American Red Cross Community Service

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“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” This quote by Oliver Wendall Holmes can be applied to numerous situations in our lives. Throughout my whole life, I rarely ever did community service. Though I went to nursing homes and sang carols during Christmas, I really never considered it to be true volunteer work. I was usually too busy to have any spare time to volunteer and when I did have spare time, volunteer work was never the first thing on my mind. Volunteering last Wednesday, however, did stretch my mind. Because this was my first instance of true volunteer work, everything about it was a new experience. I chose to volunteer to work the table at the blood drive at the Recreational Center because I’ve donated blood before and feel that it is very helpful and necessary to the process of saving lives. Working “behind the scenes” of the blood drive was different though. By sitting there and helping out the donors and handing out snacks afterwards, I got to see the donor community in a different way. Not only that, but a lot of times, I found it to be my responsibility to assure donors that the process was quite easy and painless. Many people came in looking unsure about whether or not they would really donate and these were the people I spent the most time talking to. My “old dimensions” were the thoughts that blood drives just easily happened; people showed up, they donated and that was all that was to it. Volunteering at the blood drive helped me better understand that things like this wouldn’t be possible if there weren’t people to volunteer at them and help everything run smoothly. By my mind being stretched by this experience, I’ve learned that even only helping out for a few hours can go a long way. I feel so much differently about volunteer work now; instead of it being a burden that I’ve been “sentenced to”, it is actually an easy way to give back to the community. On the day of the blood drive, I collected...
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