Red Cross Volunteers Needed

Last year, the Red Cross responded to more than 300 disasters in Nebraska, most of which were home fires. Red Cross Disaster Action Teams (DAT) are the first line of care, comfort and compassion for those affected by a local disaster. As demand for Red Cross services increase, additional volunteers are needed.

“We strive to respond consistently in a timely and meaningful way, making services available to everyone who needs assistance,” said Rachelle Lipker, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Central and Western Nebraska. “To do that, it is essential that we grow our base of volunteers.”

The Red Cross is offering a “bootcamp” in Grand Island on Saturday, January 29 at the American Red Cross at 404 E. 3rd Street. The bootcamp is a special disaster training session in which prospective volunteers will complete all of the necessary trainings to become a DAT member. To register for the bootcamp, contact Marion McDermott at Marion.McDermott@redcross.org.

No previous experience is required. Volunteers will be trained to respond to a scene of a disaster and properly assist those affected.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities and to register as a volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteer.

DAT members distribute relief supplies, provide client assistance for temporary lodging and other disaster-caused needs, and offer some health services, mental health services and spiritual care. While the lodging, food and supplies are welcomed, many times it is the comfort and emotional support that DAT members provide that makes the most difference.

“Volunteers carry out 90 percent of the service provided by the American Red Cross, so it goes without saying without volunteers, we couldn’t do what we do,” Lipker said. “DAT members are there in the immediate hours after a home fire or other disaster to provide compassionate care and comfort. They are an important part of our mission.”

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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