The American Red Cross offers several ways you can help people in need as we near the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 16.
The Day of Service was established to honor the legacy of Dr. King and to encourage all Americans to volunteer and improve their local communities.
HELP PATIENTS — GIVE BLOOD Record-setting winter weather has canceled hundreds of blood drives in the last few weeks, forcing more than 10,000 lifesaving units of blood and platelets to go uncollected. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
BECOME A RED CROSS VOLUNTEER The Red Cross needs help responding to disasters, engaging with blood donors at blood drives, delivering blood products from our facilities to hospitals and so much more. Below are a few positions we really need your help to fill:
- Blood Donor Ambassadors: Volunteers in this role engage with blood donors at blood drives by greeting, registering, answering questions, providing information and supporting them through the recovery process at the refreshments table.
- Transportation Specialists: There is a high need for volunteer transportation specialists who deliver blood from our facilities to local hospitals. If you have a little free time, love driving, and enjoy meeting new people, the Red Cross has a great volunteer spot waiting for you.
- Disaster Action Team Member: Our Disaster Action Team volunteers respond day and night to meet the immediate needs of their neighbors after an emergency. Support may include financial assistance for food, clothing and lodging, emotional support, replacing prescription medications and other critically needed items.
- Shelter Services: Support the day-to-day activities within an emergency shelter by helping with reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information or other areas within a shelter. Free online training will be provided.
- Disaster Health Services: These valuable volunteers use their professional skills as licensed healthcare providers to deliver hands-on care to people in shelters. There is also a need for Mental Health Services volunteers.
- Service to the Armed Forces Clinic Volunteer help enhance the morale of patients by providing direct and indirect assistance to patient care activities in military treatment clinics.
Training is free, but the hope you provide as a Red Cross volunteer is priceless. Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to get started today.