Friday, May 20, 2011

AmeriCorps Week Volunteer Spotlight: Kim Walker

In honor of AmeriCorps Week 2011 we asked our own AmeriCorps members what their Red Cross experience has meant to them. 

"The Metro New York Red Cross is a fabulous place to be an AmeriCorps member—you are more than just a member of the AmeriCorps State program; you are also a valued part of the Red Cross team. AmeriCorps enables you to give your time to a great cause while living in NYC. My work has been very fulfilling, in part because I have a flexible schedule and the ability to choose the projects I work on.

As a member of the Staffing Team, I assist in staffing mass care (feeding and sheltering) volunteers in opening shelters and reception centers. The snowstorms just after Christmas were a particularly notable time in my AmeriCorps experience. It was chaotic and frustrating at times working remotely as a team with various technologies. However this gave us the opportunity to rework how we staff events, developing new protocols so the team could communicate more effectively and efficiently.

We spent the months after the storms researching technologies and developing a staffing handbook for current team and incoming volunteers. The end result is an improved “standing up” and “standing down” process for volunteers, a decrease in stress when staffing events and an increase in each team member’s being able to communicate readily, even when working remotely. Discovering kinks and developing solutions is the key to the AmeriCorps program. The program’s flexibility and freedom sets the foundation to 'get things done.'"

–Kim Walker, AmeriCorps State

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