What the Red Cross means to Precious Cooper

March is Red Cross month is finally here! Throughout March, the American Red Cross wants to celebrate the hard work and generosity of our invaluable volunteers and donors. Here is an incredible testimonial given by Precious Cooper, one of our outstanding volunteers:  

“I began volunteering with Red Cross in September 2009 when I was approached by a Board Member asking if I would be interested in coordinating the annual Red Cross Sleighbell 5k Run/Walk for that year. I was initially reluctant to accept the position, because I wasn’t confident in my abilities to make the event a success nor did I know much about Red Cross outside of Blood Services. The Board Member proceeded to explain the mission of Red Cross to me and explained that all proceeds of the event will benefit the community during natural disasters and, family emergencies. After researching the mission of the Red Cross and the continual dedication to the community, I accepted the position and have been involved with Red Cross ever since. 

Currently, I sit on the Board of Directors with the East Georgia Chapter. I serve as the Special Events Coordinator, coordinating all the logistics and fundraising efforts associated with our two annual events (Sleighbell and Heroes Breakfast). Through my work with the Red Cross, I have developed a personal meaning for the mission of the Red Cross. To me, the mission of Red Cross represents dedication, spirit and generosity. I am pleased to assist the other volunteers and staff of the East Georgia Chapter in carrying out the mission of providing relief to victims of disaster and helping people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. 

Volunteering with the American Red Cross has impacted my life in several ways, however primarily the organization has allowed me to give back to my community. From as early as I could remember, I was taught to always give back because one day our family can possibly be on the receiving end relying on the generosity of people or organizations to assist us. That philosophy has stuck with me throughout my life. Volunteering with American Red Cross allows me to continue to serve the community and uphold values that were instilled in me as a young child. 

One specific volunteering moment which stands out to me the most is when I answered to a fire in downtown Athens. A student apartment building had caught fire early one Saturday morning, burning several of the units and causing the residents to evacuate. Upon arriving to the scene, I didn’t know what to expect considering this was my first disaster call. I was nervous yet anxious to jump right in and assist where needed. The image I will always remember is approaching the partly singed building and seeing an abundance of volunteers in American Red Cross vest assessing the damages, providing coffee, blankets and most of all comfort to frighten students. That moment made me realize all my efforts and time that I invest into American Red Cross is indeed for a great cause. 

After my time spent volunteering, I would encourage anyone interested in volunteering with the American Red Cross do to so! The American Red Cross is the perfect nonprofit to donate your time and philanthropic contributions to. The organization consists of people who genuinely want to make their community a loving place by caring for people in unfortunate circumstances. Our volunteers are on the scene of natural disasters and local home fires providing comfort and assistance to those in need. What an amazing organization! It can change your life, change your attitude and bring about positive change with others. Whatever talents you have, Red Cross can put them to good use. One of the most enjoyable parts of volunteering with the American Red Cross is working with the other volunteers and staff!  To be affiliated with a group of people that share the same dedication and love for an organization is awesome.”

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