Topeka — This National Volunteer Week, through April 12th, the American Red Cross Kansas Capital Area Chapter and Central Plains Blood Region are celebrating its volunteers and the work they do in the community to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
More than 400 volunteers serve with the Kansas Capital Area Chapter. Nationally, the Red Cross has nearly 400,000 volunteers, which represent more than 90 percent of the Red Cross workforce.
“Our volunteers respond to house fires, teach lifesaving skills, support our military members in the community and much more,” said Debra Tucker, Volunteer Coordinator, Kansas Capital Area Chapter. “They help us fulfill our lifesaving mission every day, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for their service.”
Across the organization, the Red Cross has an average of 14 volunteers for every one employee. According to the Independent Sector, the 2012 value of volunteer time is $22.14 per hour, further evidence of the tremendous value and impact volunteers hold for nonprofits such as the Red Cross.
Last year, Kansas Capital Area Chapter Red Cross volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to nearly 160 local families who faced home fires and other disaster situations. They trained more than 5,500 people in lifesaving skills and provided 460 services to military members, veterans and their families.
They also helped collect 108,345 units of blood from 99,944 donors in the Central Plains Blood Region. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day from volunteer blood donors to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
The Red Cross invites the public to sign up to volunteer and be a part of the lifesaving work it does. The Red Cross is looking for diverse volunteers of all ages and skill levels. People can go to www.redcross.org/kansascapital to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application. Those interested in hosting a blood drive or scheduling an appointment to give blood can visit redcrossblood.org.
People who might want to volunteer when a disaster strikes this community should download the Team Red Cross app. Through the free app, people can sign up to help, get an overview on basic tasks and receive notifications about local Red Cross volunteer opportunities.
The Team Red Cross App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.