Article Written By: Sophia Ege, Communications Volunteer
Every year, The American Red Cross responds to an average of 64,000 disasters, ranging from home fires to floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and much more.
“At the Red Cross, it’s all about what we can do to help,” says Kris Rahe, Disaster Program Manager for the Charlotte Metro Chapter of the Red Cross. Early on the job, Kris responded to a multi-family fire on Albemarle Road that displaced 15 families. He saw volunteers come together to provide food, shelter, and emotional support, and work with community partners to support families seeking long-term recovery.
Volunteers, who make up 90% of the organization, show up in a number of ways—they make phone calls, console families, and teach safety training. Some donate or transport blood, work with veterans, or volunteer in hospitals. Since the American Red Cross was established in 1881, it has proved itself as a model for serving humanity.
You Can Make a Difference
When you volunteer with the American Red Cross, you join a network of close to 500,000 individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels. Volunteers can contribute both virtually or in person. Some of the most in-demand positions include:
- Disaster Action Team Members (DAT)
- Communications and Public Affairs
- Blood Donor Services
- Volunteer Outreach
- Hospital Volunteers
- Armed Forces Caseworkers
- And More
Volunteers in public affairs may learn how to interview volunteers and families we serve, photograph events, and write stories about our work in the community. Disaster Action Team volunteers prepare for and respond to disasters, and learn leadership, coordination, and logistics. Many volunteers learn CPR and safety training—but they can also learn anything from babysitting techniques to planning how to escape a fire with their families.
When it comes to deciding how you’d like to participate as a volunteer, Kris Rahe likes to ask, “What would you like to do for a living?” If you’re passionate about learning or developing skills to serve others, the American Red Cross can help you find out the best way to serve.
Take this short quiz to find out what volunteer position is right for you!
How to Get Started with The American Red Cross
“At the Red Cross, even if you have an hour a month, we’ll take it,” says Heather Butler, an intern at the American Red Cross, and a public health student at Eastern Carolina University. She likes to think of it this way: “In the time it takes for the average person to grab a cup of coffee, they could have installed a smoke detector for a family and potentially saved lives.”
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with the American Red Cross, get started by visiting www.redcross.org/volunteer, where you can apply to volunteer, browse volunteer positions, or make a donation. Apply today to get the conversation started!