All Posts Tagged: volunteer

Why is the Red Cross So Important?

Some of you may be wondering at the importance of the American Red Cross to society, and still others may not even give it a second thought. You know what it is, you see the red cross symbol here and there, but as far as actually knowing the importance of it, many of us don’t have a clue. Unless you have been involved in a disaster, whether it be a tornado, hurricane, flood, or even a fire, you won’t know what this great organization is actually capable of accomplishing! In fact, there are a lot of people who think that the Red Cross only collects donated blood. Far from it!

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Red Cross is Always There

Who do you think steps in when a hurricane destroys an entire town, or sets up shelters for the people who have lost their homes? Who makes sure they have medical care, food, and clothing after all is lost? It’s the dedicated volunteers of the Red Cross, giving their all in an effort to help the unfortunate people who have been affected. Volunteers descend on disaster areas by the hundreds to lend a helping hand, and they belong to one of the greatest organizations in America! In fact, you may have wanted to volunteer at rescue sites but have no idea where to go to sign up.

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Red Cross Chapters

A Red Cross chapter is more than likely located right in your home town, and you can go there to join, or at least find out how you can help in other ways. Did you know that? Well, you know it now. I have been so impressed at what the Red Cross of America has been able to do anytime they are called in to assist. Seeing these people in action is like something out of a movie! They are quick, organized, and extremely helpful no matter what they are doing. Doctors, nurses, and civilians all have a role to play, but it’s not unheard of for a surgeon to be emptying bedpans, a nurse to be offering emotional support, clergy doing everything from holding a hand to running for supplies, and civilian volunteers doing any and everything they can to help.

I remember watching “Mash” when I was younger, and admiring the camaraderie among the people of the unit. This is what the volunteers of the Red Cross remind me of. All pulling together for one cause. I think that anyone who gives freely of their time and energy like this will be met at the door to heaven and welcomed with open arms! They deserve it, don’t you think? No matter what capacity you choose to serve in, or how much or how little time you can offer, every minute is so appreciated, especially by the folks you are helping. Don’t think for a minute that no one notices what you do! You are a hero to these people who have been struck down by catastrophe, even if you don’t like to think you are.

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Consider Volunteering

Think about volunteering for the Red Cross chapter in your town. You are not going to believe the feeling of deep, inner satisfaction you are going to have once you do. Help those in need if you can, in any way you can! One day you might be the one relying on these wonderful people who give up their time for such a good cause. I certainly hope you aren’t, but it’s a good feeling to know that they are there when they are called upon to help out.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

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Clara Barton and the American Red Cross

Many, many years ago, a clerk in the US Patent Office by the name of Clara Barton spent her time caring for the wounded soldiers during the American Civil War. She was also a key player in locating thousands of soldiers who were classified as “missing,” and became known to all as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her selfless and never-ending work. Once the war ended Ms. Barton had the opportunity to visit Europe and learned about a movement called the Red Cross and the Geneva Convention, a program that treated many of the wounded soldiers. It was expanded later on to include civilian war veterans and also prisoners of war.

Upon her return to America, Barton began to lobby the US government in hopes of ratifying the Geneva convention. She accomplished this goal in 1882. Before that, in 1881, Barton had founded the American Red Cross and was the leader until she retired at the age 83. Under her leadership the American Red Cross was significantly involved in disaster relief, responding to many areas that needed assistance, particularly flood, tornado, forest fire, and hurricane stricken areas. An epidemic of yellow fever was another of the causes that the Red Cross responded to. When she retired, the American Red Cross had only a few thousand widespread members, but grew exponentially over the next few years.

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U.S. Government Alliance

By forming a relationship and alliance with the US government, and by informing potential volunteers that it was considered their “patriotic duty,” membership continued to grow rapidly.  Once World War I ended the membership had swelled to well over 32 million, 11 million of those members being comprised of children and young adults. Joining the Red Cross was considered so important to the war effort that a public official in Wisconsin was tried and convicted under the Espionage Act because he considered the members to be “nothing but a bunch of grafters,” among other things. Apparently, not everyone was enamored of the newly formed American Red Cross.

In present times, offering assistance to wartime service and disaster relief remain the prime focus of the organization. The mission of the Red Cross is to educate every man, woman, and child about health and safety procedures, and to offer support for families who have military members. Blood donation is also a top priority for the Red Cross, and they hold Blood Drives in most communities a few times each year. Volunteers are urged to donate their blood and to recruit as many donors as possible so supplies never run out. Blood is one of the most important components in any disaster relief effort, and the Red Cross is determined to have the supplies remain as high as possible at any given time.

