Celebrating Our Volunteers
By Briana DeSadier, Executive Coordinator, American Red Cross Nebraska-Iowa Region
Since 1974, one week each April has been recognized as National Volunteer Week to celebrate the impact of volunteer service in our communities. This April 18-24 the American Red Cross joins countless other organizations in recognizing the contributions of volunteers. With a workforce of 90% volunteers, the Red Cross relies heavily on the time, talent, and expertise of these individuals to fulfill our lifesaving mission. Erin Sample, Regional Development Specialist, shared, “The volunteers bring their past experiences to the table. I feel like they are emboldened to be creative and like to take initiative when challenged by the projects we give them.” In a world without volunteers from each corner of the United States, would the Red Cross still be able to support military members and their families, respond to devastating hurricanes, collect lifesaving blood donations, or teach CPR and First Aid classes? Service to the Armed Forces Director, Kevin Zuroski, says no. “The ability to deliver mission programs would be extremely challenging and expensive,” he said. Disaster Program Manager, Cliff Haynes, agrees with those sentiments. “Simply put, without volunteers, the Red Cross would not exist,” he said. “Volunteers are the backbone of this organization, they are also the brains, muscle and most importantly, it’s heart.” Tammy Lee, Executive Director of the Northwest Iowa and Northeast Nebraska Chapter conveyed her appreciation by saying, “Red Cross volunteers are some of the most passionate and committed individuals I have ever worked with. They understand the mission and keep it first.” She continued to share that volunteer time is as much a connection to service and the organization’s mission as it is a social connection. In short, the American Red Cross is grateful for the time and talents our volunteers share with us. We know they could choose many other organizations to devote themselves to, however they have chosen to join us in preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies.
Zuroski closed his remarks with a message to our volunteers, “Together we are making a difference, thank you for all that you do.” Interested in becoming a volunteer? We have opportunities to fit your interest and availability. APPLY TODAY!