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Disaster Management 101: University students helping B.C. wildfire evacuees

Two members of the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Red Cross Club are showing other young people how to turn their passion into action. Students Jessilyn Wong and Daniel Jin volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross Disaster Management logistics team, arranging vehicles, supplying technology, and taking inventory of supplies that helped the Red Cross assist thousands of people forced from their homes by last summer’s B.C. wildfires. 

Giving back to his community soon after arriving

Even before he left Iran, 22-year-old Mohammad H. Asadi Lari knew he wanted to volunteer with the Red Cross.
“I applied to volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross three or four months after I moved to Canada,” Mohammad said. “I’ve always been the sort of person who has wanted to in some capacity or another, participate in community activities, help out. Where I can learn, where can I help, where can I make an impact and where can I really develop. The [Canadian Red Cross] has been all of that.”

What I wish I had known: Advice for new volunteers

A note to new or aspiring volunteers: “I know this volunteer position will be one of the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done. To help a fellow citizen in a time of disaster will make you feel unbelievably great.”

Proud to put on the vest and answer the call to volunteer

Hello from Halifax! Thirteen years ago, I looked into volunteering somewhere where I could help people and make a difference in my community. I decided to check out a Canadian Red Cross volunteer orientation session and after reviewing the various positions, applied to become a member of the emergency response team.

Thanking our volunteers for their passion, purpose and help

National Volunteer Week is the perfect opportunity to thank the people who selflessly rush to help others during disasters and emergencies, assist with prevention and safety initiatives, or provide community health and wellness services. We are so thankful to the thousands of volunteers who make our work possible. We asked a few of our amazing volunteers why they dedicate their time and efforts into helping others and here is what some had to say:

Volunteering: a way of life

For Andrew DeGruchy, volunteering is a part of his life. The 30-year-old has been a volunteer firefighter and Lieutenant with Cold Lake Fire-Rescue for eight years. When evacuees from the La Ronge, Saskatchewan area were sheltered in Cold Lake, he got a first-hand look at the work Canadian Red Cross volunteers do; and that prompted him to become part of the disaster management team.

Reducing the impact of natural disasters in Southeast Asia

Debby Cote, Program Manager for Asia at the Canadian Red Cross took a moment to talk to us about the regional resilience initiative, and how the program is working to help build the resilience of partner Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. 

Walking to Kutupalong

By 9 a.m., fog has burned off and I am already looking for shade as we begin the hour-long walk through the makeshift settlement in Kutupalong. We are headed to the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society mobile clinic. After many trips, we know the trail reasonably well, only occasionally needing the local volunteers to guide us through new market areas or construction sites, which seem to appear everyday along the route. We are from different worlds - Bangladesh, Myanmar and Canada - yet we chat easily about the work day to come. What was chaotic and overwhelming a few weeks ago has become familiar – it is easy to forget that this great sprawling village is one of the largest camps of displaced people in the world.

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About The Blog

The purpose of this blog, quite simply, is to talk. This blog is an opportunity for Red Cross staff, volunteers, supporters and friends to share stories about what is happening in your community and the important work you are doing. It is a tool that will help keep all of us connected.

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