Elizabeth Zook shares her passion for Volunteering

Topics: British Columbia and Yukon, Community Health, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada, Our Impact on the Ground, Philanthropy News, Volunteer, Volunteer
July 20, 2020

Elizabeth Zook lives on Salt Spring Island, near Victoria, B.C. where she thought there would be fewer emergencies. But since living there, she’s still supported clients through quite a few.
For eight years Elizabeth has been the Salt Spring Island Emergency Coordinator and Emergency Support Services director with the Capital Regional District.  She was also a Red Cross Volunteer supporting cases where needed on Salt Spring Island, Duncan and Victoria. 
Elizabeth was attracted to the Red Cross because of its recognized humanitarian efforts. And she has been impressed by the teamwork exhibited by those she’s worked with.
“Everyone is part of the team at the Red Cross,” she explains. “There is a real culture of support here.”
Her first experience with the Red Cross occurred when she volunteered temporarily in Burnaby during the global appeal to support those affected by the Tsunami. Elizabeth worked as a responder and supported the overwhelming fundraising response through data entry.
Elizabeth’s first deployment was in 2015 to Victoria where she supported the arrival of Syrian refugees coming to Canada. She describes seeing the trauma and then relief on their faces as they began to adjust to their new home. She also remembers how helpful the children were to their parents, and how the kids’ English language skills bridged communications barriers, along with help from Google translate. For Elizabeth, it was a transformative experience.
Elizabeth Zook, Emergency Management Volunteer

In 2018 she was deployed to Grand Forks, where the community was impacted by massive flooding for the second year in a row (flooding in April 2020 makes it three times in three years). Elizabeth was there for five days but relished the immersion in the experience as it provided 100 per cent opportunity to focus on providing support to those affected.
“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” she shares.
Who would make a great CRC volunteer? Elizabeth recommends the key to finding your role is to ensure your principals align with those of the Red Cross and knowing your skill set.
“Not everyone would enjoy volunteering in emergency response, and that’s ok,” she says. “There are so many other areas within the Red Cross to volunteer, including: data entry, client services at the HELP depot, or administrative support like answering calls and booking appointments. No job is too small. At the Red Cross, each job is vital.”
To learn more about volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross Health Equipment Loan or Emergency Management Teams please visit www.redross.ca/volunteer Apply HERE or email volunteerbcy@redcross.ca