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National Volunteer Week: Red Cross thanks volunteers for stepping up during COVID-19

National Volunteer Week is April 18-24, and the local American Red Cross recognizes its volunteers across the Inland Empire who continue to work tirelessly to help people in need during COVID-19, in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and beyond.

In the Inland Empire, more than 1,600 people volunteer with the Red Cross by responding to home fires and other disasters, supporting blood collections, providing emergency assistance to military families, and much more. These individuals are among the more than 300,000 volunteers who comprise more than 90% of the national Red Cross workforce.

“We are grateful for the dedication of our volunteers, whose support make a compassionate difference for our neighbors in need,” said Toni Chitty, Regional Volunteer Services Director, American Red Cross Southern California Region. “Their support during disasters and other emergencies has been more critical than ever, as families cope with increased anxiety and financial strains brought on by the pandemic.”

Last year across Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, the Red Cross responded to 460 local disasters and offered help and hope to those affected. They also provided more than 6,800 services for military members, veterans and their families as well as trained more than 26,700 people in lifesaving skills like CPR and AED training. In addition, volunteer blood donors across the Southern California Region donated more than 80,400 platelet units and 115,300 units of red blood cells.

In addition to celebrating nearly two thousand volunteers who make up the Red Cross workforce across the Inland Empire, this week local Red Cross chapters are honoring more than 20 volunteers during a virtual awards presentation. Among the award recipients includes volunteers from various lines of services and departments who have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide support to those in need.

HOW YOU CAN HELP Become a Red Cross volunteer to help ensure families don’t face emergencies alone. Visit to learn more, including about our most-needed volunteer positions:

Blood donor ambassadors and transportation specialists: Blood donations are essential to the health of our communities, and blood donor ambassadors are a vital part of this work by welcoming visitors and taking their temperatures before entering Red Cross facilities and blood drives. Visitors could include potential blood donors, people seeking help, training course participants, and Red Cross employees and volunteers. We also have a high-priority need for transportation specialists to help deliver blood from our facilities to local hospitals.
Disaster Action Team: Most of the U.S. disasters that the Red Cross responds to every eight minutes are local home fires, which can destroy nearly everything a family owns in a matter of minutes. Partnering with local fire departments, Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteers connect with families by video or phone call to provide emotional support, emergency financial assistance and information to help families begin to recover.
Volunteer from home (virtual positions): Help from the comfort of your own home through a wide range of virtual opportunities, including making home fire safety education calls, supporting military members, veterans & their families through virtual workshops, and more.

You can also make a lifesaving difference by making a financial donation at and, if you’re healthy and feeling well, making an appointment to donate blood at Those who come to give by April 30 will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $1,000 e-gift cards to a merchant of choice. Additional details are available at

About the American Red Cross Southern California Region
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid, and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the public to perform its mission. The Red Cross Southern California Region proudly serves San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial Counties. In addition to carrying out disaster preparedness and response programs, blood collection, health and safety training, international services programs and supporting the military community, the Southern California Region provides nutritional counseling through its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in San Diego and helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters through its Prepare SoCal and Prepare San Diego initiatives. For more information, please visit or, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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