By Chris Chmura, American Red Cross volunteer
September 21, 2020- We are all living in a new world with daily changes, challenges and a different pace in our professional and personal lives. Everyone has been pushed to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One glaring fact is that millions of people have had their lives transformed into a daily struggle for life’s basic needs of food, shelter and, most importantly, their health. I have learned a deeper appreciation for these basic needs.
For years, I have donated blood to the American Red Cross to help others in need, feel like I was giving back and to follow my father’s lead with his years of donations. I wondered how I could increase my support by stepping into a more active role. I signed up to become a volunteer transportation specialist.
Why this role?
The Red Cross has many options for you to volunteer your time but the transportation specialist fit into my personal and professional schedule. Plus the position is fun! I enjoy going into various hospitals/labs, traveling throughout the city and working with people who are making a huge difference in millions of lives. My professional role is in the business world. So this volunteer position takes me into the dramatically different health profession. My respect has gone sky-high for the kind people who work around the clock at Red Cross labs and hospitals to process blood for people in need. I am amazed by the journey blood travels from a donor to the person who relies on it to save their life.
My position started with some online training, driver shadowing and taking the leap to take over a shift. The Red Cross has an incredible network of support to help you succeed in this volunteer role. I hope you decide to sign up for this fulfilling experience. You can meet all types of people, learn about this lifesaving organization, expand your personal growth and feel the satisfaction of helping during this historic time.
Do you have what it takes?
Are you a dependable, safe and courteous person who can help us make these important deliveries? Volunteer Transportation Specialists deliver lifesaving blood products from Red Cross distribution facilities to hospitals, using a Red Cross vehicle. We need you to commit to two to four shifts per month (or more if you can). Typical shifts are about four hours.
You’ll also need to meet these important qualifications:
- Have a valid state driver’s license and proof of insurance
- Have three years of driving experience and a clean driving record
- Ability to lift up to 45 pounds
Apply to volunteer at: redcross.org/volunteertoday.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer