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My choice of service-learning is the American Red Cross. I had actually joined the Red Cross junior year of high school for the National Honor Society and continued to volunteer throughout the rest of my high school career.
The opportunity to be a part of a community of dedicated volunteers and leaders is what drew me to the Red Cross. As one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the country, the Red Cross mobilizes the power of volunteers to turn compassion into action. Before I changed my major from nursing to political science, I always had a passion for helping others and giving back to the community.
The Red Cross offers several ways to cultivate your interests while serving those around you. From biomedical services to disaster relief, anyone interested in serving others can find a place in the Red Cross. In 2014, the American Red Cross chapters in the state of Arizona and the state of New Mexico as well as El Paso, Texas merged to form one large region.
The American Red Cross prevents and lessens human suffering in the face of emergencies by organizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. “The vision of the American Red Cross in Arizona, New Mexico, and El Paso is to partner with our community to develop and foster safer families, neighborhoods and worksites. Serving as a leading public benefit corporation, we will promote a system of community self-sufficiency and compassionate response when emergencies arise.” (The American Red Cross 2019).
I will be volunteering at the Montana location in El Paso, on Tuesdays after class. I am very excited to gain experience, personal, and professional benefits by helping improve the lives of people in my community. The Red Cross is a charitable organization, which mostly relies on volunteers to carry out activities.
The organization functions by making sure that the community services are available to those in need locally. They have shelters, feeding, counseling as well as the donation of blood for the victims of disaster across the nation. To those who interested the Red Cross also teaches lifesaving skills such as first air, CPR. And lifeguard certifications.
The Red Cross also supports the military and their families and gives them the support they need, which hit close to home because my father is a military veteran. The organization does so many incredible things for the community and I will be volunteering in the office because of my tight schedule, helping with the food pantry, calling and emailing supporters/volunteers, etc.
While working in the office I can volunteer in raising awareness by calling and emailing Red Cross members about the organization’s upcoming activities. This can help in increasing awareness about the work of the organization that’s going on through the city. Through this advocacy, I believe that I can persuade quite a number of people to volunteer as well and work for the American Red Cross.
Working for this organization would positively impact anyone’s life and I’m glad to be back on the team. It will be an opportunity for learning as well as meeting new people from different parts of the city and of course growing my professional skills by gaining this experience working in this area. One community effort that I will hopefully be participating in is the Sound the Alarm program.
The Sound the Alarm program installs free smoke alarms in at-risk communities across the city. This campaign is a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events across the country. With the help of fire departments and other community partners the Red Cross volunteers by installing free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms and provides fire prevention and safety education. It is common when firefighters investigate the aftermath of a fire and report that there was no smoke detector or the battery on run down and didn’t warn the residents their home was on fire.
With the Sound the Alarm program the Red Cross hopes to reduce those incidents. My major is political science with a concentration of public administration. Public administration attempts to explain how decisions in government are made as well as administrating projects to carry out those decisions. This degree prepares students for a career in government or non-profit work.
Studying public administration can be an extremely rewarding experience for anyone looking to give back to their community by solving difficult problems. While elected officials are the most visible part of our government, it is the daily government’s workers or in other words “bureaucrats” who do the majority of governmental tasks and functions. They have to come up with implementing solutions to society’s challenges. They advise elected officials of the strengths and weaknesses of public programs.
A public administrator also manages public agencies, sets budgets, and creates government policies. To illustrate the many decisions an administrator must handle, for example, there is an increase in violent crimes affecting a particular neighborhood. Public officials must come up with effective and efficient solutions in order to decrease the crimes in the area. How? One idea is to increase the number of police officers in the region, but how many are needed? Where should they be located? And the questions go on and on.
In my situation with the Red Cross, there was a lack of fire alarms and homes with created and safety and hazard. Therefore, the Sound the Alarm program was implemented and assisted those in need and the community. I have a passion for helping others. I am open-minded and also very kind. I have the ability to empathize with people who are in trouble.
I believe that if given the opportunity to interact with people who are faced with problems I can be able to inspire their lives in a positive way and I hope to do that with my volunteer work with the American Red Cross.
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