It was about lunchtime when Jamie Winters walked in the Fresno Red Cross office. As usual, there was a flurry of activity and excitement in the air as volunteers and employees were prepping for a weekend full of fundraising and preparedness events throughout the chapter.
Jamie plays an important but often behind the scenes role in her local office. With over 90% of the Red Cross workforce ran by volunteers, an intricate database is needed to manage information like training, communications, and volunteer opportunities. Volunteer Intake Specialists like Jamie work with volunteers from the day they express interest in signing up all the way through their training and beyond. On this day Jamie was helping to prepare for an upcoming volunteer orientation.
“When they register and arrive for orientation, we have the opportunity to learn what each person is interested in, what programs would be a good fit for their skills, personalities and schedules while guiding those that may be unsure which direction they want to go,” said Jamie, “After the orientation ends and all questions are answered, these new volunteers continue forward on their path to volunteer success and fulfilling the Red Cross mission.”
Jamie made it to her cubicle and started up the computer. She checked her email and answered some volunteer questions before logging into Volunteer Connection to access the sign up list for the orientation. The list showed a wide range of new volunteers: from youth volunteers to retirees, part-time students to full-time workers, corporate executives to custom service associates.
“There is a common humanitarian cause that is threaded through all Red Cross members which makes working together flexible and fluid yet strong and determined,” said Jaime, “I have noticed instant trust in these groups and when we aim and focus on eliminating human suffering together, our own social barriers come down and we create synergy that transforms lives on a daily basis. To me, it doesn’t get much more memorable than that. The Red Cross mentality is something I will never forget, and will always carry with me.”
Jamie printed off her sign in sheet, collected the freshly printed volunteer manuals, and headed to the classroom for her orientation.
Volunteers like Jamie Winters play a large role in Red Cross efforts to provide humanitarian service in the Central California Region. The Red Cross thanks and honors these selfless and compassionate every day heroes during National Volunteer Week, April 12 – 18. Click here to learn more about the “Day in the Life of a Volunteer” series.