Recruiting at Chapters and Institutions
There are currently about 3,600 individual volunteers nationwide, who support various activities at the Japanese Red Cross Headquarters and its prefectural chapters, hospitals and social welfare facilities, and other institutions. Additionally, about 75,000 people are registered as disaster response volunteers (including groups) across the country, who cooperate with rescue and medical aid operations in time of disaster.
“Satisfaction that money cannot buy”
Volunteer Guides at JRCS Headquarters
Ms. Mikano Imai, 74,68-year-old Ms. Shigeko Kamei are Headquarters volunteer guides who give tours of the Japanese Red Cross Headquarters, for visitors, including members of the Red Cross volunteer corps. “What makes it most rewarding is to see people we guided happy with the guide, saying ‘it was clear and understandable,’ or ‘it was informative,’” both say. “We do volunteer work not only for other people, but also for ourselves. It gives us a satisfaction which money can never buy.”
They decided to become volunteer guides when the president of the Minato-ward chapter of the Red Cross volunteer corps, which they belonged to, invited them to try out the work.. Though it has been nearly 20 years since they became volunteer guides, they remain committed to the work. “I am careful not to guide merely out of ‘habit,’” says Ms. Kamei. “I always try to talk in a way which lets people learn something,” says Ms. Imai.