My official title is the AmeriCorps Community Disaster Education Coordinator—which does nothing to tell you about what I actually do at the American Red Cross of Fairfield County (also serving Hocking County). I wear many hats here!
Disaster Education is my primary focus. I spend a lot of time with local business, schools, community groups, and individuals offering my services to help spread the Red Cross mission. In addition, my duties as a Health and Safety Instructor are expanding as I have taken on certifying both disaster volunteers and community members in First Aid, CPR, and AED. I’ve dabbled in volunteer recruitment and have made great strides in improving the disaster volunteer experience in our chapter. Retention is a barrier many volunteer based organizations have to overcome. I am working to gain insight on what makes people “stick” with the Red Cross. I have also responded to many calls alongside our volunteers as a client caseworker and Disaster Action Team member.
What do I like about AmeriCorps? Everything… But the thing I like most is working “at home”. I’ve said it before that the opportunity to serve abroad is exciting, but the AmeriCorps program focuses on the fact that there is need for service within your own community. Serving in my own small community has allowed me to continuously encounter the people I’ve served. I’m becoming the face of the Red Cross to them and I’m proud to represent such a wonderful organization. I owe all of this to the AmeriCorps program. The education award is great. The health insurance is pretty cool too. But I can’t put a price on the experience I’ve gained.