The week of April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week, and the American Red Cross Central New York Region and New York-Penn Blood Services Region are celebrating its volunteers and the work they do in the community to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
About 1,800 volunteers serve the Central New York Region’s 16 counties (Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Tompkins). Nationally, the Red Cross has nearly 400,000 volunteers, which represent more than 90 percent of the Red Cross workforce.
“Our volunteers respond to house fires, teach lifesaving skills, support our military members in the community and much more,” said Rosie Taravella, Chief Executive Officer of the Central New York Region. “They help us fulfill our lifesaving mission every day, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for their service.”
Across the organization, the Red Cross has an average of 14 volunteers for every one employee. According to the Independent Sector, the 2012 value of volunteer time is $22.14 per hour, further evidence of the tremendous value and impact volunteers hold for nonprofits such as the Red Cross.
Last year, Red Cross Central New York Region volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to 809 people from local families who faced home fires and other disaster situations. They trained 41,927 people in lifesaving skills, assisted with 36 international tracing cases and provided 3,792 services to military members, veterans and their families.
They also helped collect 90,486 units of blood from 45,762 donors in the Central New York Region. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day from volunteer blood donors to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
“Red Cross volunteers donate an enormous amount of time each day providing services to our community,” said Rebecca Snow, Regional Volunteer Director of the Central New York Region. “We could not possibly do what we do without them.”
The Red Cross invites the public to sign up to volunteer and be a part of the lifesaving work it does. The Red Cross is looking for diverse volunteers of all ages and skill levels. Visit www.redcross.org/cny to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application. Those interested in hosting a blood drive or scheduling an appointment to give blood can visit www.redcrossblood.org.
People who might want to volunteer when a disaster strikes this community should download the Team Red Cross app. Through the free app, people can sign up to help, get an overview on basic tasks and receive notifications about local Red Cross volunteer opportunities.
The Team Red Cross App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to www.redcross.org/mobileapps.