It’s National Volunteer Week and we’re recognizing the work of the selfless individuals who generously give their valuable time to support people in need.

Across the country, more than 275,000 Red Cross volunteers serve their communities by responding to thousands of disasters of all sizes; supporting the collection of blood to help patients receive the critical care they need; supporting members of the military and their families; helping communities prepare for emergencies around the globe and much more.

In the past 12 months, Eastern New York Red Cross volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to 1,300 local families who faced emergency situations. They trained more than 45,500 people in lifesaving skills, installed nearly 2,800 free smokes alarms in homes, helped to collect more than 100,000 units of blood from volunteer donors, and provided over 2,400 services to military members, veterans and their families.

National Volunteer Week is time to honor these community heroes for their constant service and support. They are the true heart of the Red Cross.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Volunteers are more critical than ever as the need for shelter, hot meals, health services, emotional support grows. The Red Cross is now launching nearly twice as many relief operations for major disasters than we did a decade ago and, with hurricane and wildfire seasons on the horizon, we have a critical need to fill vital volunteer positions.

  • Disaster Action Team Member: As a Disaster Action Team volunteer, you can be a source of refuge and support when it’s needed most. From home fires to storms, unexpected emergencies happen every day, but you can help as a Red Cross volunteer.
  • Shelter Services: Support the day-to-day activities within an emergency shelter by helping with reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information or other areas within a shelter. Free online training will be provided. 
  • Disaster Health Services: These valuable volunteers use their professional skills as licensed healthcare providers to deliver hands-on care to people in shelters. There is also a need for Mental Health Services volunteers.

The Red Cross also has a need for volunteers to help ensure new moms, cancer patients and accident victims have access to safe, lifesaving blood. We’re recruiting blood donor ambassadors to be a friendly face and help check blood donors into their appointments, answer questions and give out post donation snacks. We also need transportation specialist volunteers who support hospital patients by delivering lifesaving blood from Red Cross facilities to local hospitals.

Visit our regional Volunteer Services website, email or call (518) 387-9441 to get started today. Training is free, but the hope you provide as a Red Cross volunteer to people in need is priceless.

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The Red Cross invites the public to sign up to become a volunteer blood or platelet donor To schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets, people can download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).