Monday, June 7, 2010

“I would be lost without her.”

One and one don’t always equal two. When a volunteer acts as a “partner” with a NY Red Cross employee, the degree of symbiosis can sometimes be extraordinary. Zofia Bolewicz, the 2010 recipient of the Partnership Award, has acted as a volunteer partner for Cheskeca Miller, Assistant Director, Staff Relations, since Zofia joined the New York Red Cross last September.

“I would be lost without her,” says Cheskeca. “In the spirit of learning Zofia raises her hand for tasks outside of Staff Relations to broaden her own HR experience.” According to Cheskeca, not only does Zofia work hard at whatever she is assigned, she makes herself available during weekend events and works on projects from home.

Zofia hails from Brooklyn, where she settled after arriving in the US from Poland five years ago. She says that working at the Chapter is a perfect fit for her. She was looking for a volunteer opportunity to do human-resources work, and decided on the Red Cross “because of its mission and because it is a very respected organization in Poland.” Zofia arrived from Poland with several years of HR experience and has continued to take advanced management courses at NYU.

Cheskeca says that Zofia’s interest in the field of human resources “keeps me on my toes.” Zofia has conducted research on HR legislation and current best practices employed at other organizations. Her findings have led to a re-examination of Chapter policies and resulted in recommendations that will be implemented at the NY Red Cross in the near future. For example, Zofia has worked with Cheskeca on a policy that will clarify the expectations of our NY Red Cross staff’s use of social networking sites.

Zofia also played a role in the Haiti relief effort. She screened potential Creole-speaking volunteers to send to Haiti as translators on the hospital ship the USNS Comfort, where many of the seriously injured were treated, and she followed up with the volunteers on their return to the States. She also helps with Reserve Institutes and volunteer recruitment.

“I am often amazed at Zofia's dedication and work ethic,” says Cheskeca. “She is a wonderful example of voluntary service.”

Zofia Bolewicz is the recipient of the 2010 Partnership Award

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