A new year is coming ─ a time when many of us make our New Year’s resolutions. This year, resolve to make a difference and support your community by becoming an American Red Cross volunteer.
The Red Cross has a critical need for volunteers as the climate crisis leads to more frequent and intense disasters. We need additional volunteers to help support the people affected by these deadly storms, devastating floods, raging fires and extreme heat.
The Red Cross is responding to almost twice as many large disasters as we did a decade ago. “We are seeing more disasters that are significantly larger, impacting communities at a much higher rate in today's world than even say 10, 15 or 20 years ago,” said Jennifer Pipa, vice president, Red Cross Disaster Programs. “They're larger, and they're more destructive, and that has a significant impact on our organization and how we're challenged to deliver our mission.”
HOW TO HELP About 275,000 volunteers currently support the Red Cross. Representing more than 90% of the Red Cross workforce, their support makes it possible to provide relief and comfort for disaster victims, lifesaving blood products for patients, emergency support for military families and veterans, and much more. Please resolve to help by volunteering in 2024. Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to get started and learn about our most-needed volunteer positions below.
DISASTER VOLUNTEERS ─ Some of our most needed disaster-related volunteer roles include:
Disaster Action Team: Most of the 60,000 emergencies that the Red Cross responds to each year are smaller disasters like home fires and these are no less devastating to the families affected. As a Disaster Action Team volunteer, you can help comfort and support people in your community by meeting any immediate needs such as food, shelter, clothing or supplies and connecting them to long term recovery services. We supply all the training you need.
Disaster Recovery Care: Casework volunteers provide support to people after disasters to help them get back on their feet. This can include providing referrals to other organizations, serving as an advocate, and issuing financial assistance through a special online system. Volunteers are needed to help both virtually and onsite after disasters.
Disaster Mental Health: The Disaster Mental Health Service Associate/Worker provides mental health support to those impacted by a disaster. To be qualified, you must hold a master’s degree and a current, unencumbered license as a social worker, psychologist, professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, psychiatrist, school psychologist or school counselor. Current psychiatric nurses with state license as a registered nurse and at least two years experience in a psychiatric setting are also qualified, as are retired mental health professionals who were licensed and maintained a license or certification in good standing upon retirement.
BIOMEDICAL SERVICES ─ The Red Cross helps to supply about 40% of the nation’s blood, and we depend on volunteers to help ensure patients have access to this lifesaving gift.
Blood Donor Ambassador: Volunteer Blood Donor Ambassadors ensure that blood donors have a pleasant and fulfilling experience, from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave. They greet donors, answer questions and thank them for their donation.
Blood Transportation Specialist: Volunteer Transportation Specialists deliver life-saving blood products from Red Cross distribution facilities to hospitals, using a Red Cross-owned vehicle. Typical shifts are about 4 hours. We ask for a commitment to 2-4 shifts per month (or more if you can).
Your time and talent can make a real difference in people's lives. Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday and get started on what will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.