This National Volunteer Week the American Red Cross salutes its volunteers and its partners, those optimists who take action, and who know their actions make a difference.
Luis Lemus, a youth volunteer with the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region, echoes the thoughts of thousands of Red Crossers when he says, “You could save one life, ten, thousands. You never really know how many people you could influence on just one day.”
We Can’t Do It Alone
Red Cross volunteers work to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. It’s a gargantuan undertaking. That’s why the Red Cross relies on the help of partners whose volunteers pitch in to help fulfill the Red Cross mission—partners like HOPE worldwide, an international charity that focuses on community service and volunteerism.
For the past five years, HOPE worldwide volunteers and Red Crossers celebrate King Day of Service together, going door-to-door, talking about fire prevention and leaving door hangers with fire safety tips. More than half-a-million households in neighborhoods that have experienced home fires have been reached with this lifesaving information.
Members of local fire departments also get involved, identifying neighborhoods prone to home fires, providing smoke alarms and joining in the door-to-door canvassing. In some cities, fire fighters can bring attention to the program in ways that no other volunteer can. “Fire department participation was key for our event,” says Tanya Milelli, director of emergency services at the Northern Nevada Chapter (Reno). “They provided an engine and firefighters who canvassed along with our volunteers.”
Partnerships across the Nation
The participation of community fire departments and HOPE worldwide during the King Day of Service is one example of the extraordinary contributions of Red Cross partners. Nearly 150 nonprofit, government agency and corporate partnerships are formalized with national Memorandum of Understanding. Countless additional partnerships at regional, state and local levels make it possible for the Red Cross to serve communities across the nation.
This National Volunteer Week, we thank each of our partners and the people affiliated with them who make it possible for the Red Cross to bring food, shelter, comfort and hope when there is an emergency. We couldn’t do it without you.