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Column: Resolve to make a difference in 2023: Volunteer

By Stephanie Ashley

Happy New Year! If you are still searching for a new year’s resolution, consider become a volunteer.

Volunteering is good for you and our community. It is a great way to bring positive change to people, communities and society in general. Although it can be hard to find time to volunteer, giving to others has enormous benefits to you and those around you. The top four reasons to resolve to volunteer in 2023 include:
1. Explore your interests. Learn new skills.
2. Meet new friends.
3. Do more good. Be part of something larger.
4. Help your Community. Make a difference in someone’s life.
Volunteering also helps us all stay active, which is good for our health!

I volunteer my time with a variety of groups in town, including the Cos Cob Fire Police Patrol (CCFPP) and Greenwich Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) and those not in town, including my alma mater and organizations my family holds close.

I am so lucky every day to work with hundreds of volunteers from the American Red Cross Metro New York North Chapter. These local volunteers are part of the almost 300,000 people across the country whose support enables the Red Cross to respond to an average of more than 60,000 disasters every year and deliver more than 6.4 million blood products to hospital patients in need. Volunteers also help train more than 4.6 million people in Red Cross lifesaving skills; help provide nearly 550,000 services to military members, veterans and their families; and to reconnect almost 9,000 families separated by war or disaster around the world.

Here in Metro New York North, we have a number of positions we need help filling. These include:

• Blood Donor Ambassadors engage with blood donors at blood drives by greeting, registering, answering questions, providing information and supporting them through the recovery process at the refreshments table.
• Disaster Action Team Members sign up for on-call shifts as part of a team to help provide 24-hour emergency response to local disasters, ensuring that your neighbors have access to resources for necessities such food, shelter and clothing.

Training is free, but the hope you provide as a Red Cross volunteer is priceless. Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to get started.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Make 2023 the year you resolve to find yourself and volunteer.

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