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Using volunteer opportunities to discover a new passion

Some Red Cross volunteers choose to specialize, but not Zoe Thiery. She has enjoyed a wide and diverse volunteering experience from helping to organize major fundraising events to answering the phones to taking on different roles during emergency responses in Saskatchewan and across Canada.

Zoe sits at a desk in the Red Cross office in SaskatoonOriginally from France, Zoe came to Canada to pursue her Masters in Innovation Management. “When I first arrived to Canada I really wanted to get involved in the community,” says Zoe. “I feel like I better understand the culture in Saskatoon because it (volunteering) enables me to not only be with my friends or family or work but also to meet other people and different cultures.”

In the two years she has been volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross, Zoe has already contributed more than 740 hours of her time and most recently became involved in helping to bring new volunteers on board.

Steering her own volunteer career has helped Zoe discover a position she truly loves. “I started with the philanthropy department but discovered it was not what I wanted to do long term. When I started helping with recruiting volunteers, I discovered I actually enjoyed that quite a bit,” she says. “I’m getting more and more diverse tasks.”

Zoe at a Red Cross eventIn her new role she helps new volunteers ensure they have all their paperwork completed, enrols them in training and helps with their photo identification badges.
“People are not just letting me do the basic stuff, they also ask what I’d like to do. My role has been growing and growing which feels great!” says Zoe.

After discovering how much she enjoys working with people, she shifted her working career as well and is now pursuing a human resources designation. She finds that learning to use different software and practicing her interviewing skills as a volunteer with the Red Cross is helping build her skill set which she hopes will help lead her to a new career.
 
Volunteering is a great way to try new things and can give you the knowledge and experience to shift your career in exciting new directions. As a Red Cross volunteer, you have a supervisor who helps provide guidance, access to training and other opportunities to ensure you get the most out of your volunteering experience. Visit redcross.ca/volunteer to learn more. 

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