By MELINDA WILLIAMS
The American Red Cross is looking for volunteers who want to make a difference in their community.
Annie Harvey, executive director of the New River Valley Chapter of American Red Cross, said people count on the Red Cross to be there to help in times of crisis. She said it is the organization’s volunteers “that enable us to deliver our mission of providing hope and help.”
Harvey said Red Cross volunteers serve in a variety of capacities from providing comfort to a family that has lost their home to fire and teaching first aid, CPR and other lifesaving skills, to supporting blood drives, helping veterans, military stationed overseas and their families or assisting with recovery from natural disasters.
“Right now, the Red Cross especially needs people who are willing to respond to disasters,” said Harvey. Each year, Red Cross volunteers bring food, shelter, comfort and hope to families faced with rebuilding after disasters. “They assist families with immediate needs after a disaster and help guide them on their road to recovery,” she added.
Red Cross Disaster Action Team (D.A.T.) members respond to local disasters, such as house fires, flooding and snow storms. Some also volunteer during national disasters like Superstorm Sandy.
Harvey said most Red Cross Disaster Service volunteers are retirees searching for a rewarding experience that will make a difference in their communities, but some are married couples searching for opportunities to enjoy a volunteer service together.
“People don’t have to have any special skills, only the desire to help others. It’s a simple process to become a volunteer and the Red Cross provides all of the training,” she said.
Those interested in volunteering can go to www.RedCross.org and type in their zip code to reach the local Red Cross office and find out more information about becoming a Red Cross volunteer.