Local Volunteers Needed to Assist with Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort

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Help needed for relief efforts as peak of hurricane season approaches

Hundreds of experienced American Red Cross volunteers and employees are working around the clock to provide shelter and supplies to Gulf Coast residents affected by Harvey. More than 40 volunteers from the Western Northe Carolina region of the Red Cross are already on the ground. But with the peak of hurricane season approaching, more help is needed.

For people who want to volunteer and help families in Texas and Louisiana, the local Red Cross is hosting three Disaster Responder Bootcamps. Volunteers are also needed to help closer to home as hurricanes and tropical storms continue to develop in the Atlantic.

“As a Red Cross volunteer, you can help provide your friends and neighbors here and across the country with a safe place to stay during a disaster,” said Angela Broome Powley, regional CEO for the American Red Cross in Western North Carolina. “Take action now, to help care for families who have lost everything.”

During the Disaster Responder Bootcamp, volunteers will learn the essentials of responding to a disaster. Upon completion, participants will be qualified to open and operate a shelter during a disaster and be eligible, if desired, to deploy to assist with the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Saturday, September 2 (9AM – 4PM)
Monday, September 4 (2PM – 5PM)
Wednesday, September 6 (6PM – 9PM)

 All bootcamps will be held at:

American Red Cross
2425 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28203

“When families arrive at a shelter, often with just the clothes on their backs, they are scared and often not knowing if they will be able to return home,” said Jennifer Heisler, a volunteer with the Red Cross. “By volunteering in a shelter, you can provide more than just a safe, dry place to stay. You will be a source of comfort and hope during some of their darkest days.”

Volunteers interested in the training should contact the Charlotte Metro Volunteer Specialist Tamrah Jordan at tamrah.jordan@redcross.org. Due to the limited number of spots available for the Disaster Responder Bootcamp, pre-registration is required.

The safety of the people we serve and the volunteers who help them is of utmost importance. Procedures are in place to track who is volunteering for the Red Cross to help keep people safe. This includes running a background check on all volunteers who will work directly with the people who turn to us for help or have access to funds. Volunteers also sign an agreement to abide by our code of ethics and conduct. Volunteers interested in going to Texas or Louisiana need to be able to deploy for a minimum of two weeks, working 10-12 hour days, and remain flexible as conditions on the ground can change rapidly.

For people interested in volunteering with the Red Cross but unable to attend a bootcamp, visit redcross.org to learn more about the many volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

We know Americans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items often does more harm than good. It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected. Instead, the best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation.

The Red Cross has launched a massive response to this devastating storm and needs financial donations to be able to provide immediate disaster relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

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