Did you know that volunteers carry out 90 percent of the humanitarian work of the Red Cross? Look no further than the Red Cross mission statement to see the value our organization places on volunteers:
The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Recently, we asked dozens of our volunteers across the region ‘why’ they do what they do. The answers varied, some familiar and some more personal, but all equally moving. After hearing their stories, we wanted to share a few of the responses that inspired us – and hopefully will inspire others as well!
While most agree they volunteer to “give back” to their communities, some added a personal touch:
- “I am the first face of hope after a tragedy”
- “The feeling that what I do is helping someone”
- “The ‘thank yous’ and hugs we receive from those we help”
- “A sense of community - being a part of something bigger than ourselves”
- “After 40 years of the military, I still have a drive inside to help”
- “The opportunity to train communities to be more resilient”
Commitment to the cause
Many volunteers have a personal connection to our mission, an experience that has led them to the Red Cross:
- “My father took ill while he was in the Armed Forces and was brought home by the Red Cross”
- “We were hit by the ‘no name’ storm in Crystal River and had 5-feet of water in our home. When I retired, I wanted to help others affected by disasters.”
- “As a military mom, my son was offered help from Red Cross when he was ‘off the grid.’ I always knew he could be reached.”
- “While living in upstate New York, I evacuated twice due to flooding. The Red Cross had a shelter in a nearby church.”
- “In New York, the Red Cross was there for two months after a storm. I said, ‘I want to do that.’”
Whatever the motivation, we are forever grateful for our volunteers and their passion to help others in need. It’s through the efforts of ordinary people that we can do extraordinary things.
Not yet a volunteer? Join us! We have volunteer opportunities to match a wide range of interests and time commitment. Visit redcross.org/volunteer or call 1-800-RED CROSS.