National Volunteer Week: American Red Cross recognizes the crucial support of its volunteers

Red Cross Volunteer comforts a family following December 2021 tornadoes in Tennessee. (Photo courtesy: John Brown, Red Cross Mid-South Chapter)

Join us and help provide hope to those in need

NASHVILLE — National Volunteer Week is April 17-23, and the American Red Cross Tennessee Region honors the work of its volunteers who give their time to help people in need.

Across the country, more than 300,000 Red Cross volunteers serve their communities by responding to thousands of disasters; supporting the collection of blood to help patients receive the critical care they need; aiding members of the military and their families; helping communities prepare for emergencies around the globe and much more.

Here in the volunteer state of Tennessee, our volunteers help their community. “National Volunteer Week is time to honor all of our volunteers for their constant service and support,” said Joel Sullivan, Red Cross regional executive director. “They are true heroes who give their time day and night to help their local community.”

Last year, Tennessee Region Red Cross volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to 1,375 local families who faced emergency situations. They trained 35,439 people in lifesaving skills and provided 8,482 services to military members, veterans and their families. 

TOP 3 MOST NEEDED VOLUNTEER POSITIONS The need for volunteers has never been greater as we experience larger and more intense disasters across the country. Please consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer to help families in need. We’ll provide all of the training you need, visit to learn more.

  1. Shelter Support Team: During large disasters, these volunteers support the day-to-day activities such as welcoming and registering residents, helping with meal service, distributing cots, blankets and hygiene supplies, and providing information and other assistance within a shelter. If the need arises, volunteers are asked to commit to multiple local shifts of 4-12 hours each. For those able to travel, a commitment of at least 14 consecutive days, working 8- or 12-hour shifts is required.
  2. These volunteers use their professional skills as a licensed healthcare provider to deliver hands on care and education to shelter residents during a large disaster. Our free online training can count towards nursing continuing education units. If the need arises, volunteers are asked to commit to multiple local shifts of 4-12 hours each. For those able to travel, a commitment of at least 10-14 consecutive days, working 8- or 12-hour shifts is required. Qualified licenses include RN, LPN, LVN, EMT, Paramedic, MD, DO, PA, NP, APRN. Only RNs have full scope of practice.
  3. While big hurricanes and wildfires get the most news coverage, smaller disasters such as home fires are no less devastating to those affected. That’s why we need volunteers to help comfort and support local families in need by providing food, shelter, clothing or supplies, and connecting families to recovery assistance. 

Just as disasters happen every day, the need for blood is constant. The Red Cross is also recruiting for critical volunteers to support our work to ensure hospital patients have access to safe, lifesaving blood.

You can help save countless lives as a blood donor ambassador. These volunteers check blood donors into their appointments, answer questions and give out post donation snacks. Got a bit more time? How about joining the team of volunteers who drive the blood from donors to the patients in hospitals? Transportation specialists support hospital patients by delivering blood from Red Cross facilities to local hospitals. 

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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