Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Red Cross Internship

by Alice Ding

When I started my internship this summer in the Communications Department at the American Red Cross Greater New York Region, I had limited knowledge of the organization. On my first day, my supervisors gave me a brief tour of the office building and an overview of the mission of the Red Cross.

This was the first time I became aware that the organization is involved with blood drives as well as disaster relief efforts. Through my day-to-day tasks, mini-projects and a ride-along experience to a disaster response, I learned what it takes to be a Red Crosser.

I worked as a social media/editorial intern. Part of my job as an editorial intern was to interview volunteers and staff members to learn their Red Cross roles and experiences. One recurring theme during my conversations was genuineness. Everyone I interviewed said Red Crossers sincerely care about those in need. 

This was also my experience on a ride-along with Gerald Rothstein, a Red Cross volunteer disaster responder. Gerald was patient with a couple affected by a house fire, explaining how the Red Cross was able to assist them and answering all their questions. 

Even though they don’t go into the field as often as the responders, everyone in my department also cares about the community. My supervisors are constantly coming up with creative content to engage the public and inform them to be prepared in times of disaster. Part of my job is to monitor and update social media to help the community stay informed of disasters happening in the Greater NY region and the resources they can access.

As my internship progressed, I became proud to contribute to an organization that strives to help the community and places the well-being of people before anything else. I’m glad I was able to spend my summer around a group of selfless individuals. The most rewarding part for me was being able to speak to inspiring Red Crossers and help to spread their experiences to the community.

Going back and finishing my last semester at NYU as a communications major, I hope to continue stay involved with the Red Cross and help out when I can.

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