I need to have that on a potential medical school application pedigree for I have plenty of volunteering activities, charity organization board memberships, organizational leadership and other activities to discuss. 

About 14 years ago, two F-4 tornadoes whipped through a small cluster of cities in the SE part of my state.  Ripping doors off houses, wildly whipping furniture, appliances, and other household goods around the main floor of homes, destroying a near by university, I was about the 10th person on site.  Without training.  From two hours away.

I came with duffel bags packed with warm clothing, blankets, food, mittens (it was 78 in the afternoon pre-tornado, 35 after it swept through).  There were shovels and garbage bags, and gloves for working.

My heart came too, apparently.

While designating team leads to go into houses, secure the homes, make sure people were out, make sure the newly homeless were able to find shelter and warmth, for some reason, I got picked to lead a team through one of the more difficult areas.  The houses with their pink roofs were missing shingles, found two or three blocks away, stuck and stuffed underneath the vinyl siding of another house.

I had not been formally trained.  My heart led me, my brain led the teams I was assigned.  I was interviewed by the local media and eventually, national news.

Now, I'll be formally trained by the American Red Cross.

Never knew how much they did beyond disaster help and blood drives.  Amazing what started out as compassion on the field of war to where that compassion is extended to all.

Here's a link - check it out.  Maybe there's something you'd like to do? 

http://www.redcross.org/

1 comment:

Slamdunk said...

Good for you.

My uncle (a retired physician) traveled the US for years as a part of that program before he passed away--he loved it.