By: Sam Antenucci
In 2018, I moved to Philadelphia by myself for college. I’m from a small town in New Mexico, so the transition was a culture shock, to say the least. But then I made my first blood donation and decided to get involved with the Red Cross. I was nervous, partly due to my needle phobia, but the Red Cross volunteers walked me through that donation and I had a very rewarding experience. That’s when I decided to volunteer with the Red Cross and see what more I could do to help others.
Being in college did not leave me with the most flexible schedule. I often had to juggle my time studying for classes and labs. But after I received the call from the Red Cross about my volunteering profile, the staff worked with me and my schedule. They took me on as a writer and blogger for their social media pages, and I was incredibly excited! My studies are in the STEM curriculum, so I didn’t have as many chances to write as I would have liked. Volunteering gave me the opportunity to continue with one of my favorite hobbies.
Working with the Red Cross has opened more doors for me than I could have imagined. I was not only able to continue writing but also given the opportunity to go out into the Philly community and make a difference in people’s lives. I’ve installed fire alarms around the city for Sound the Alarm events, interviewed amazing volunteers to share their stories about deploying for hurricane disaster relief, and got to help as a call relief agent for Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria. The Red Cross has welcomed me to participate in its many different Philadelphia projects. As I continue to volunteer, I urge anyone who has some free time, no matter how much or little, to get involved with the Red Cross as well.
Are you interested to see why volunteer opportunities await you at the American Red Cross? If so, check out https://www.redcross.org/local/pennsylvania/eastern-pennsylvania/volunteer.html.