30 years of volunteering

Topics: British Columbia and Yukon, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada, Our Impact on the Ground, Philanthropy News, Volunteer, Volunteer
August 11, 2020

Volunteering is something Pam Vilac has done for the past 30 years.

“My late husband used to say that giving back to your community is one of the most important things you can do in your lifetime,” shares Pam Vilac, Emergency Management volunteer and Red Cross Emergency Social Services (ESS) Lead in Lillooet.
 
Pam had extensive emergency management volunteer experience before joining the Red Cross. 30 years ago in Vernon and Lumby, she joined emergency management, learning how to work in a reception centre, taking many Emergency Social Services and Emergency Operations Centre courses and using her Ham radio skills.
 
She moved to Clearwater 20 years ago where she was able to use the skills she had learned in Vernon and Lumby to assist with the evacuations during the Barriere wildfires in 2003 and ice jams on the North Thompson river. Pam then became the Emergency Social Services Director in Clearwater.
 
In 2006, Pam moved to Lillooet and immediately offered her training and skills to become the Emergency Social Services Director for the community.  “Our team is a very small group and the Red Cross came onboard to give us training and support two years ago. This means we are an ESS/Red Cross group which expands the support we’re able to deliver in the community.”
 
Pam mentions numerous benefits to volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross, including, “learning new skills, staying active, and keeping connected to the community.”

Pam Vilac - Emergency Management Volunteer
 
Pam believes Being part of a team of Red Cross volunteers really helps build trust in community. Because the Red Cross is well-recognised and the work is so highly regarded, “you can become a very familiar face in a smaller community, which helps when there are emergencies and those affected need someone to turn to for support.”
 
One of the most important skills Pam believes that a new Red Cross volunteer needs to bring to the role are strong interpersonal skills. She believes that working on the emergency management side of the Red Cross requires a commitment.
 
“When you can commit to the work and the people who are affected by some of these emergency situations, you take away the feeling that what you’re able to give makes a huge impact. Volunteering with the Red Cross can provide that for you.”
 
Pam would highly recommend volunteering with the Red Cross. In fact, she just recruited a new volunteer a few months ago!
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To learn more about volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross please visit www.redross.ca/volunteer or email volunteerbcy@redcross.ca