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Give Back to Your Community with Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities

This post has been graciously sponsored by the American Red Cross

Have you ever wanted to give back to your community, but been unsure as to how to get started? I felt this way too until I visited the national headquarters of the American Red Cross last month. They make finding volunteer opportunities in your area super easy. While many know the Red Cross for there wonderful work through blood drives, there is wide variety of volunteer options; even some you can do from home. So kick your excuses to the curb and get started. You’ll be glad you did.

Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities

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The vital work of the American Red Cross is made possible by people like you who contribute their unique backgrounds, talents and skill levels. Their needs change based on current events, adding flexibility to get you involved in an area that inspires you!

Donate Blood

Did you know that someone in America needs a blood transfusion every 2 seconds? I was astounded when I heard this. The Red Cross needs 13,000 to meet the needs of about 2,500 hospitals across the country. Another mindblowing statistic is that only 3% of Americans give blood. I felt guilty for not donating the moment I read this. I’m a little scared to donate, but I’ve vowed to find a blood drive in my area next month and just DO IT! Will you join me?

  • You do not need to know your blood type to donate, but you will know it after. You’ll get a blood donor card or can have a nifty profile in the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
  • A whole blood donation appointment will take approximately one hour. In the time, it takes to complete one whole blood donation appointment, 1,800 patients in the U.S. will have needed lifesaving blood products. WOW!
  • One blood donation saves more than just one life.

Donating blood not your thing? You can still help out at blood donation centers by being a greeter, data input volunteer, or taking care of donors with juice and cookies. Visit and enter your ZIP code to find a drive near you.

Join the Home Fire Campaign

When you think of the Red Cross and their disaster recovery efforts, you probably think about massive events like hurricanes and floods. In fact, the Red Cross responds to an average of more than 62,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. So they set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25%. Do you have a plan for your family during a fire?

A Red Cross Volunteer speaks with a family about a fire safety plan. Photo credit: American Red Cross

In the spring of 2019 Red Cross volunteers and their partners installed 100,000 free smoke alarms in high risk neighborhoods nationwide. Sound the Alarm installation and fire safety events took place in more than 100 communities across the country, providing a lifesaving service in their quest to reduce death and injury from home fires.

More facts about home fires:

On average:

  • 7 people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly
  • 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day
  • Over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year

You can join your local Red Cross to install smoke alarms, educate your community about fire safety, or help others after a fire. Learn more at

Become a Disaster Action Team Volunteer

About 90% of the American Red Cross workforce is made up of volunteers. Most of these disasters are local home and apartment fires. Picture a family watching their home go up in flames not knowing what they are going to do next. These disasters may not make the news, but are just as devastating to the families affected.

If you are ready to take volunteering to the next level, becoming a Disaster Action Team volunteers could be right for you. After an initial screening and training, you can help respond to these emergencies, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. From offering a shoulder to cry on, to meeting any immediate needs for shelter or supplies, to connecting people with long term recovery services, Red Cross volunteers ensure that families don’t have to face tough times alone. Volunteers sign up for shifts that work in their schedules.

Other Disaster Volunteer Opportunities

  • Volunteer Management
    Assist with volunteer recruitment, placement, record keeping and recognition.
  • Disaster Services
    Provide food, shelter, comfort and care for families affected by major disasters such as fire, hurricanes and tornadoes.
  • Disaster Preparedness Presenter
    Educate individuals and groups on how to be prepared before a disaster occurs
  • Public Affairs
    During disasters, tell the Red Cross story to your community.

Find out about the needs in your area by searching for current volunteer opportunities.

Service to the Armed Forces

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Work with members of the military, veterans and families in military and VA health care facilities providing recreational and therapeutic services and supporting special events. Red Cross volunteer opportunies include:

  • Armed Forces Caseworker- Ensure delivery of emergency communications for members of the military and their dependents to keep these families connected during crisis
  • International Tracing Services- Assist in the international search for persons living overseas, in war-torn countries or thought to be living in your community
  • Administrative Support– Administrative and clerical support at Military bases
  • Military Briefing– Briefing various military and civilian groups throughout the island on Red Cross programs
  • Medical Professionals and Paraprofessionals– Lend a hand to patients at Veterans Administration and military hospitals (MD, LPN, PRN, Licensed PT, Pharmacists, EMT, CAN, MA, Pharmacy Tech, PT Practitioners)
  • Youth Support- Support and shadow other volunteers and professionals at Veterans Administration and military hospitals
  • Human Animal Bond Program- Volunteers bring their dogs to Tripler Army Medical Center wards, clinics and waiting areas for informal visits with patients who are recovering from physical, mental or social illness

Use Your Communication Skills

Perhaps the easiest way to volunteer for the Red Cross is from the comfort of your home. There is a new call for Digital Advocates. You can share with your friends using the social media buttons found on every page on Follow them on our social accounts to join the conversation and spread the word about the good things they do in your community. This is something I am already doing and it’s so easy. Have talents in writing or public speaking? Here’s are other ways you can help:

  • Grant Researching/Writing
    Assist the fundraising team as they research, write and execute grants.
  • Speakers
    Provide presentations about Red Cross programs in the community.
  • Public Affairs
    During disasters, tell the Red Cross story to your community.

