During National Volunteer Week April 6 - 12, the American Red Cross of Colorado celebrated its volunteers and the work they do in the community to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
“Our volunteers have rolled up their sleeves, poured out their hearts and given everything they’ve got over the past year to respond to fires and floods – all while keeping the everyday Red Cross services and programs running. That’s why celebrating National Volunteer Week is particularly important for us this year, because we want to acknowledge and thank them for giving so much,” said said Luzon Kahler, Volunteer Services Director for the American Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming.
Nearly 2,000 volunteers serve with the Red Cross in Colorado. 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,” Kahler said. “They help us fulfill our lifesaving mission every day, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for their service.”
To thank local volunteers for their service, Red Cross are making personal phone calls to each and every active volunteer. Local chapters created special “thank-you” banners that staff and members of the public can sign with messages of gratitude to Red Cross volunteers. The Mile High Chapter in Denver and the Pikes Peak Chapter in Colorado Springs are also hosting a BBQ and a Recognition breakfast for their respective volunteers in April and May.
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, Colorado Red Cross volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to 2,293 local residents who faced home fires and other disaster situations – that is in addition to the thousands of Coloradans helped during wildfires and floods. Red Cross volunteers helped to train more than 58,000 people in lifesaving skills and provided more than 7,000 services to military members, veterans and their families.
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 redcross.org/colorado and click on “volunteer” to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.
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.