The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania celebrates the thousands of volunteers who dedicate themselves to serving and supporting the Red Cross mission during National Volunteer Week, April 6 – April 12. Through the power of our volunteers, we are able to live up to our mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
Over 2500 individuals in our region volunteer their time and energy to a variety of different fields; from emergency services to volunteer administration and everything in between, there is an opportunity for everyone.
Carol Barnett has volunteered at the Red Cross for 22 years, working in Emergency Services with disaster response, providing services to military, veterans and their families and answering and dispatching disaster responses from our Regional Disaster Coordination Center. She has deployed to Puerto Rico and Guam, providing services to disaster survivors. “The best part about the Red Cross is the people that you work with and all the diversity,” said Carol. “And helping people, of course, that goes without saying.”
David Yu, like Carol, has volunteered his weekdays to providing Emergency Services for those affected by disasters locally. As DAT (Disaster Action Team) responders, both respond to disasters and provide emergency assistance directly to individuals in need. David knows disasters can be extremely chaotic. “You have to go with the flow. Be flexible,” David said. In addition to his role on the DAT, David is also a lead in DST, (Disaster Services Technology) where he provides technology and communications support to volunteers.
Blood Region Support Services is a huge part of the American Red Cross and Alice has helped with numerous blood drives in the 11 years that she’s volunteered. “I just enjoy doing it,” Alice Taylor says.
Apart from disaster response and blood services, the Red Cross offers many opportunities right at headquarters. Jen Tso joined the Red Cross earlier this year and spends time at Headquarters, “I do donor acknowledgment letters, so when donors send in acknowledgement letters after checks get processed, I enter their information into the database so they get a thank you note.”
At SEPA’s one of a kind Red Cross House, Heath Morris has volunteered for about 5 years behind the front desk. “It’s a good facility,” said Heath. “It helps people in need.” Heath greets people coming into the Red Cross House weekdays, many are folks who have just suffered a disaster.
It takes all sorts of volunteers to help the Red Cross fulfill its mission every day. From Disaster responders like Carol and David to volunteers who answer the phones and greet folks at the front door like Heath, to those who help cover special events, teach life-saving courses, register blood donors at blood drives, act on the executive board or leadership councils, represent the Red Cross at community events, help military and veteran families and take the time to thank our donors…. There are many opportunities to volunteer with the Red Cross. And, we are forever grateful to all of our volunteers for helping serve the people of Southeastern Pennsylvania.