You Ask We Answer

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How do I start the process of becoming a volunteer?
To become a volunteer, start the process by searching for Volunteer Opportunities in your area. You will be directed to send in an application through Volunteer Connection. You will receive an automated email containing a link that will activate your account. Once your Volunteer Connection account is activated, please complete all of the required steps listed to become an active volunteer.

What is Volunteer Connection?
Volunteer Connection serves as the primary Volunteer Management System (VMS) for the American Red Cross. Volunteer Connection provides a robust database solution for volunteer record management as well as a dedicated volunteer member site that supports group collaboration tools, volunteer hours sign up, and much more.

How will I know I have become a Red Cross volunteer?
You will have completed all the steps listed in Volunteer Connection and assigned to a position and group.

How old must I be to volunteer with the American Red Cross?
To volunteer with disaster services, you must be at least 18 years of age. Other youth volunteer opportunities exist within our organization. Please contact your local chapter and ask to speak with the Youth Volunteer Manager.

Why do I have to complete a background check to volunteer?
Background checks have been part of the American Red Cross volunteer process for many years. After the hurricanes of 2005, mandatory background checks for employees and volunteers were instituted. Red Cross continues to affirm our accountability to the American public. The background check initiative will help us achieve a more efficient and safer work environment for our employees and volunteers.

How soon may I be deployed for a disaster relief operation within the United States?
The American Red Cross requires all volunteers to go through the necessary training before being deployed to other parts of the country. Once trained and identified as a disaster services volunteers you must have at least a 2 week (14) minimum availability and ready to travel within 24 hours of being called to deploy.

How soon may I go overseas to volunteer after a disaster?
The American Red Cross does not recruit volunteers specifically for international disaster. The best way for you to help the International Red Cross is to get involved with your local region. Your region will train you to develop the skills of local volunteers based on the needs of the community. Your involvement can help build the local community, particularly following major disasters.

Does the American Red Cross accept community service hours?
The American Red Cross accepts community service hours needed for graduation requirements. However, we cannot accept any “court-ordered community service hours.”

I have a job; what is the time commitment to volunteer?
Time commitments vary depending on the area in which you choose to volunteer. Many volunteers work regular schedules. As a volunteer, you may choose to volunteer as much or as little as you like. Or you may simply choose to be available only for major disasters.

I am a medical student/nurse, do you have any volunteer opportunities for me?
We encourage volunteers to get involved in a variety of areas. However, as a medical student or nurse, your skills would be beneficial to our Client Services in Disaster Services. Through Client Services, you would work directly with those who have lost everything to a fire, increasing your bedside manners!

I am an American Red Cross volunteer from another chapter or region. What is the process to request a transfer?
To transfer please contact your local chapter and ask to speak with a Volunteer Specialist, they will be able to help you with the process of a transfer.

I am a youth volunteer, do I need a background check?
All American Red Cross volunteers aged 18 and over are required to clear a background check.