You don't have to be a nurse to volunteer with the American Red Cross, but it sure helps if you are one. Vivian McNeil is a retired trauma nurse and a Red Cross Disaster volunteer in the Western Kentucky Chapter.
In 2009, after suffering a nerve injury to her arm, Vivian was unable to work in the Emergency Department. Having been a nurse for over 35 years, that was tough obstacle for her to overcome. “I was very depressed at home. I had been a RN since I was 21, and I was feeling useless. I decided to see if the Red Cross could use my help in any way,” said Vivian.
Over the next couple of years, she was able to assist the Red Cross at different community events; however it wasn’t until last summer that she became heavily involved in volunteering. Since then, she has worked with the Welcome Team and assisted with the Pillowcase Project, a preparedness education program for children. She is currently learning more about disaster and canteening, and hopes to be able to utilize her nursing skills to provide further assistance to the Red Cross.
“Prevention of accidents, knowing what to do when your house catches fire, and providing aid when people are in a crisis is what I've done for all of my adult life. This work is just another way of doing it,” Vivian explained. “I firmly believe in the mission of the Red Cross. My career as a nurse [ . . . ] became a way to change lives. The Red Cross is the same.”
If you would like to join the Red Cross as a volunteer, please visit www.redcross.org/volunteer.