The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is Monday, January 15, established to honor the legacy of Dr. King and to encourage all Americans to volunteer and improve their local communities. The American Red Cross offers several ways you can help people in need this holiday weekend.
HELP PATIENTS — GIVE BLOOD The Red Cross is facing an emergency blood shortage as it experiences the lowest number of people giving blood in the last 20 years. Blood and platelet donations are needed now to help alleviate the shortage and ensure lifesaving medical procedures proceed without delay.
A person needs lifesaving blood every two seconds in our country — and its availability can be the difference between life and death, however, blood is only available thanks to the generosity of those who roll up a sleeve to donate.
Don’t wait — make an appointment today to give blood or platelets to help ensure people receive the care they need. Book now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visitingRedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
BECOME A RED CROSS VOLUNTEER Are you interested in making a difference in your community? As the climate crisis continues to cause more intense disasters and a higher demand for blood products, the Red Cross urgently requires more volunteers. You can take action to support those affected by these frequent disasters, assist at blood drives, and even transport life-saving blood. Joining the Red Cross as a volunteer can make a significant difference in your community.
Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to get started and learn about some of our most-needed volunteer positions below.
Blood Donor Ambassador: Volunteer Blood Donor Ambassadors welcome donors to blood drives and provide friendly support before and after they give. This can include helping donors to register, answering their questions, assisting them at the refreshments table and thanking them for their donation. Typical shifts are about 4 hours. We ask for a commitment to 1-2 shifts per month (or more if you can).
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).
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.