This year, join the Red Cross Movement. The Red Cross cannot fulfill its humanitarian mission without volunteers. In response to Superstorm Sandy, for example, the Red Cross deployed more than 15,800 trained disaster workers—about 90 percent of those workers were volunteers.
The Rewards of Volunteering
The Corporation for National and Community Service finds a significant connection between volunteering and good health. “Volunteers have greater longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease,” the Corporation reports.
Red Cross volunteer Elaine Lyerly of Belmont, North Carolina, put it this way: “The Red Cross empowers ordinary people to do extraordinary things,” the 35-year volunteer said. “And what I have learned is that the best way to FIND yourself is to LOSE yourself in service to others.”
Teen volunteer Eli Russ talks about the work he and other members of his high school Red Cross Club did when Superstorm Sandy went through their Hudson Valley town of Mamaroneck, New York. With a hurricane whirling and power out in half the residences, 26 club members found a way to get to the shelter to set up cots. “Members of the Red Cross Club wanted to help our neighbors when we were all struggling,” Russ said.
The Red Cross responds to more than 70,000 disasters every year, ranging from a home fire involving one family, to bigger events like hurricanes and tornadoes that affect entire communities. The Red Cross offers Disaster Services training to enable you to help respond to these emergencies, both in your neighborhood and across the country.
Every day, the Red Cross collects more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply. You can become a blood donor, organize a blood drive or volunteer at a blood drive in your community.
Being prepared is the first step to making sure you and your loved ones stay safe in an emergency. Be one of the millions of Americans who turn to the Red Cross to learn first aid, CPR, swimming and other health and safety skills. Or, become one of the volunteers teaching these courses.
The Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces provides a link between members of the military and their families, sending emergency messages to deployed service members. Volunteers assist patients in military and veterans’ hospitals and work through Red Cross chapters to educate military families about services available to help and support them.
Thousands of people also serve in leadership positions on Red Cross chapter boards of directors or advisory boards for Blood Services regions and military stations, and organize community galas and other fundraising events.
How to Volunteer
Want to know more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer? Contact your local Red Cross or visit the Volunteer Opportunities section of our website to learn more about ways you can help others, and yourself, through the American Red Cross.