The American Red Cross South Carolina Region issues a heartfelt call for volunteers, urging individuals to make a resolution to make a difference and support their community by becoming volunteers in 2024. With the increasing frequency and intensity of disasters due to extreme weather, the Red Cross emphasizes the critical need for more volunteers to respond to the growing number of large disasters.
Rod Tolbert, CEO of the American Red Cross South Carolina Region, states, “Across the country, the Red Cross is responding to nearly twice as many large disasters as we did a decade ago to help people. This uptick in responses means we need more volunteers. The need to help has never been greater.”
Currently, South Carolina boasts 1,741 dedicated Red Cross volunteers who, in the last year alone, responded to nearly 1,700 disasters and assisted 5,108 South Carolinians in need. Local volunteers contribute to the nationwide force of almost 275,000 volunteers, enabling the Red Cross to provide essential relief and support for disaster victims, lifesaving blood products for patients, emergency support for military families and veterans, and more.
To address the urgent demand for volunteers, the Red Cross highlights specific roles where support is needed:
Disaster Action Team: Volunteers comfort and support individuals affected by smaller disasters, such as home fires. Immediate assistance, including food, shelter, clothing, or supplies, is provided, connecting affected individuals to long-term recovery services.
Disaster Recovery Care: Casework volunteers aid disaster-affected individuals by providing referrals to other organizations, serving as advocates, and issuing financial assistance through a specialized online system. Volunteers are needed for both virtual and onsite support.
Disaster Mental Health: Qualified volunteers with a master’s degree and a current, unencumbered license in relevant fields provide mental health support to those impacted by disasters.
Biomedical Services: Volunteers play a crucial role in supplying approximately 40 percent of the nation’s blood. Blood Donor Ambassadors ensure a positive donation experience, while Blood Transportation Specialists deliver life-saving blood products to hospitals.
Volunteers constitute 90 percent of the Red Cross workforce, and their contributions are vital in making a tangible difference in people’s lives. Those interested in volunteering can sign up for opportunities with the Red Cross of South Carolina at redcross.org/volunteertoday.
Your time and talent can be a lifeline for those in need. Join the Red Cross in its mission to make a positive impact on communities and individuals facing challenging circumstances.