Red Cross Calls For Volunteers As Need Increases With COVID-19, Catastrophes

Thursday, September 17th 2020, 7:35 pm
By: Ashlyn Brothers

The American Red Cross in Kansas and Oklahoma said it is in desperate need of volunteers.

The Red Cross said COVID-19 has caused some people to quit and others to resort to online volunteers.

Red Cross representatives in the Kansas and Oklahoma area said they’re responding to several ongoing disasters from coast to coast, creating an even greater need for volunteers.

More than 40 Red Cross volunteers from Oklahoma and Kansas are helping with the recoveries from Hurricanes Laura and Sally, responding to wildfires along the west coast and flooding in the north east. 

Johnnie Munn is a Red Cross Disaster Program Manager for this region and said the region has also responded to more than 200 house fires since August 1, 2020. 

"It's strained us, quite frankly for several reasons,” said Munn. “Partly, the COVID, too. Folks for personal reasons have opted to not participate or deploy." 

Since mid-August, more than 5,000 volunteers have supported disaster relief efforts on the ground and virtually. Pamela Jones just got back from a response to Hurricane Laura. She encourages anyone 18 or older to volunteer. 

"It's such a positive experience in spite of all the devastation that's there and all the things that are happening around you,” Jones said. 

Munn said the Red Cross is adhering to COVID-19 guidelines and offering virtual volunteering positions. 

"There's databases that you could be working on,” said Munn. “We always need to update sheltering information." 

Munn said that some tasks are more labor intensive than others, but there’s a place for everyone at the Red Cross. 

"Basically, it's an interview process to see what your skill set is,” said Munn. “What you're interested in, because we have various lines of service." 

For more information on how to volunteer, click here