As the coronavirus is gaining ground in the state, the American Red Cross is seeking more volunteers.
The American Red Cross is a 90% volunteer organization. This volunteer workforce mentality has always been the building blocks of the mission for the Red Cross and won’t change during the time of COVID-19 virus, according to officials.
Hundreds of disaster services are provided annually to clients by Red Cross volunteers. More than 64% of the volunteer workforce for the American Red Cross of Tennessee is over the age of 55. With the concerns about the health and well-being of senior citizens during the pandemic, there is an added push to encourage healthy 18 to 40-year-old volunteers to step up and get involved in Disaster Services and as Virtual Caseworkers for local disasters.
“The American Red Cross is successful because of our volunteer workforce,” said Joel Sullivan, regional executive director for the Tennessee Region. “That hasn’t changed during this time of uncertainty and we have seen our volunteers serve so many during this spring with home fires and through the latest tornado response in middle Tennessee. Their efforts are critical to our mission and to the people we serve.”
There is also a need for volunteers for blood donation efforts. Several enhanced blood donation protocols have been implemented in the interest of the safety of the blood supply, recipients, other donors, staff, volunteers and general public health.
“To support this effort, we have an urgent, critical need for volunteers to support the prescreening of donors entering the blood drive or donation center,” said Flint Clouse, volunteer services officer for the Red Cross of the Tennessee Region. “This is a new volunteer opportunity, Blood Donor Screener is being rolled out immediately.”
To learn more about these volunteer opportunities, visit RedCross.org/Volunteer
“Providing blood is part of the essential infrastructure of our nation — like water, food and sanitation workers,” Sullivan said. “We must help protect the sites where that blood is collected, the people who are donating it and those collecting it.”
When considering these roles, interested parties are asked to review the risk guidance provided by the CDC and the person’s healthcare provider.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.