Guided by our mission, volunteers define, direct, and deliver critical services to families in need every day. Join us and use your talents to support disaster survivors, teach children and families to save lives, or assist our military members and their families in times of crisis. Through all of our programs, Red Cross volunteers help change the lives of tens of thousands local residents each year.
Volunteers carry out 90% of the humanitarian work of the Red Cross.
Learn about our highest-priority positions and how you can make a difference!
Shelter Services: Make sure families don't face tough times alone by supporting shelter efforts this disaster season. Click "Apply Now," then search for “Shelter” in the search bar to find positions.
Disaster Action Team: You can be part of a team that helps people who are forced from their homes due to fires, storms and other disasters. Click "Apply Now," then search for “DAT” or “Disaster Action Team” in the search bar to find positions.
If you are already a Red Cross volunteer, log in to Volunteer Connection to access volunteer opportunities, sign up for shifts, log hours, or access local volunteering information.
These are some of the many ways that volunteers help carry out our mission:
Emergency Services volunteers provide relief assistance to those affected by disasters. As an Emergency Services volunteer, you can be on call to support late-breaking emergencies, manage a volunteer team or lead a program in Emergency Services.
Health and Safety
Large-scale natural disasters are not the only hazards that exist. The American Red Cross also works to promote health and safety for everyone. Volunteer opportunities in administrative support and course /classroom preparation are available. To become a CPR, First Aid, or AED Instructor, volunteers must take the Lay Responder Instructor course to receive certification.
Along with the dedication of our volunteers, the Red Cross depends on donations from thousands of individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations to provide relief to those who need it most. By volunteering with the Development team, individuals can assist in maintaining positive donor relations, research prospective donors, and provide office support.
Communications and Marketing
We live in a digital world where information is just a smart phone away. Volunteers can assist the Red Cross with content creation for a variety of platforms, writing stories, taking photos or videos, and local media relations. To keep up with the ever-changing world, there is a great need for volunteers to take advantage of new technologies and utilize diverse forms of social media to captivate a larger audience.
Volunteers make up the majority of the work force of the Red Cross. Managing Volunteers is an essential part of maintaining our services to the community. Some of the tasks you can participate in include recruiting new members, volunteer data management, mentoring youth clubs, and participating in community outreach events.
Community Preparedness and Resilience
A disaster can strike at any moment. The Central Florida Region faces the possibility of home fires, wildfires, flash floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and heat emergencies among others. Our Preparedness Education program provides neighborhood groups, community agencies and businesses with disaster preparedness presentations, materials and workshops. We help increase public awareness by helping the community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.
Service to the Armed Forces
Extending from the legacy of Clara Barton, the American Red Cross continues to offer communication services to those who are serving the country and their family members back home. In addition to working with local families and emergency communication, volunteers are responsible for promoting the SAF program and creating partnerships with other non profits that support military families.
Support Services is looking for volunteers with professional skills, such as data entry, computer skills and customer service, to support the executive positions. In addition, Support Services volunteers would be responsible for maintaining the front desk, answering phones, etc. These volunteer opportunities require specialized skills, and like many American Red Cross volunteer opportunities, they are a great résumé booster.
Red Cross Clubs
Working with a school advisor and local chapters, club members participate in Red Cross service projects that impact their community and the world. They offer student members many new opportunities for self-development and the ability to choose activities that will address the community’s greatest needs. Check out what youth volunteers are achieving at www.redcrossyouth.org.
Q. How do I start the process of becoming a volunteer?
A. To become a volunteer, start the process by submitting an application through Volunteer Connection. You will receive an automated email after submitting the initial step – you must click on the link in this email to activate your account. Once your Volunteer Connection account is activated, please complete all of the required steps to become an active volunteer.
Q. How will I know I have become a Red Cross volunteer?
A. You will have completed all the steps listed in Volunteer Connection and been assigned to a position and group.
Q. What is Volunteer Connection?
A. Volunteer Connection serves as the primary Volunteer Management System (VMS) for the American Red Cross. Volunteer Connection provides a robust database solution for volunteer record management, as well as a dedicated volunteer member site that supports group collaboration tools, volunteer hours sign up, and much more.
Q. Why do I need an email to volunteer with the Red Cross?
A. In order to activate your Volunteer Connection account you must have an active email address. If you do not have an email address we encourage you to acquire one from one of the many free services providers.
Q. How old must I be to volunteer with the American Red Cross?
A. To volunteer with disaster services, you must be 18 years old. A variety of opportunities may be available for Youth Volunteers under the age of 18. Please contact your local chapter for more information.
Q. Why do I have to complete a background check to volunteer?
A. Background checks have been part of the American Red Cross volunteer process for many years. After the hurricanes of 2005, mandatory background checks for employees and volunteers were instituted. Red Cross continues to affirm our accountability to the American public. The background check initiative will help us achieve a more efficient and safer work environment for our employees and volunteers.
Q. How soon may I be deployed for a disaster relief operation within the United States?
A. The American Red Cross requires all volunteers to go through the necessary training before being deployed to other parts of the country. Once trained and identified as a disaster services volunteer, you must have at least a two week (14 day) minimum availability, and be ready to travel within 24 hours of being called to deploy.
Q. How soon may I go overseas to volunteer after a disaster?
A. The American Red Cross does not recruit volunteers specifically for international disaster. The best way for you to help the International Red Cross is to get involved with your local region. Your region will train you to develop the skills of local volunteers based on the needs of the community. Your involvement can help build the local community, particularly following major disasters.
Q. Does the American Red Cross Central Florida Region accept community service hours?
A. The American Red Cross accepts community service hours needed for graduation requirements. However, we cannot accept any “court-ordered community service hours.”
Q. I’m interested in phlebotomy. May I volunteer as a phlebotomist?
A. The American Red Cross Central Florida Region does not provide blood services.
Q. I have a job; what is the time commitment to volunteer?
A. Time commitments vary depending on the area in which you choose to volunteer. Many volunteers work regular schedules. As a volunteer, you may choose to volunteer as much or as little as you like. Or you may simply choose to be available only for major disasters.
Q. I am a medical student/nurse, do you have any volunteer opportunities for me?
A. We encourage volunteers to get involved in a variety of areas. However, as a medical student or nurse, your skills would be beneficial to our Client Services in Disaster Services. Through Client Services, you would work directly with those who have lost everything to a fire, allowing you to practice your bedside manner!
Q. May I volunteer from home?
A. Our volunteer job opportunities vary which enables some volunteers to work from home or in the field.
Q. I am an American Red Cross volunteer from another chapter or region. How may I transfer to the Central Florida Region?
A. To transfer to the Central Florida Region, please complete a volunteer transfer request here.
Q. I am a youth volunteer. Do I need a background check?
A. All American Red Cross volunteers aged 18 and over are required to clear a background check.