The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Candiace Dandridge came to the Red Cross because she needed an intern experience as part of her undergraduate studies at Austin Peay State University. Now, after deploying twice to help with the Superstorm Sandy recovery, she is looking forward to many more years of rewarding experiences as a Red Cross volunteer. Working with the Red Cross during my five weeks in New York “made me grow as a person. I didn’t know I could handle such a demanding job,” said Dandridge.
During her first deployment Dandridge worked in the staffing office, which kept up with the needs and assignments of the thousands of volunteers who responded to the call for recovery assistance after Sandy. The second time, she worked as a client casework specialist. In these roles Dandridge found that other volunteers, even though they were almost always much older than her, were comfortable opening up and talking to her about both their positive and negative experiences while on deployment. “I guess I’m just an easy person to talk too,” mused Dandridge. She took great delight in helping her volunteer clients to be more effective in their jobs whenever possible.
Dandridge has adopted the motto “It’s not all about you.” She says it makes her feel good to help others. “I like to feel needed; I want to develop my leadership skills, and I love to travel,” she said, as she thought of future years as a Red Cross volunteer.
In May, Dandridge will graduate with a degree in Health and Human Performance from Austin Peay State University with a minor in coaching. She would like to gain entry in a physical therapy graduate program, but if that does not work out she will pursue a job as a High School Guidance Counselor.
When not in school or working for the Red Cross, Dandridge coaches softball for her church league and for the RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) program that is hosted locally by the Memphis Redbirds Baseball Foundation. Prior to coaching, Dandridge was a player in the RBI program, an experience that she says nurtured her love of the game and coaching.
With regard to volunteering for the Red Cross, I tell my friends “they really can do it too, the Red Cross needs more volunteers, and there really is no catch to it.”
Profile posted April 25, 2013
Story and Photo Credit: Robert W. Wallace/American Red Cross