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National Volunteer Week: Community heroes are the true heart of the American Red Cross

American Red Cross Cascades Region

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — It’s National Volunteer Week, and the American Red Cross Cascades Region is recognizing the work of the selfless individuals here in Oregon and Southwest Washington 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.

Last year, Cascades Region Red Cross volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to nearly 700 local families who faced emergency situations. They trained more than 40,000 people in lifesaving skills and provided services to military members, veterans and their families 9 times a day. 

“National Volunteer Week is time to honor these community heroes for their constant service and support,” said Dawn Johnson, Communications Manager, Red Cross Cascades Region. “They are the true heart of the Red Cross.”

Volunteers are more critical than ever as the climate crisis worsens and 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. 

Visit to get started today. Training is free, but the hope you provide as a Red Cross volunteer to people in need is priceless. Join us at a virtual volunteer information session on Tuesday, April 18 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. ET, to learn more about our most-needed volunteer positions and talk with a Red Cross representative. Register today.

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).

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit or, or follow us on Twitter at @RedCross. 

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