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The American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region held a Training Institute on the campus of Indiana University of Pennsylvania from Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, 2019. Nearly 200 Red Cross volunteers from across fifty Pennsylvania counties participated in the event that was designed to prepare participants to provide comfort and hope to the people served by the Red Cross not only here in Pennsylvania, but throughout the country when the need arises.
“The goal of this annual Training Institute has always been to strengthen our disaster response systems and capacity, engage and empower additional dedicated volunteers, and build community resilience through disaster preparedness outreach,” noted Dan Tobin, American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region Director of Marketing and Communications. “By using this Training Institute to train volunteers in these critical disaster relief skills, we are building more resilient communities that are better equipped to respond should a large-scale disaster or emergency situation strike our area.”
Courses in sheltering, mass care, feeding, and volunteer leadership were held, as were other courses designed to prepare participants to deploy to other areas of the country when needed following national disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Other courses held will focused on disaster health and mental health, spiritual care, and mass casualty response. Our Service to the Armed Forces program provided a special set of courses for volunteers who work with our military families and veterans.
“The Red Cross relies on volunteers to deliver our services and render assistance,” Tobin stated. “A well-trained corps enables us to not only handle local situations such as home fires and floods, but also allows us to help our neighbors across the country during times of national disasters. I guarantee you, if you volunteer with the Red Cross, you will get so much more out of the experience than you can possibly give. It’s very rewarding.”
There are many volunteer roles people can hold, from frontline disaster relief positions, to public affairs, blood drive ambassadors, and various office-related positions. Interested individuals should visit redcross.org/volunteer to see a list of current opportunities in their community.