Ninety percent of those working for the American Red Cross are volunteers. It’s an astounding figure! The Red Cross would not exist without them. We thank them for the tens of thousands of hours of skilled service they provide.
Following are just a few of the ways these dedicated, generous men, women and youth use their talents as Red Cross volunteers.
Disaster Services – These are the people wearing the Red Cross vest that you see on the news at fire scenes and floods. They offer a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear to survivors of disasters large and small. And they meet material needs: a bottle of water, a meal, a place to stay. They share shifts that cover 24 hours/day, 365 days /year. Some, like Steve Knorr, provide case management services, guiding people through the next steps to their new normal.
Preparedness – What can you do to make sure you don’t lose your home to a fire? Volunteers like Mory Fuhrmann install smoke alarms and teach fire safety. They help households develop escape plans and prepare emergency kits. Their goal is to help you avoid disasters and to stay safe if you do experience one.
Services to the Armed Forces – How does a military member get word that he’s a new dad, or that her grandfather is dying and wants to see her? Who guides military families being separated by deployment, or adjusting to life when a service member returns home? Red Cross volunteers, again, are in the forefront. These volunteers, like Bryan Kennard verify a family’s communication, then get the emergency message to the appropriate commanding officers. They offer pre- and post-deployment presentations, and also serve at VA hospitals in non-medical roles.
Health and Safety – You’ve probably met Red Cross Health and Safety volunteers if you’ve taken CPR or first aid training with the Red Cross. Maybe they taught you or children in your family to swim. Some, like Faye Thompson, offer first aid at large events such as Ohio State football games. These volunteers don’t make the news feeds, but, directly and indirectly, they save lives.
What about you? If you have a talent to share or an interest you want to develop, the Red Cross will find a way for you to do that while you provide a vital – even life-saving – service in your community. Visit redcross.org/volunteer to find out more.