How to Become a Red Cross Volunteer

The Red Cross is a charitable organization that provides humanitarian aid to people and regions that need it. The organization provides relief to victims of disaster and helps communities to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. There are local chapters of the International Red Cross all over the world, and the American Red Cross has offices in every state. Become a Red Cross volunteer by looking for opportunities to serve in your local chapter, or in the national and international operations.


  1. Image titled Become a Red Cross Volunteer Step 1
    Educate yourself about the mission of the Red Cross. Before you join the Red Cross as a volunteer, make sure you understand the organization and the people it serves.
    • Check out the Red Cross website at You can also talk to your local chapter about the work they do in your community.
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    Take the Online Orientation. Familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of volunteers by going on the Red Cross website and getting an overview. The orientation will take just over 1 hour.
    • Make sure you understand everything you learned in the orientation with the "knowledge check" at the end of certain sections. Review any area that you are unsure about.
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    Determine what type of volunteer work you are interested in doing. There are over 30 specific areas in which most volunteers choose to serve.
    • Choose a clerical function, or assist with mailings, fundraisers, grants and special events if you are good at administrative work. You might also want to serve on the Board of Directors in your local chapter if you have good leadership skills.
    • Volunteer as an instructor if you have good teaching skills. The Red Cross uses volunteers to teach babysitting, life guarding, first aid, health and water safety.
    • Join disaster prevention and response teams. If you want to volunteer in the field, sign up to assist communities as they prepare for, prevent, and respond to disasters. This may require you to travel.
    • Work as a volunteer on special services provided by the Red Cross. If you are especially interested in HIV/AIDS, blood drives, homeless issues and humanitarian work, choose a project and get involved in education, training, and other services.
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    Use VolunteerMatch to find the perfect opportunity for you. This can be found by clicking on the "VolunteerMatch" tab on the Red Cross website.
    • Enter your location and field of interest. Include a few special skills that you have, the distance you are willing to travel, and whether you prefer to work with kids, teens, seniors or large groups. You will be provided with a list of current volunteer opportunities that best fit your interests and talents.
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    Help the Red Cross in other ways. In addition to volunteering, you can sign up to give blood or make a donation to the charity.
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    Evaluate the time commitment you can make. Talk to your local chapter about how much time they expect from their volunteers and how much time your schedule will allow for your volunteer work.
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    Take the necessary trainings. Your local chapter can train you in local disaster relief (responding to house fires, etc.) and you will also have the option to get trained in national disaster relief (assisting with hurricanes, floods, etc.).


  • Get other people involved in your volunteer work. Recruit friends, family members and neighbors to volunteer with you.

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Categories: Volunteer and Community Service