For many college students, volunteering or interning a few hours a week is the norm. However, Samford student Anna Jordan is taking her volunteer work to the next level, spending up to 35 hours each week with the American Red Cross. We spoke with Anna to learn more about her volunteer work.
Meet Anna Jordan
Born and raised in Troy, Alabama, Anna Jordan had been introduced to Samford University at a young age. Her father graduated from the university in 1994 and loved his experience so much, he’d bring Anna along for visits.
“Every time we passed through Birmingham, my dad would make us visit Samford’s campus. He’d tell us an interesting fact about a campus building or one of his favorite memories from his college experience. When it came time to pick a college, Samford felt right—and I have yet to regret my decision.”Anna Jordan
Now a Junior at Samford pursing a degree Political Science degree with a minor in Global Studies, Anna is always looking for ways to give back to the community.
“Birmingham has poured so much into the Samford community, and I think it’s time Samford gave back. It’s one thing to raise money for a philanthropy, but it’s an entirely different feeling to help someone in your backyard face-to-face. I think a lot of people at Samford were looking for an outlet to give back to our neighbors.”Anna Jordan
Forming a “Red Cross Club” at Samford University
Last year, one of Anna’s favorite professors introduced the class to a recruiter for the American Red Cross. The recruiter talked about the various ways students could volunteer with the Red Cross and mentioned that she’d love to help any students willing to form a Red Cross Club on campus.
After thinking about it for a few days, Anna contacted the Red Cross recruiter and got started.
“I saw a need for Samford to give back to a community that had poured so much into us, and I thought a Red Cross Club would be the perfect way to do that. While going on mission trips or raising money for philanthropies help, it’s another thing entirely to volunteer in a neighborhood in Samford’s backyard and change people’s lives.”Anna Jordan
Anna worked tirelessly to grow Samford’s Red Cross Club with help from the recruiter. Within three weeks, she had signed up 26 members with many more on the way. Now, they meet once a month to brainstorm news ways to volunteer.
“We completed our first project about two weeks ago, partnering with the Birmingham Fire & Rescue Department to install smoke alarms in homes. About 15 of us went to the Norwood neighborhood in Birmingham and installed 50 smoke alarms in 22 homes. While we were there, we shared tips on fire, home and tornado safety and how to prepare for some of those disasters.”Anna Jordan
Want to form a Red Cross Club at your own school? Click here for a toolkit to help you get started!
Volunteering with the Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT)
Anna’s volunteer work doesn’t end with the Red Cross Club. Since the summer, Anna has volunteered as an intern with the local Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT). Upon arriving at a disaster site, DAT volunteers provide the survivors with support for immediate needs like shelter and supplies, connect survivors with recovery services and simply provide a shoulder to cry on.
“My volunteer work with the DAT kind of fell in my lap. Going into summer break, I wanted to volunteer or do an internship for course credit. In fact, I was lined up to volunteer and intern for the International Services Department in Mississippi, but the woman who was supposed to be my program supervisor ended up getting deployed. Luckily, I was able to quickly find a roll with the Red Cross as a DAT intern and it has been such a blessing.”Anna Jordan
As a DAT intern, Anna’s assignments vary day-to-day. Typically, she’ll prepared to volunteer at fire scenes or be on-call as a duty officer. As a duty officer, Anna receives calls about fires and dispatches other DAT volunteers to assist at the scene. Other times, she’ll be assigned to join other DAT volunteers to help survivors pick up the pieces after a fire.
YOU can make a difference with the Red Cross
Whether you’re interested in forming an entire Red Cross Club at your school or want to volunteer a few hours a week, your work helps improve lives.
“You don’t have to jump into it headfirst like I did. Sometimes, people think volunteer work is going to be a major time commitment. My advice is just to do it—if you can volunteer two hours a week, its worth it. Volunteering with the Red Cross Club is one of those things where you get out of it whatever you put into it, and I feel so fulfilled at the end of the day. It’s a magical thing to be able to help people on their worst days.”Anna Jordan