“I am a sociable person – constantly engaged in various activities; in contact with people. During the first days of the pandemic, it was very difficult for me to accept the facts of social distancing, self-isolation, and lockdowns. It seemed absurd! It was stressful and hard to believe that we would live in fear of some unknown infection”.
I’ve always wanted to become a Red Cross volunteer. With the outbreak of the pandemic I felt it was time to act. I joined the Red Cross in the very first days of the pandemic.
At that time, most of the people thought about how to help themselves and their family members. I realized that in this stressful and absolutely abnormal situation I had to think about helping others in order to survive.
For me, volunteering was both – helping others and helping myself. It can be said that during the first peak period of the pandemic, I worked without breaks. My phone was always on and I was constantly online.
In the beginning I used to receive 50-60 calls on my phone day and night. There were so many callers who were stressed, scared, and had no one around to share their emotions with; they called for help, for the inclusion in social programs. My colleagues and I immediately directed them to the relevant authorities.
I remember a desperate mother calling at night, who had an infant and had no food for him. Due to the lockdown, she could not go out; and even if she could have gone out, she had no money to buy food. I redirected her to the appropriate social program, but since the process of registration would take some time, my husband and I decided to bring her the food for the baby ourselves (of course we followed all safety norms during the delivery).
My enthusiasm soon spread out to my entire family – my husband and children also joined volunteering.
They were actively involved in the process, following each of the calls and needs. It was very emotional, when my children brought out their toys and clothes to distribute to vulnerable families.
Pandemic as an opportunity
My family has been involved in volunteer work throughout and this is our way of living. My husband is a choreographer and we always donate part of the money from concerts to charity. We help orphanages and nursing homes. The pandemic has helped us make our charity work more systematic and reach more people in need.
Therefore, I believe that this difficult phase of my life turned out to be an opportunity. If it was not for the pandemic, I might not be an active member of the Red Cross Society, which I am so proud of today.