National Volunteer Week: American Red Cross recognizes the crucial support of its volunteers

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — National Volunteer Week is April 17-23 and the American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas honors the work of its volunteers who give their time to help people in need.

Across the country, more than 300,000 Red Cross volunteers serve their communities by responding to thousands of disasters; supporting the collection of blood to help patients receive the critical care they need; aiding members of the military and their families; helping communities prepare for emergencies around the globe and much more.

Here in the Missouri Arkansas Region, nearly 2,700 volunteers helped their community during the last fiscal year (July 2020 to June 2021).

“National Volunteer Week is time to honor all of our volunteers for their constant service and support,” said Pete Wyatt, Regional Executive of the Missouri Arkansas Region. “They are true heroes who give their time day and night to help their local community.”

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During the past fiscal year, Missouri Arkansas Red Cross teams provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to more than 4,500 local families who faced emergency situations, trained over 83,000 people in lifesaving skills and provided nearly 19,000 services to military members, veterans and their families; and collected nearly 203,000 units of blood and platelets to provide patients with lifesaving blood.

TOP 3 MOST NEEDED VOLUNTEER POSITIONS: The need for volunteers has never been greater as we experience larger and more intense disasters across the country. Please consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer to help families in need. We’ll provide all of the training you need, visit redcross.org/volunteer to learn more, or call 314-516-2732 for more information on Missouri and Arkansas volunteer positions.

  1. Disaster Action Team: While big hurricanes and wildfires get the most news coverage, smaller disasters such as home fires are no less devastating to those affected. That’s why we need volunteers to help comfort and support local families in need by providing food, shelter, clothing or supplies, and connecting families to recovery assistance.
  2. Blood Donor Ambassador. These volunteers check blood donors into their appointments at blood drives, answer questions and give out post donation snacks.
  3. Blood Transportation Specialists support hospital patients by delivering blood using small Red Cross vans from Red Cross facilities (located in St. Louis, Columbia, Cape Girardeau, MO and Lenexa, KS) to local hospitals.

Another important volunteer role needed is Disaster Health Services. These volunteers use their professional skills as a licensed healthcare provider to deliver hands on care and education to shelter residents during a large disaster. Our free online training can count towards nursing continuing education units. If the need arises, volunteers are asked to commit to multiple local shifts of 4-12 hours each. For those able to travel, a commitment of at least 10-14 consecutive days, working 8- or 12-hour shifts is required. Qualified licenses include RN, LPN, LVN, EMT, Paramedic, MD, DO, PA, NP, APRN. Only RNs have full scope of practice.

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 follow us on Twitter at @RedCross.