Recently, we’ve been thinking about the wide range of volunteerism in which BOLLI members engage and would like to highlight them in this venue. Are you involved in a program that you find particularly rewarding, especially one that would benefit from additional volunteers? Share your volunteer experience with us! Here’s Lydia to start us off–
THINKING ABOUT VOLUNTEERING SOME TIME AND ENERGY?
Two Suggestions from Lydia Bogar
The storm warnings came across the bottom of the TV screen before the 5:00 news. I checked the radar on my computer and went back to washing the kitchen floor.
Within minutes, my old memory stem woke up as I put the mop on the porch. Tomorrow would be the anniversary of the Springfield/Brimfield tornado. The video of that tornado as it crossed Memorial Bridge in Springfield remains as vivid today as it was then…
That old memory stem also brings back the first responders from across the state, and, most especially, the contributions made by two groups of volunteers: first, SKYWARN, severe weather spotters, all trained volunteers connected to the National Weather Service in Taunton (www.weather.gov/box/skywarn) and second, the Worcester area CISM team (www.centralmasscism.org).
My first SKYWARN training was in October of 1999 when I was a disaster services volunteer with the Worcester Chapter of the American Red Cross. It was a very interesting training–especially good for campers and boaters. Glenn Field from NWS Taunton gave us a lot of information about clouds, reading radar, and thermal convections. As a civilian, retired from the Red Cross, I have continued SKYWARN training and strongly recommend it to the BOLLI community. You can contact Rob Macedo at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule SKYWARN training for any community group with a membership of 15 or more. It is very much worth three hours of your time.
I’ve also spent 16 years training and volunteering in CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management), a peer support network for first responders. There are 15 teams in Massachusetts, covering all police, fire, and EMS personnel from North Adams to Provincetown. Our teams consist of trained peers as well as fire department, clergy, and mental health professionals. It is an amazing global system that includes volunteers who served in New York in the fall of 2001, Boston after the Marathon bombing, southern Louisiana and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, and the western part of Massachusetts after the tornado in 2006. If you are a retired mental health professional or retired member of the clergy who is interested in volunteering, please contact me at Toehead8@verizon.net, and I will refer you to the Team Leader in your residential area.
Former English teacher and health care professional Lydia Bogar provides BOLLI Matters with a wealth of material on a variety of subjects including her own regular feature “Lines from Lydia.”