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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


A Season of Giving

Author: Grace M. Middleton, Communications Team Lead, Division of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps
Published Date: 12/22/2014 4:56:00 PM
Category: Observances; Public Health Preparedness;

As we are in the throes of the season of giving, we consider all the ways we can contribute – to our families, places of work, and communities. We reflect on the past year and look ahead to a new beginning. It is the time to consider ways to improve and grow in the future. One way that we can do that is through service. This year, we saw struggles with natural and public health events, including the Oso Mudslide and Ebola. In the midst of crises, there are those who step up to serve. These are the the backbone to communities’ resilience. Whether an emergency response or on-going work to support the health of a community, volunteers give their time, expertise, and heart.

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) offers an outstanding opportunity to help keep your community healthy, safe and strong. The MRC is a national network of units made up of medical and public health volunteers, as well as others, with a mission to improve the public health, emergency response, and resiliency of communities.

Volunteers assist in many roles, including communications, logistics, safety and training. MRC teams help promote everyday health as well as volunteering during disasters. They teach people how to develop a family preparedness plan, provide screening for high blood pressure and diabetes, vaccinate members of their communities against the flu, and so much more. No matter the size of the disaster or the magnitude of the crisis, it is the first responders and the local volunteers that understand the needs, know the lay of the land, and are there from the first call to the end of recovery. They are the ones there between the disasters, caring for their neighbors, and providing the on-going - and sometimes unrecognized - support that is needed to keep the towns, cities, and counties in good health.

Through the efforts made every day to improve the lives of those around them, people in the MRC and other volunteer organizations are reducing risk and increasing the capability and capacity of a community to bounce back from tragedy. As we look to the future, we take from the success of the past, as well as the shortfalls, to build our skillsets, strengthen our capabilities, identify our needs, train to better respond, and create communities of health and resilience.

When you now think of how and where you can give, consider volunteering. In fact, those who give find themselves happier and healthier. So you might just find yourself the recipient of more joy in 2015 when you make the time to give. The best part is that anyone can volunteer. There is a role and a place for every person that wishes to share of themselves. It is important to remember during this busy and often overwhelming time of year that giving is not always monetary and that often, the greatest presents are from the heart and handmade. With that said, I ask you, what better gift could you give than your time and expertise as a volunteer? 




I was impressed about the impact of giving your time or expertise donations and contribution.However, the article had failed to give a directives about giving our times, for instance a list of organizations or network that can guide you or make the mission worthwhile.
12/28/2015 4:49:27 PM

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