There has not been a day that has passed in my over dozen years with the Red Cross that I have not been touched, amazed and delighted by our volunteers. They are an integral part of our country’s fabric. Their dedication is felt in thousands of communities, from small towns like Latrobe, PA to large cities like Los Angeles, CA. These 500,000 committed volunteers represent 94 percent of our workforce. And that doesn’t even count the millions who voluntarily donate blood.
Our volunteers represent every facet of America, from students to retirees. They represent our Fundamental Principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.
In essence, there wouldn’t be a Red Cross without volunteers. Who would provide shelter to those who’ve lost their home to a hurricane? Who would help a family get back on their feet after their home burned to the ground? Who would help us run 150,000 blood drives a year? Who would teach thousands life-saving skills? Who would provide care and comfort to military members and their families when faced with an emergency? It’s everyday people who do that. People like you and me – helping people like you and me who have been struck by disaster – large or small.
I am thrilled with the launch of our new volunteer management system, Volunteer Connection, that will strengthen the bond with our volunteers. This system brings incredible value to our volunteers and to the Red Cross. It allows us to better match an individual’s skills and desires to Red Cross work. It gives us tools to enhance how we communicate with volunteers while providing them a mechanism to connect with each other. And better connections will lead to a better volunteer experience and even better service to our communities. Which in the end, is why we do what we do and why choose to become American Red Cross.
Volunteer Connection makes it easy to become a part of the Red Cross. You too can feel the sense of deep satisfaction our volunteers feel when they help someone in need. Go to www.redcross.org/support/volunteer to learn more and join. We need you. Your community needs you.
I want to give a special thanks to W.W. Grainger, Inc. whose generosity makes Volunteer Connection possible. They are a valued partner who recognize the power of volunteers – in fact,1,400 of their employees are Red Cross volunteers through our Ready When the Time Comes program. Grainger truly recognizes the importance of building resilient communities.