The American Red Cross is currently accepting applications for volunteers in the Itawamba County area throughout all lines of service.
Since its establishment in May of 1881, the American Red Cross has been dedicated to providing help to those in need through a network of volunteers, donors and partners. The most efficient way to do that is through local community volunteers.
“As of right now, volunteers are having to come in from other areas,” explained American Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Gail Thompson. “In widespread disaster situations, volunteers can’t be spared. That’s why it’s important to have people in place in each community.”
Thompson explained that the Red Cross has five lines of service: lifesaving blood, disaster relief, training and certification, military families, and international services. As the timing of emergencies and disasters is unpredictable, volunteers must be willing to answer calls anytime, including weekends and late at night.
“We’re looking for people who are willing to go out at night, on the weekend, and likely in bad weather,” said Thompson. “You’ll be meeting with people who are having the worst day of their life and providing them assistance.”
Volunteers are needed in all five lines of services. Each line requires a different skill set, so no matter what strengths a person has to offer, there is a spot for them as a volunteer.
According to Thompson, in the event that a shelter needs to be opened in Itawamba County, they would need at least six people to make that happen. The shelters are located in Tupelo and have to be pulled to the location. There are logistics opportunities for those who prefer to work in warehouses and provide transportation of equipment. Coordinating staff and volunteers is an important job and one that only requires the person to have phone and internet access. There are also opportunities for working one on one with people, teaching classes for adults or with children.
Thompson and Itawamba Emergency Management Coordinator Patrick Homan agree that the only real barrier for this area would be not having a smartphone or not having enough data.
To find out more about opportunities as a volunteer for the American Red Cross in this area, contact Gail Thompson at 662-242-3399.