Edmonton woman hopes to inspire others to volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross

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An Edmonton woman is hoping her experience with the Canadian Red Cross will inspire others to volunteer.

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Reshma Sirajee was interested in emergency management and began volunteering with the Red Cross last year after her previous employer recommended it.

“I ended up getting involved and I really like it because I’m learning a lot about emergency management as well as working with a team to mitigate emergencies,” Sirajee said.

“My role specifically as an emergency responder, whenever there’s situations such as there is a fire or a flood and someone … can no longer live in their home, my team steps in and we, with about three to five people usually, we figure out OK, where will they stay, do they have a need for clothing, do they have a need for food, all those things.”

“We do those assessments and get them help for those 72 hours after the disaster has occurred.”

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In Alberta, the organization is looking for hundreds of volunteers to join its Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) team.

HELP provides the opportunity for Canadians who are recovering from an illness or injury maintain their mobility and independence and recover at home. Specifically, the program is looking for client service volunteers and technician volunteers.

With client service, volunteers provide administrative support like answering phones and co-ordinating health equipment loans and returns while technicians help with cleaning and disinfecting health equipment, troubleshooting equipment malfunctions and supporting clients and caregivers in the proper use and maintenance of equipment.

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Sirajee said volunteering with the Red Cross is a great opportunity where you can help others at a time they need it the most, but it also offers other benefits.

“But the other side of that is you get to work with a really great team of individuals, and you’re not doing it yourself, you are delegating, you’re talking to each other and that’s really helpful,” she said.

“I met one of my mentors through the Canadian Red Cross and she’s someone that I really look up to.”

Full training is provided to all volunteers and anyone interested in volunteering for the Red Cross can visit redcross.ca/volunteer.

ajunker@postmedia.com

twitter.com/junkeranna

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