Red Cross preps prospective volunteers

PARKERSBURG – The volunteer recruitment event held by the Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross on Saturday was a success, with 18 potential volunteers in attendance.

“I’m very, very happy with the turnout,” said Shannon Taylor, volunteer coordinator with the chapter. “I am surprised and pleased with the outcome.”

The 90-minute program at the Eight Street Red Cross offices gave potential volunteers the understanding of what is expected of volunteers and also allowed them to complete their application, background check and interview.

Those in attendance also received the most up-to-date information on organizational changes within the Red Cross and opportunities available to the volunteers. They also learned how the chapter volunteers work in many different areas of the Red Cross, including disasters, military, health and others.

Parkersburg resident Debbie Farris attended the program after she started helping with the chapter during the storm in June.

“I came to the Red Cross for water and saw they needed help, so I helped,” she said. “It was the best experience I’ve ever had and wanted to do more.

“We all are here to do more and step up and be there.”

Pam Singer, of Marietta, said she attended the program for the same reason.

“Even though I work full-time, there is more I can do and I want to give back as much as I can,” she said. “You get back as much as you give when you volunteer and you help yourself as much as you help others.”

Taylor said part of the reason for the volunteer program was because when a large disaster hits – locally or nationally – the chapter is flooded with phone calls from people who want to help but cannot because the Red Cross has a process to be able to send volunteers out.

“It is really nice to have a wider volunteer base to work with,” she added.

More than 90 percent of all Red Cross functions are performed by volunteers, such as casework, training, building maintenance and administration.

“Volunteering doesn’t take money, it just takes time and love,” Farris said. “When you give, you get back more than you give.”