By Tony Jones
Ninety percent of American Red Cross work is performed by volunteers. They work to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. The Red Cross offers several volunteer opportunities for community members to serve and help people in need.
Brenda Schneider lives in Maryland and volunteers as a Blood Donor Ambassador. She’s done so since the summer of 2021 after finding the opportunity online.
“I like it because I can see a lot of people, spend time with the Red Cross employees and volunteers,” said Brenda.
Blood Donor Ambassadors are the friendly faces blood donors first see after arriving at a Red Cross donation center or blood drive location. They serve as the interface between donors and the collections team, as well as offering a sense of comfort at the start of the donation process.
“I think that it helps make people comfortable because blood donation can be a little scary,” said Brenda. “So, a lot of people like to see someone they recognize and put them at ease.”
In addition to the selfless individuals giving their time at Red Cross blood drives, volunteers throughout the National Capital & Greater Chesapeake region are among nearly 300,000 people nationwide whose support enables the Red Cross to respond to an average of more than 60,000 disasters every year.
Brenda says being a Blood Donor Ambassador is easy and she enjoys the flexibility it offers.
“The position offers me the flexibility to volunteer whenever I’m available,” said Brenda. “I can schedule ahead of time and commit to a specific time which works best for me since I have a job.”
Brenda serves as a Blood Donor Ambassador twice a month in four Maryland counties while also serving as a Disaster Action Team Member.
“The Red Cross is amazing with not only the blood drives, but they also help people in emergencies, tragedies and all kinds of natural disasters. So, I do a little bit of work with that as well.”
The Red Cross is actively recruiting Blood Donor Ambassadors, Transportation Specialists and Disaster Action Team Members. Brenda says volunteering offers a great opportunity to serve her local community.
“I would strongly recommend volunteering. There’s lots of online training where you can learn all kinds of different things and there’s so much flexibility regarding when you can put in your time.”
#ResolvetovVolunteer and make a difference by helping your community in 2022. Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to learn more and get started.