Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

Red Cross Volunteer

How can I volunteer for disaster relief efforts?

The first step to becoming a Red Cross Disaster Responder is to submit a Volunteer Application. You will be required to create a profile (which takes less than 5 minutes). You will also be required to submit a background check. Upon receipt of your background check and application, you will be contacted by a recruiter to discuss next steps.

How do I start the process of becoming a volunteer?

To become a Red Cross volunteer, you will need to submit an application and create a volunteer profile (which takes less than 5 minutes). You will be contacted by a recruiter to determine the position that is the best fit. You will complete orientation, a background check, and be referred to the appropriate team to get you started on training and volunteering.

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 a Youth Volunteer Specialist.

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.

What is the time commitment required to volunteer?

Time commitments vary according to the area in which you choose to volunteer. The specifics will be discussed with you by a recruiter once your application and background check are received in Volunteer Connection, our volunteer management system.

Can I volunteer for disaster relief operations nationally?

Yes, although you must have experience with disaster response as a local Red Cross volunteer. To acquire that experience, you must register, train and serve with your local chapter. There is no better time than now to start, so complete an application today!

Can I volunteer for disaster relief operations outside of the United States?

Typically, there are very few volunteers deployed internationally and they are specially trained to manage international emergency operations. Please consider supporting our community’s local needs by volunteering with the American Red Cross of Colorado.

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 do I choose which volunteer opportunity is right for me?

Browse current open opportunities here: [link to opportunities search page]. Once you have completed the application process, a volunteer recruiter will contact you to discuss volunteer opportunities, and together you will determine the best match. Consider how much time you are available to dedicate, your skills and talents, where you are willing to volunteer and what your schedule allows.

May I volunteer from home?

Our volunteer job opportunities vary, which enables some volunteers to work from home or in the field.

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 [link to contact us page] 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. Volunteers under age 18 do not complete this step.