This National Volunteer Week, April 6 – 12, the American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter is celebrating its volunteers and the work they do in the community to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
One thousand volunteers serve within the 20 counties of the Northeast Wisconsin and our upper Michigan border communities. 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,” said Jody Weyers, Director Volunteers and Communications. “They help us fulfill our lifesaving mission every day, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for their service.”
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 fiscal year, Red Cross volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to thousands who faced home fires, tornadoes, winter storms and other emergency situations. They trained 49,003 people in lifesaving skills and provided emergency services to families of military members serving around the globe. In addition, we presented 50,000 holiday cards to Veterans and active duty members along with supporting multiple Veteran programs.
They also helped collect 33,872 units of blood which helps support 46 Wisconsin hospitals. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day from volunteer blood donors to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
We also provided 63,893 rides in 2013 to those 60 and over or with a disability get to needed medical, nutritional or employment opportunities in the Brown County area.
People can go to: www.redcross.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application. Those interested in hosting a blood drive or scheduling an appointment to give blood can visit redcrossblood.org.