ST. LOUIS — As we head into spring severe weather, the American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas has an urgent need for additional volunteers who can assist virtually and in person for disaster response. Volunteers are also needed to support blood drives and transport blood to hospitals.
“We are gearing up for spring disaster response needs such as flooding and tornadoes, and we need additional volunteers who can help virtually or in person,” said Chris Harmon, Regional Disaster Officer. “Throughout the pandemic, our volunteers have continued supporting disasters locally and nationally. Some traveled to serve states hit with hurricanes, wildfires or tornadoes, while many helped with the response from their home.”
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Volunteers are also needed to help support blood drives by being a greeter and helping blood donors check in at local blood drives or to drive Red Cross vans to transport life-saving blood to local hospitals.
Blood drive greeter needs are greatest in the following areas:
Missouri- St. Charles, Greater St. Louis, Washington, Columbia/Jefferson City and Cape Girardeau
Arkansas- Boone and Baxter Counties
Drivers to transport blood in Red Cross vans are needed the most in the following areas (no special license required):
Missouri- St. Charles, Greater St. Louis, Columbia/Jefferson City and Cape Girardeau
“Interested volunteers may join a virtual informational session to learn more before signing up,” said Kobi Gillespie, Regional Volunteer Services Officer. “These are held several times a month to help individuals learn about opportunities and how the Red Cross operates.”
Volunteers make up at least 90-percent of the Red Cross workforce and hold positions at all levels throughout the organization including leadership roles. To sign up for an upcoming virtual informational session, go to www.www.redcross.org/ARCVolunteerFair.
Upcoming virtual sessions:
? Thursday, March 18, 12 p.m.
? Tuesday, March 23, 4 p.m.
? Thursday, April 1, 12 p.m.
? Tuesday, April 6, 4 p.m.
? Thursday, April 15, 12 p.m.
? Tuesday, April 20, 4 p.m.
? Thursday, April 29, 12 p.m.
Additional dates are available online.
The Missouri and Arkansas Red Cross Region deployed 32 people to help Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Kentucky with recent winter storms and flooding, including both in-person and virtual support. Ten of the 32 individuals traveled to help with the responses. The remaining volunteers assisted virtually from their home.
Red Cross teams have impacted thousands of lives in the hours after disasters struck, providing essential support to helping families through some of their most difficult days and ensuring donated blood is processed and on hospital shelves when patients need it.
HOW TO HELP You can help ensure that families don’t face emergencies alone — especially during a pandemic:
? DONATE: Support our Disaster Relief efforts at redcross.org/GivingDay. A gift of any size makes a difference to provide shelter, food, relief items, emotional support and other assistance. Your donation will be part of our annual Giving Day on March 24 to aid families in need across the country.
? VOLUNTEER: Visit redcross.org/VolunteerToday for most-needed positions and local opportunities.
? GIVE BLOOD: If you’re healthy and feeling well, make an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org. Your donation can make a lifesaving difference for a patient in need. As a thank you, those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma on March 15-26 will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
? LEARN LIFESAVING SKILLS: Take a class in skills like CPR and first aid to help in an emergency at redcross.org/redcross.org/TakeAClass. Online options include our Psychological First Aid for COVID-19 course, which covers how to manage stress and support yourself and others.
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