"Volunteering at the shop has introduced me to a lot of ideas and people that I wouldn't have met otherwise," Philip says. "That's been really crucial in who I am now. It sounds a bit melodramatic, but the people at Red Cross have really changed me quite a bit, they've given me guidance and have shown me what's out there. It's great!"
Thomas agrees that volunteering at the store has broadened his networks. "The friendships I've made there have been of great benefit to me. I've had so much fun at the store and I've met different people that I wouldn't normally talk to."
Connecting to the global Movement
Thomas and Philip also appreciate being part of the international Red Cross Movement, particularly as they can relate their law and international studies to the work of Red Cross.
"I believe in what Red Cross does, like the impartiality when it goes into conflict zones," says Thomas.
"I have an interest in war crimes and I studied International Humanitarian Law. I looked at what the International Committee of the Red Cross has done and I believe they play a critical role internationally."
Philip has found his knowledge of Red Cross has helped him better understand his tertiary studies.
"Red Cross just seems to cover all of your bases, both internationally and domestically. You've got aid work overseas, but you also have domestic projects like working with families or addressing issues for migrants."
"This semester I've had really good subjects on politics and international law. I always seem to come back to Red Cross in both of them. It gives me a little bit more of a contextual understanding of the issues because I'm aware of what Red Cross does on the ground."
Thomas and Philip feel connected to the international work of the Movement and know that they can support it locally through their volunteer work at the store. In addition they've made new friendships and feel in touch with their community.