Help Map the World

Each year, disasters around the world devastate millions of people. But many communities are missing from the maps that responders use to deliver lifesaving aid.

To help get relief into people’s hands, the American Red Cross and partner organizations have launched the Missing Maps project. Using OpenStreetMap, volunteers have put millions of people from high-risk countries on the map since 2014. I tried this at the Red Cross Headquarter. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy.

This makes a lifesaving difference for disaster workers combating deadly health crises like the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. And when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake ravaged parts of Nepal in 2015, volunteers worldwide sprang into action to map affected communities and roads to support relief efforts on the ground.

You can join a Missing Maps program near you or start one yourself. It’s a great volunteer program where kids can join in too!

Get Your Kids Involved

kids volunteering at the Red Cross

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24% of Red Cross Volunteers are 24 years and under. You can help start Red Cross Clubs from elementary school through College age. Young people can join programs like The National Youth Council and Summer Internships at the Red Cross Headquarters

But wait, there’s more…

There are truly too many volunteer opportunties to list in one post. I hope you will get involved in some way. If you are unable to give of your time, donations are always needed as well.

Please share!


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  1. Vicki Finn says:

    I had no idea the Red Cross did so many things and that there are so many ways to be involved. It makes me want to see how I can help. My mom worked with the Rotary Club and I feel like it’s so important to give back when you are able.

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  3. Lisa Rizk says:

    Come back momma is the BEST weight loss community anywhere. I read these blogs almost every day. I’m so grateful I found It helped me to lose weight easily. I hope it can help others as well!

  4. Indeed such a great initiative. I have several volunteer groups that I am into. I love that people nowadays find time to give back to people their time, effort and blessing.

  5. Lynndee says:

    Glad you’re raising awareness about this. We have not tried volunteering for the Red Cross yet, but we did donate before.

  6. Ryan Sampson says:

    Comeback Momma is literally the BEST weight loss community anywhere. I read it every day, and I’m also so grateful I found this it helped my MOM not only lose weight but keep it off, am sure it can help you to CHEERS TO BETTER HEALTH AND LIFE

  7. Rena says:

    Now that my husband and I are empty-nesters we have been wanting to volunteer for the Red Cross. I just hadn’t done it yet. This was the push I needed! I signed up to volunteer & I told them I heard about it from you!

  8. Antoine X Tucker says:

    Red Cross is an inspiration t us all, I thank them everytime I get a chance, and I’m also grateful that I found, it helped me not only with my diet but stay on it as well, I hope it helps some others!

  9. Vyjay Rao says:

    The work done by the Red Cross all over the world is legendary. There is so much that we as individuals can do by volunteering in whatever capacity possible. It is heartening to note that you are spreading awareness and disseminating information about the organization and its world.

  10. Ruth I says:

    Red Cross has done so many great things to many communities. It has been my ideal organization for so many years. Their volunteers are amazing.

  11. The thought of a house fire terrifies me and I think it’s important that the whole household has a plan that they can easily follow should it happen. It’s really nice that red cross is doing this. Awareness is the first step to safety!

  12. It’s good to know that there are many ways to help and volunteer. My son donates blood at least once a year.

  13. I wish I could donate. When I had cancer, the lymph nodes were involved, so now I am unable to donate. My husband tries to do it as often as he can.

  14. Been looking for other ways how I could give back to the community. And this is such a perfect way. Thank you for sharing this option. I might talk about it with my life partner.

  15. Pam says:

    I had no idea the Red Cross did so many different things. They seem like a great organization to get involved with.

  16. Tasheena says:

    I didn’t realize how many ways they have to get involved. Thanks for sharing this information, it’s really helpful.

  17. American Red Cross takes care of sooo many people in need. Thank you for sharing all the ways we can help get involved.

  18. I have to admit I didn’t know there was so many different ways to volunteer with the red cross! I think there is something within those job rolls for everyone.

  19. cait says:

    this post is def something i needed to read this morning- i love volunteer work and this just makes me want to get out and help!

  20. This shows there are so many ways to give back. I need to donate blood it seems like such an easy thing to do and so necessary.

  21. Alli Smith says:

    I didn’t realize there were so many ways to get involved with the red cross. My friend is very involved with the blood drives in our area. It’s a great place to volunteer.

  22. I love this. I always try to volunteer when I can. The Red Cross has done so much. We need to have a better house plan in case of a fire. Right now it’s just “get out!” but we need to explain how to do so to the kids.

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