Volunteering Builds Memories

Zoobia and her childrenBy Zoobia Asif, Red Cross volunteer

I was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. It’s a beautiful city with a rich cultural history that goes back hundreds of years. I moved to America in 1997. I have two adorable kids, my daughter Mashal is a freshman and my son Raafay just started middle school. I have been a stay-at-home mother for most of my life. Putting my Masters degree in a corner, taking care of my kids and my home was my priority. Three years back, when my kids started getting older, I realized that I now have the time to think about having a career for myself, which in turn lead to the idea of volunteering.

While I was exploring different possibilities, I came across the Red Cross website and their volunteer opportunities. Growing up as a kid, I was familiar with the name, though in Pakistan, like other Muslim countries, it works under the name of Red Crescent. Making a long story short, after going through the initial interview and orientation, I started volunteering as a caseworker in the emergency services department, providing assistance to disaster clients. It’s amazing to watch the compassion and empathy the caseworkers have while providing services to their clients.

After volunteering as a caseworker for a while, I developed an interest in the communication department. I am glad that they accepted me for this new role and gave me a chance to work in a field that really excites me.

I don’t have enough words to describe my beautiful journey, so far, as a volunteer at Red Cross; it’s an amazing experience! It looks like you are giving your time to them, but it’s the other way around; You get to work in an extremely professional and structured environment with highly motivated and skilled individuals. The beauty of the system lies in the process of training volunteers and making them integral and efficient members of the organization.

I was astounded to see the number of people who volunteer, including, stay-at-home mothers, retired people, and much to my surprise, even people with full time jobs. With the kind of services the Red Cross provides, they still need more volunteers. After my own experience, I have been stressing the importance of volunteering at the Red Cross to everyone; not only because of the obvious reason of giving back to the community, but also because it’s an amazing learning experience.

I cannot thank enough all the wonderful people, with whom I have ever had the chance of working. I’ve learned so much from them and their experience. The kind of patience and gratitude they exhibit in training their volunteers is highly commendable. I am excited about my new endeavor with the communication department and look forward to building more memories at the Red Cross.

If you are interested in volunteering, please join us at an upcoming volunteer information session or contact the Red Cross office closest to you

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