Since I began writing this column more than a year ago, I am sometimes asked about my personal history of volunteering. What did I enjoy doing?
If I remember correctly, I began volunteering when we first moved to Detroit with three children, ages 8, 5 and 3. I didn’t know anyone and I will be honest, I needed some time out of the house for myself. I volunteered about once a week in the evening for the Red Cross at a center in Dearborn. I taught a series of classes for expectant parents about newborn, infant and child care. I had been a maternity nurse for many years and worked also in the newborn and premature nurseries.
I enjoyed doing this. I had always admired teachers. Suddenly, I felt like the expert. The couples who came were very well informed. I wished that somehow future parents who really needed the information would attend.
The American Red Cross has a great variety of volunteer jobs. Check it out on the computer or stop by a Red Cross center and find out about volunteering. Helping at a blood bank is easy and a great way to meet good people. There is a lot of information available.
I remember on 9/11 watching the TV about the New York City tragedy. We, like many others, didn’t know what to do. My husband and I were Red Cross blood bank volunteers. We got a call to help at a school off island where an emergency blood collecting unit was set up. I remember feeling good about being able to help in my small way. Donors were lined up around the building without complaint. I will take that memory to my grave.