As the time for making New Year’s resolutions grows closer, the American Red Cross asks you resolve to make a difference and support your community by becoming a volunteer in 2024.
“We’re seeing both the frequency and intensity of disasters increase across the country and the Red Cross is responding to nearly twice as many large disasters as we did a decade ago to help people. This uptick in responses means we need more volunteers. The need to help has never been greater,” said Mark Thomas, Interim CEO of the Illinois Red Cross.
Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to sign up for opportunities with the Red Cross. You can help people here in your community or you can sign up to support disaster victims in other parts of the country.
HOW TO HELP Locally, more than 4,000 people volunteer with the Red Cross. In the last year, they responded to more than 1,800 disasters. Our local volunteers are part of the almost 275,000 volunteers across the country whose support enables the Red Cross to provide relief and comfort for disaster victims, lifesaving blood products for patients, emergency support for military families and veterans, and much more. Please resolve to help by volunteering in 2024.
DISASTER VOLUNTEERS ─ Some of our most needed disaster-related volunteer roles include:
- 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.
- Disaster Recovery Care: Casework volunteers provide support to people after disasters to help them get back on their feet. This can include providing referrals to other organizations, serving as an advocate, and issuing financial assistance through a special online system. Volunteers are needed to help both virtually and onsite after disasters.
- Disaster Mental Health: Disaster Mental Health volunteers provide mental health support to those impacted by a disaster. To be qualified, you must hold a master’s degree and a current, unencumbered license as a social worker, psychologist, professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, psychiatrist, school psychologist or school counselor. Current psychiatric nurses with state license as a registered nurse and at least two years’ experience in a psychiatric setting are also qualified, as are retired mental health professionals who were licensed and maintained a license or certification in good standing upon retirement.
BIOMEDICAL SERVICES ─ The Red Cross helps to supply about 40% of the nation’s blood, and we depend on volunteers to help ensure patients have access to this lifesaving gift.
- Blood Donor Ambassador: Volunteer Blood Donor Ambassadors ensure that blood donors have a pleasant and fulfilling experience, from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave. They greet donors, answer questions and thank them for their donation.
- 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 of 2-4 shifts per month (or more if you can).
HOME FIRE RESPONSE Over the past week, local Red Cross volunteers responded to help 13 people, including two children, in Brimfield, Peoria, and Champaign affected by four home fires, which account for most of the more than 60,000 disasters that the Red Cross responds to annually across the country. Red Cross volunteers provided items to meet immediate needs after a fire and additional support in the form of shelter, health and mental health services and one-on-one support.
Our volunteers are at the heart of our mission and represent 90% of the Red Cross workforce. Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to sign up for opportunities with the Red Cross. Your time and talent can make a real difference in people's lives.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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