In her words: Retired teacher Ann Deane shares her story about being a Canadian Red Cross volunteer

Retired teacher Ann Deane shares her story about being a Canadian Red Cross volunteer.Ann is one of our amazing volunteers in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She volunteers in the Emergency Management program helping her community in times of need and has assisted in public education through emergency preparedness presentations. In her own words, this is why she gives back:   

How long have you been volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross?

I’ve been volunteering with the Red Cross since I retired five years ago, in 2014.

Tell us more about your role as a volunteer with the Red Cross Emergency Management program.

During the year, I take my turn carrying the Red Cross phone.  This means that for a week at a time, if there is a house fire or other disaster which forces people out of their home, I will respond by assisting with lodging, food and other essential items which they will need.  

Also, other times throughout the year, if there is a major disaster like a flood or huge fire, and if I am available, I will help at a reception or emergency shelter for several days. This can be local or involve a deployment out of province.

What is your most memorable experience volunteering with the Red Cross?

The most memorable experience so far has been a three-week deployment to Prince George, B.C. in the summer of 2017. I worked in an emergency shelter helping hundreds of people displaced by fires in Northern B.C.  The people we helped were so appreciative we were there and the other volunteers at the shelter were wonderful to work with.

What prepared you as a teacher to volunteer with the Red Cross?

What I took from teaching to my volunteer activities is patience and the ability to read people and figure out the best approach in helping them deal with various situations.

Why do you like volunteering with the Red Cross?

Volunteering with Red Cross is very rewarding in that it helps you appreciate what you have and brings out the best in people. The Red Cross volunteers I have met are very kind-hearted and selfless individuals who are willing to help.

Do you have any advice for new volunteers?

As a volunteer, it is important to be flexible and willing to go the extra mile. You can never predict how things will turn out, so everyone needs to do their part in helping each other. 

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