Posted by: Bill Griffin | June 7, 2009

Why Not Right Now?

 redcross_volunteer   If there is anything that can bring you out of yourself, something that can show and prove that there is a bit more; volunteering is the way. Simply put, the act of giving makes you feel good. On holidays and birthdays when the recipient of your present is about to open their gift, that’s when you pay particular attention. Your pulse moves up, as their eyes widen in excitement while they tear open their gift. Its fun, it’s exciting to see someone acquire what they need or want due to your thoughtful efforts. Volunteering for the Rochester Red Cross is that and much more. There is no better gift then the gift of giving yourself, your time, your energy, and your kind efforts.

 I am in-between jobs and had more time on my hands to reflect on what my next steps would be. I thought of volunteering but where? How?  I thought to myself… what can I do, that would make any difference. I was coming out of Rochester Works a career advisory institution and as I turned the corner, I saw a big Red Cross– The American Red Cross. That’s it!! Why not there and why not now?

 I went into the building on 50 Prince St. and was welcomed with a warm smile. I asked about volunteering and I was sent to see the volunteer coordinator. The very next week was an orientation where you get the low down on what The Red Cross does and how I could help.

 There are dozens of opportunities in which to volunteer, from food service and office administration to disaster relief and blood drives. I picked the department that interested me the most, Chapter Advancement, which consists of special events, marketing, fund-raising and communication.

 On my very first day at the Red Cross I was interviewed by a local television station. I was at the Red Cross talking to the camera about why I wanted to volunteer. The next week I’m calling different companies that have donated to Red Cross events and thanking them. The week after, I was taking inventory and descriptions of donated items and filling in the data. I’ve delivered appreciation plaques and picked up donations from different companies around the city. Every week there is something new and rewarding to do.

 The folks that work and volunteer at the Red Cross are some of the nicest, professional and dedicated I’ve ever met. This experience has been rewarding because I feel that same holiday excitement every time I’m there. Volunteering at the Red Cross is truly one of the best decisions I’ve made. This is the more I was referring to, more to give, further experiences, great people to meet and a sense of accomplishment that is only understood by the giving of yourself.                          

Do you want more out of life?  What gives you that sense of accomplishment? Please write, I would love to know.

                                                                                          rochester rc logo                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Volunteer today 585-241-4490



  1. Nice thoughts to put on paper, Bill. You’re an inspiration to others and I’m certain this will motivate others to find something to do with a little block of time each week of whenever. I’ve been thinking about it and this article is a good boost to make sure it happens. I’ll let you know. Keep up the good writing.

    • Thanks Steve,
      I hope it does.

  2. Bill,

    Great blog about Volunteering!


    • Thak you Jason,

      Keep coming back.

  3. Billy,

    Another excellent blog! Your perspective is perfect and you’ve articulated I think the mindset of many, many volunteers across the whole spectrum of programs, agencies and entities that would find it hard to exist if it weren’t for the generosity of volunteers like yourself.

    • Too kind Jim,

      I know you have done alot for the Red Cross and many other people.
      Keep up the good work.

  4. Billy,

    Nice blog. Great topic. I like the way you selected a place to volunteer.

    • Thanks Shawne,

      Yeah, sometimes all you have to do is look around. I guess.

  5. Great article Billy!

    It’s great to see that you found a connection with the Red Cross. I have been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity for the past couple years through my church. We have built a couple homes on Grape St, and this year we are building one on Campbell St. (In fact I’ll be at the build site tomorrow!) Like you said, it feels good to know that you had a small part in helping a family in need and improving a neighborhood as well.

    • That’s awesome Kevin.

      What you’re doing helps the mind, body and spirit. You actually get to see your efforts come to life. Keep up the good work Kevin. It’s funny, when building it actually keeps you grounded. Way to be!

  6. I love the topic of this blog. I have been volunteering with my kids school a lot lately and I have been heavily involved with the PTOs for the last 6 years. I am also a big Red Cross donor (passed the 10 gallon mark last year). I’ve been considering signing up for some other volunteer opportunities over the summer. You’ve given me the inspiration to get off my butt and figure out where.


    • The next obvious step for you Michele is public office. Senator Heine? President Heine? Yup, President Heine– it has a nice ring to it. Good example and a great person you can’t loose. I’ll vote for you!!

      • I think I’ll take it slowly and stick with the PTO right now. Trust me, I have no interest in politics.

  7. Bill, I think we call this “finding your voice.” Well-written, inspirational. You’ve found words from experience. You’ve shared so that others might reflect, act and enjoy the benefits of volunteering. We all have gifts to offer and you’ve reminded us of that. We’ve all been rewarded with you having “found your voice” and sharing with us.

    • Thank you Greg,

      Very nice of you.

  8. If you WANT to volunteer your “time, talent, and Treasure” but aren’t sure what agency to give to, then check out

    This is a listing of just about every non-profit in the Rochester area and includes their “wishlist” of volunteer needs.

    • Good site Doug,

      Rochester has a strong history of altruistic people and there are many great organizations with strong foundations. A great way to explore your options.

      Thanks Again Doug

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