Volunteers for the American Red Cross of the National Capital Region & Greater Chesapeake do great things every day, including helping communities prepare for emergencies, providing training in lifesaving skills, assisting people affected by disasters, connecting families, or simply lending a helping hand to members of the community. Our volunteers come from a variety of cultures and from all walks of life. Many want to help after a major disaster, such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Others lend their skills or professional expertise to benefit members of their local communities. National Capital Region volunteers help us create stronger, well-prepared communities.
What is the time commitment required to volunteer?
Time commitments vary according to the area in which you choose to volunteer. Many volunteers work regular weekly or monthly shifts. Others choose to maintain their training and respond only to major disasters. Although our need for volunteers is greatest during weekdays, many evening and weekend opportunities are also available. Take a look at our volunteer opportunities to determine which ones best fit your schedule.
How do I start the process of becoming a volunteer?
The first step to becoming a Red Cross volunteer is to apply using our volunteer management system, Volunteer Connection. As part of this process, you’ll be asked to create a personal profile and view a four-part online orientation about the American Red Cross. You will also be required to submit to a background check. Once all steps have been completed you’ll be contacted by a recruiter from our Volunteer Engagement team to discuss the next steps.
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
While many of our volunteer opportunities are for those age 18+, we do have positions, both internal- and external-facing, for those ages 15-17. There are a limited number of roles for those under age 15, but we encourage you to contact us at NCGCVolunteerService@redcross.org or call your local chapter.
The Code of Conduct outlines the stand policies and principles by which all American Red Cross volunteers and employees are required to abide. The Code of Conduct is used in an effort to maintain the high standard of conduct expected and deserved by the American public and to enable the organization to continue to offer services required by those in need.
Why do I have to complete a background check to volunteer?
Background checks have been an area of focus at the American Red Cross and encouraged for many years. The Red Cross continues to reaffirm its accountability to the American public. The background check will help us achieve a more efficient and safer work environment for our employees and volunteers. Volunteers under the age of 18 are not required to complete a background check.
Can I volunteer for disaster relief operations outside of the National Capital & Greater Chesapeake Region in the United States?
Yes, although you must have experience with disaster response as a local Red Cross volunteer. Most volunteers in the National Capital & Greater Chesapeake Region choose to practice their skills and keep them current by working on their chapter's Disaster Action Team, which involves responding to the local disasters that occur every day in our community.