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Volunteering for the Red Cross

Working or volunteering for the Red Cross is not without its drawbacks, and at times the Red Cross has been the target of criminal acts. Several masked men shot and killed six Red Cross aides in 1996 when they were assisting in a Chechen hospital compound. Attacks of a similar nature occurred again in the 90’s and early in 2000 in Bosnia, Somalia, Burundi, and Somalia even though international law makes it illegal to target humanitarian workers. Unfortunately, the condition of this world make it an almost impossibility to guarantee the safety of the Red Cross workers in hostile countries. You can be assured, however, that people will still line up to become members and volunteers in the American Red Cross. It is an organization that continues to reach out to disaster-stricken areas, offering support and resources whenever needed.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

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Red Cross-the Humanitarian Cause

Volunteering for an organization like the Red Cross is something you should be proud of! Not only are you doing your part to help out, but also because you are lending a hand to people who have faced tragedy and devastation in their lives. Even if you are not able to travel to the area to assist, there are several other ways you can volunteer and make a difference. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can help from afar.

Donate Blood

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Often, supplies of blood run low in areas where something tragic has occurred. When you donate the people who are injured have a chance to heal and get back on their feet. Many times, surgeries require an enormous amount of blood to be given, and this is where you come in. Local communities and the Red Cross host blood drives a few times a year, so don’t let fear stand in your way-it doesn’t hurt, and only takes a little of your time to add to the much needed blood supply.

Take Classes

The Red Cross offers classes that anyone can take that will teach life-saving techniques for many situations. CPR is something that everyone should know, so if you don’t, sign up now to learn how! Knowing CPR could help save a life. Disaster preparedness classes teach you everything you need to know to keep your family safe if a natural disaster should occur where you live. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires are just a few of the things everyone should be ready for, because you never know how or when disaster will strike.

Get Involved in Your Community

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Locate the community chapter of the Red Cross in your town, and offer to teach classes, talk to the public, or simply host a class taught by a professional. You may be an expert in lifesaving techniques and can instruct others in areas of swimming, babysitting, and more. Your knowledge is a valuable asset that can be put to good use, and your community will appreciate it.

Use Social Media

Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google to spread the word about the Red Cross efforts. Start your own blog or record a video that you can publish on YouTube regarding the Red Cross events across the country. You are going to reach hundreds of thousands of people this way, and you may be surprised at the number of concerned citizens who step up to volunteer their services.

Host a Fundraiser

There are numerous fund raising projects that can help raise money for your local Red Cross chapter. Teens can have a car wash and donate the proceeds, or you can have a “silent auction” to raise money for the cause. Ask your friends and neighbors if they would be willing to donate items that can be auctioned. Businesses are also very willing to donate new items to your event. All you have to do is ask. Bake sales, book sales, and just about anything you can imagine can raise public awareness and money that will be donated back to the Red Cross.

As you can see, there are so many ways you can raise funds to assist this organization in their continuing efforts to help people in need.  The Red Cross depends on the volunteers to make a difference. Incidentally, did you know that the workforce of the Red Cross is 90% volunteers? Join the others who are helping to make a difference in the lives of those who have been hard hit by tragedy. Sometimes just lending a helping hand makes all the difference in the world.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

Read More

Red Cross Emergency Response Teams

Have you ever wanted to do something good for your community but just didn’t know what or where to begin? How about getting the training you need to become a member of the Red Cross emergency response team? Believe me when I say you won’t be the first to do so. Doctors, nurses, technicians, and many more professional people already belong, but many, many more people are needed-not just professionals! Regular, everyday citizens just like you and me. Our services are needed in every community, be it a small town, large city, or something in between.

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Once you become a member of the Red Cross Emergency Response Unit you will learn the seven principles that are fundamental to the Red Cross movement worldwide:

  • Humanity

  • Neutrality

  • Unity

  • Voluntary

  • Independence

  • Impartiality

  • Universality

You will need to contact the Red Cross chapter to find out what you need to do to become a member of this elite team, and what classes and training you are going to need. It won’t be an easy task, but once you are done and go out on that first call it will be the most fulfilling moment of your life. You will be helping to save lives, and what better “job” is there? Yes, this is a volunteer opportunity, and you will have to commit time and effort, but it is such a worthwhile cause.

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You and your fellow team members will come together as one unit to offer assistance and aid to people who have fallen victim to natural disasters, conflict of war, and general total devastation of the area they live in. Remember Hurricane Katrina? It was through the efforts of the Red Cross volunteers that these people received the medical care, food, shelter and clothing they so desperately needed at this terrible time. Without these volunteers, total chaos would have reigned for so much longer than it actually did.

You may find yourself carrying supplies to and fro, transporting the sick, injured, or the elderly, administering first aid, or maybe even emptying bedpans. No job should be beneath you when you volunteer. You may be assigned the task of getting people to shelters, or even setting up temporary ones. Maybe you will find yourself cleaning up debris, clearing away rubble, or helping people try to locate other family members, friends, or even their pets. No matter what task you perform, it is valued beyond belief!

