During National Volunteer Week, April 12 through 18, and the American Red Cross honors the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who help the organization assist people in need.
More than 340,000 volunteers, including more than 2,000 in Minnesota, serve the organization, helping staff blood drives, volunteering at Veteran’s Hospitals, teaching people lifesaving skills like First Aid and CPR, responding to house fires in the middle of the night and so much more.
“Our Red Cross volunteers are an essential part of our team,” said Phil Hansen, CEO for the American Red Cross Minnesota Region. “Their efforts help save lives every day and offer hope to people in their darkest hours. We are grateful for their support and partnership and recognize their extraordinary service during National Volunteer Week.”
Since January 1, 2015, Minnesota Red Cross volunteers contributed more than 35,000 hours*, valued at more than $800,000, to help neighbors in need.
Volunteers in Minnesota enable the Red Cross to respond to more than 600 disasters every year. They help train more than 80,000 people in lifesaving skills; help provide thousands of services to military members, veterans and their families; and reconnect families separated by war or disaster around the world. In addition, roughly 140,000 volunteer blood and platelet donors in Minnesota give the gift of life each year.
The Red Cross invites the public to be a part of its lifesaving work and sign up to volunteer and donate blood. Go to redcross.org/mn to learn more. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
The Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign offers another way to volunteer and help reduce the number of home fire injuries and deaths in the area. Volunteers are going door-to-door in neighborhoods at high risk for fires to install smoke alarms and teach people about home fire safety.
People who might want to volunteer during a disaster should download the Team Red Cross app. This free app allows people to sign up to help, get an overview on basic tasks and receive notifications about local Red Cross volunteer opportunities.
*Includes worked and on-call hours for humanitarian services, not blood services.