Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Lesson in Outreach

Red Cross Holocaust and 
War Victims Tracing Volunteer 
Donna Winkler (standing) reviews 
Red Cross documentation with 
Ana Aleksiev. 

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, many people keep to themselves while they check off their never-ending list of people to shop for. So today, we wanted to share this great example of outreach. 

Our volunteer extraordinaire, Donna Winkler, is a caseworker for our chapter's Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center. Here, she explains how outreach is not as scary and complicated as it's reputation precedes. 

Outreach, instead, is simple - reaching out, even if it's to one person.

- Donna Winkler

I had always thought that those doing 'Outreach' were doing something miraculous and mysterious.  That one had to go out into the cold world and knock on unfamiliar doors and ask for money.  Not true.   

At a recent dinner I attended, a woman approached me and told me that she wanted information about tracing her relatives who were lost during World War II. Asking for her business card, I agreed to be in touch. When I returned to the chapter office a few days later, I sent her a short note telling her of my delight in meeting her. I enclosed my contact information and the form necessary to begin the Tracing Process.