Central/Western MA Marks Red Cross Month by Recognizing Volunteers

Mak a difference. Volunteer.
Volunteers are essential to the Red Cross and to our ability to be there in times of disaster and help in other ways in our community,

Chapter seeks more volunteers as it launches easy-to-use online Volunteer Connection system

March 22, 2013 – With March designated as Red Cross Month, chapters in Central and Western MA are recognizing and honoring Red Cross supporters and volunteers as the everyday heroes vital to the organization. The Red Cross also is encouraging people across the area to join the Red Cross by volunteering, making a financial contribution or donating blood.

“Volunteers are essential to the Red Cross and to our ability to be there in times of disaster and help in other ways in our community,” said Dawn Leaks, Regional Director of Communications. “The Red Cross is always seeking volunteers with a diverse range of backgrounds, ages, talents and skills, and our goal is for the Red Cross to be the premier place for volunteers to work.”

The Red Cross is launching a new online volunteer system across the country that is easy to use and better allows new volunteers to match their skills and interests to needs across the organization.

“Our new Volunteer Connection system will be a great benefit for the Red Cross, a great tool for our volunteers and a great asset to our service in communities,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “We believe Volunteer Connection will improve our response to community needs and deliver services of the Red Cross mission by better engaging one of our greatest assets — the talents, time and dedication of our volunteers.”

Volunteer Connection, which is being used in chapters and other parts of the Red Cross across the United States, was created and deployed thanks to a $3 million grant from W.W. Grainger, Inc.

“Grainger is proud to partner with the American Red Cross in its efforts around Volunteer Connection,” said Jim Ryan, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Grainger. “We both are committed to helping communities impacted by disaster, and this innovative new system further enables the Red Cross to deliver on its mission of providing essential humanitarian services to those in need.”

Grainger’s support for the volunteer management system is another example of its deep partnership and commitment to strengthen the Red Cross. In addition to its financial support for disaster relief, Grainger also is the national founding sponsor of the Ready When the Time Comes program, which recruits and trains the employees of local businesses and organizations as disaster responders. The program has trained more than 14,000 volunteers since 2001.

“It’s a natural fit for Grainger to be involved in emergency preparedness and we are dedicated to help build a stronger network of support within the business community,” said Ryan.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/cwm or join our blog at http://masslive.com/red-cross-connection or http://americanredcrossofcentralma.wordpress.com/.