Corporate Volunteer Program

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Ready When The Time Comes Corporate Volunteer Program

We learned during Katrina and Rita that while many Houstonians will volunteer their time generously in the immediate wake of disaster, our ability to quickly bring them into our system, train them and give them a meaningful assignment is quite limited. We need to recruit, pre-train and to the extent possible, pre-position groups of volunteer assets so that they can more quickly and easily go straight to work helping their neighbors.

The Need

To have thousands of Houstonians pre-registered and pre-trained as Red Cross volunteers, and deployable in groups through existing organizations, community groups and corporations.
  • Shelter Operations
  • Mass Feeding
  • Bulk Distribution
  • Damage Assessment
  • Phone Bank
  • Other Assignments as Needed

You Provide: A minimum of 15 volunteers, a leadership structure (team captain, assistant captain who maintain and update a team roster), and a willingness to invest 6 hours of group training annually on a topic of interest.

We Provide: Pre-registration in our volunteer database, on-site orientation and training at no cost, opportunities for additional training. The larger your group, the more flexibility we have in tailoring the training to the group's interests and/or providing additional breadth of training.

Deployment: If disaster looms, we contact RWTC team captains to put them on alert for possible deployment. Captains can then alert management to the possible deployment, get necessary approvals, and then poll their team membership to determine who would be able to respond if called upon.

When disaster occurs, RWTC team captains are called with requested deployments. Normally we will provide 24 hours’ notice for volunteer needs, but occasionally we may need them sooner if available.

We will have preliminary talks with team captains to make sure we understand what situations work best and work worst for each RWTC team so that, when called, the team has a high probability of being able to respond.

RWTC Volunteers are under no legal obligation at any time to respond to a deployment request. It is strictly a best-efforts commitment that is subject to your own safety, that of your family, and any prior work commitments.

Should Your Company Join? If your organization has a significant (15+, generally) number of employees who would want to volunteer in the wake of a major disaster, you should help us create a RWTC unit at your workplace or community group. Taking care of the administrative requirements and getting trained ahead of time benefits all parties. Being a RWTC Partner puts your employee-volunteers at the head of the line for deployment, with priority over all "spontaneous volunteers". It puts them at no commitment, other than the organization's and their own reasonable best efforts, to participate when called upon.

If interested, please contact Kimberly Patel, Deputy Director, Office of Volunteer Services, Houston Area Red Cross, (713) 313-5325. She can tell you more about the program and help your group organize a RWTC team.

National Founding Sponsor

W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Building on its commitment to the American Red Cross, W.W. Grainger, Inc. proudly serves as the national founding sponsor of the Ready When the Time Comes program. This partnership was the recipient of the 2011 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) Best Partnership Award.