Red Cross seeking more volunteers after several disasters strike

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Northeast Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross is asking for more volunteers to the join the ranks of the organization.

“The call to action now is more pressing than ever. We’re coming off the backs of COVID-19 obviously. But then we have Hurricane Laura, followed by the wildfires in the west. And now with Sally and the pending storms, the call the action is crucial,” said Olivia Lusher, Executive Director, Northeast Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Volunteers from the Northeast Indiana Chapter of the Red Cross are currently deployed to the western United States to assist with wildfire relief. As a result, the chapter is now looking to fill more volunteer positions.

Once a new volunteer has signed up, they will need to complete an online training module before becoming eligible for deployment. The training module covers several topics and features simulations to make sure that volunteers are well prepared prior to deployment. Training can be completed fairly quickly, according to Lusher.

“We could literally get you training today and ready to deploy this week. It’s intuitive, it’s fast, and we’ve expedited it so that we do the call to action almost instantly,” said Lusher.

After a volunteer completes the online training, they will then be able to deploy, either as boots on the ground in a disaster area, or by providing virtual assistance.

“We also have a need for what is considered a virtual deployment. So literally you would be staying here, but working off of a computer,” said Lusher.

Volunteers are not expected to be on call, rather those who volunteer are able to choose the times of the year to be available for deployment, if needed. The American Red Cross provides everything from plane tickets to lodging for volunteers that are deployed to disaster areas.

“Our volunteers are in safe hands. I mean, we’re a humanitarian organization, out seeking to help others. That’s the core of our mission. That’s why we need people to deploy,” said Lusher.

The American Red Cross is also in need of blood donations. Those who want to help, but are not able to commit to volunteering are encouraged to donate blood.

Those interested in joining the ranks of the American Red Cross can sign up here.

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