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Volunteering is a Life Sacrifice

Volunteers who are part of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) must be willing to sacrifice a large part of their lives if they are called to a disaster area. They are never sure when they will be able to go home or speak to their families simply because they are desperately needed at the scene of the tragedy. This is what you are agreeing to once you sign up. If you can’t commit the time and effort to devote to this unit, then offer your services in another area of the Red Cross. They are always looking for volunteers for so many different projects they have going. The point is-do something! Any little thing you do means a lot more than you may think.

People rely on the helping hands of the Red Cross volunteers in times of need, and this organization never disappoints. Always there to help people try to get back on their feet, put their lives back together, offering kindness and understanding as well as medical care, food, shelter and essentials. These people genuinely care, and by volunteering in any aspect, you show that you care, too.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

Read More

Red Cross Volunteer Jobs

You may want to know what kinds of jobs are available on a volunteer basis with the Red Cross, so I have put together a list of what I could find. Hopefully, this list may have something that you are interested in if you have been thinking about volunteering some of your time. Check it out to see the typical jobs available, because the Red Cross is always looking for people who have varied backgrounds in different areas.

Board Members

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By becoming a board member, you will become a spokesperson for the Red Cross in your local community. You will also be able to assist with fund raising efforts and various marketing programs.

6271: Red Cross volunteers Kelli Corkins and Charles Richardson deliver snacks and provide comfort to the children at Grove Park Apartments where Tropical Storm Hanna caused flooding and power outages. The aftermath of the storm prevented the children from using their playground area which was immersed in flood water. Additional info: Tropical Storm Hanna Flooding at Grove Park Apartments 2609 Mcneill St Raleigh, North Carolina (NC) 27608 Kelli Corkins – American Red Cross volunteer Charles Richardson – American Red Cross volunteer he Red Cross visited Grove Park Apartment complex in Raleigh, NC, where Tropical Storm Hanna caused substantial flooding. Going door to door, Red Cross volunteers conducted damage assessments by asking residents if their homes were damaged by flooding or power outages. Many of the residents did not sustain damage to their homes but the surrounding property, including the parking lot, playground and air-conditioning units, were submerged in murky water with swarms of mosquitoes. While conducting damage assessments, Red Cross volunteers handed out snacks and provided comfort to the younger Grove Park Apartment residents who gathered outside. The aftermath of Tropical Storm Hanna prevented them from using their playground area which was immersed in flood water. “Red Cross volunteers Kelli Corkins and Charles Richardson deliver snacks to the children at Grove Park Apartments.”

Volunteer Management

This job would require you to assist in recruiting new members and help place them in areas where they are most needed.

Hospital Volunteer

Hospital volunteers assist patients at military hospitals, and also lend a hand at the local Veterans Administration service.

Babysitting Course Instructor

Become certified to teach the Red Cross Babysitting course to teens in your area.

Disaster Preparedness Instructor/Presenter

You will be able to instruct families and groups how to prepare for a potential disaster before it happens

Philippine Red Cross volunteers take to the streets to clean up after the Manila floods. From emergency relief to the post-flood clean-up, Philippine Red Cross volunteers where involved. Photo: Joe Cropp/IFRC

Disaster Services Volunteer

Once you are trained, you will assist other volunteers in providing food, shelter and other resources to families who have been affected by a disaster. Scenarios might include a fire, flood, hurricane or tornado.

Disaster Action Team Member

Volunteers who are a member of this team are ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice when there is any disaster.

Health/Safety Instructor

If you are certified, you can instruct groups of people on how to perform CPR, First Aid, and swimming and water safety.

American Red Cross volunteer Pam Rogers with Victoria Key, 5, at the Red Cross Shelter at Belk Activity Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

First Aid Team Volunteer

The team sponsors events throughout the year to bring awareness to the community concerning the Red Cross and the need for volunteers.

School Clubs

Both students and teachers from grade school through college participate in Red Cross programs and have clubs within the schools that belong to the society.

Red Cross Ready

This is a short 10-minute quiz that enables you and your own family to prepare a disaster plan of your own should the time ever come when you would need it.

Blood Drive Coordinator

You will be the person who greets blood donors when they come in to donate and helps them to register.

Blood Donor Recruiter

You will work with businesses, companies, and individuals to promote upcoming blood drives and sign up donors.

Staff Supporter

There are dozens of tasks that need to be done in this area. You may be asked to stock shelves, check existing inventories, run errands or make deliveries.

Public Speaker

As a public speaker you would set up presentations in and around the community to educate the public about the Red Cross mission and its many services.

Clerical Volunteer

Your duties would be to assist the administrative members with filing, typing, and other office-related tasks.

As you can clearly see from this list there are numerous ways you can assist your local chapter of the American Red Cross if you want volunteer some of your time and knowledge. As I stated, this is only a partial list of volunteer opportunities, and there are many more ways you can give back by becoming a member of the Red Cross Society. It’s a chance to help your local communities, and gain a personal satisfaction by knowing you are assisting those in need. Go! Volunteer!

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

Read More