Giving back and being the change, how can your family do more? Here are 50+ Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities for Families for kids and adults to get involved and change the world. This post is sponsored by the American Red Cross. But all philanthropic heart string pulling opinions are my own.
50+ Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities for Families
Actions always speak louder than words. For my parenting style, this speaks more truth than any advice I could ever give my children.
When my children are sad or hurt – I hug and kiss.
When my children need help with homework – I’m ready with paper and pencils.
When I want my children to change the world – I jump in and give back.
It’s not enough to tell my kids to be the change. They have to see it, experience it and live it for themselves. Giving back is a HUGE part of our family’s lives. Whether it’s tithing to our church, donating our local food bank, or volunteering our time for a beach clean up – this is how our family is changing the world.
When I got to visit American Red Cross Headquarters a few weeks ago, I was amazed at how many different opportunities families have to give back. But most of these – no one knows about. Whether you have 5 minutes a day or 5 weeks – there’s ALWAYS a way for your family to give back through the Red Cross and make a real difference. Today, I’m talking about 50+ Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities for Families, ways for you and your kids to get your hands dirty and change the world. And with as little as 5 minutes a day, there’s really no excuse to NOT get involved.
How to Become Red Cross Volunteer
90% of the workforce for American Red Cross, they’re all volunteers. I think the numbers speak for themselves. There’s a reason, a HUGE reason why people are volunteering with this particular humanitarian organization. And why they keep coming back. How do you become a Red Cross Volunteer? It only takes a few minutes to sign up.
- Head to the Red Cross Volunteer Website. Click the apply now button.
- You’ll need to create a Red Cross ID. Fill out the form with your contact info and verify the information.
- Upload an acceptable photo ID (such as driver’s license, passport, etc.) for a quick background check (mine took less than an hour).
- If you’re under 18, you’ll need a parental consent form.
- Once everything is in the system, it will take about a week or less for a representative to get back to you. And then we can get down to business.
Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities for Families
Time for the nitty gritty. There are SO MANY ways that your family can volunteer with the Red Cross. And if you’re looking for more ways to serve together, here are just some of opportunities for you to get involved, some as young as 16 years old. (Have little ones? Scroll down for more opportunities just for them!)
- Home Fire Volunteer: Each year, the Red Cross responds to an average of more than 62,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. Join your local Red Cross to volunteer to install smoke alarms, educate your community about fire safety, and help families after a fire.
- Red Cross Digital Volunteer: Have a gift when it comes to social media? When disasters strike, you can help the Red Cross Social Engagement team by monitoring online conversations for disaster-affected people who may need Red Cross help, sharing important disaster updates and resources through your personal social media accounts and offering a compassionate voice to people who have been impacted.
- Missing Maps Volunteer: 5 minutes a day. If you can spare 5 minutes a day, you can volunteer for the Red Cross. Missing Maps is one of the coolest volunteer opportunities I have experienced. Because as a busy mom – this is for me. With just a computer, internet and your eyes, your whole family can help map out vulnerable communities in case of disaster. Each year, disasters around the world devastate millions of people. But many communities are missing from the maps that responders use to deliver lifesaving aid. To help get relief into people’s hands, the American Red Cross and partner organizations have launched the Missing Maps project. By mapping out homes, streets, and other off-the-beaten-path communities, you can help responders during potential relief efforts – by providing them an essential map of the area.
- Blood Drive Volunteer: Help greet and register blood donors onsite at Red Cross blood drives and offer refreshments. Volunteers can also recruit and promote blood drives, and drive donated blood to Red Cross labs for testing.
- Disaster Volunteer: Help provide food, shelter, comfort and care for families affected by major disasters such as hurricanes.
- Health Care Volunteer: Perhaps you are skilled with a degree in the medical field. You can offer your professional services as a volunteer during a crisis as a part of the First Aid Team.
- Instructor Volunteer: Have a love for teaching others? You can take classes and become an instructor for one of the many life-saving classes that Red Cross offers like CPR, First Aid, Water Safety, Disaster Relief, or Babysitting.
- Office Volunteer: No effort is too small. Even clerical work, staff support, phone calls, management can truly help.
- Pillowcase Project Volunteer: This preparedness education program for grades 3 – 5 teaches students about personal and family preparedness and safety skills, local hazards, and basic coping skills. Volunteers lead students through a “learn, practice, share” framework to engage them in disaster preparedness and survival skills. Upon completion, students receive a sturdy pillowcase in which to build their personal emergency supplies kit.
- Restoring Family Links Volunteer: The Red Cross works to reconnect families who have been separated by war or disaster. Your local Red Cross chapter may have opportunities for you to help overseas disaster victims find family members in your community.
- Service to the Armed Forces Volunteer: Lend a hand to patients at military hospitals as a hospital volunteer, or help ensure delivery of emergency communications for members of the military and their families.
- Donate Blood: Blood donors make a difference! People as young as 16 years old can donate blood to Red Cross. And how cool would it be to see a whole family donating together?
How Can My Kids Get Involved? 50+ More Opportunities for Kids
Ok, Christie. You said kids too. They too young to sign up to be a volunteer on the website. How can I get my kids involved with volunteering for Red Cross?
- Missing Maps: As explained above, all you need is a computer, internet and your eyes to help complete maps of vulnerable communities across the world. You and your kids are essentially putting puzzle pieces together so responders can help during a crisis with the map of the area that YOU have created. It’s such a great way to integrate technology, learning and philanthropic hearts into your kids with this activity/volunteer opportunity in one.
- Red Cross Youth Volunteer: In addition to making a positive impact on your peers and in your community, you can also maximize your talent, learn new skills, improve your resume, and meet new people – all while making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. You must be at least 13 years of age to become a youth volunteer. But clicking this link gives your child over 50+ different Red Cross volunteer opportunities just for youth.
- Red Cross Club: Kids in elementary, middle, high school and college can form their own Red Cross Club. Through this club they can volunteer and get involved with the amazing volunteer opportunities geared specifically for kids!
- Prepare a Red Cross Kit: This is great for kids who want to be hands-on! Help your child to create and fill a disaster preparedness kit, a comfort care kit or Totes of Hope for homeless veterans.
- Holiday Mail for Heroes: What about the littlest ones? They can help too! Every year holiday cards get sent to active military, veterans and their families. Your child’s words and works of art can make a difference!
- Fundraising: Some of the best acts of kindness come from the littlest hearts. If your child has ever dreamed of hosting their own lemonade sale, garage sale, or organizing their own fundraising event, know the 90 cents of every dollar donated to the American Red Cross goes directly into the hands of people who need it most.
- Red Cross Apps: Any other kids love apps? Your child can become a master Red Cross app user! Life saving skills, weather alerts, disaster tips, facts and more are all stored in the Red Cross apps. If you have a child who loves apps, this is a great way to educate and prepare them to help others in a crisis!
I know, this post has A LOT of info. But the point is, there are so many ways that your family can get involved with volunteering for the Red Cross. Whether you’re looking for a family service project, wanting your kids to change the world, or just fulfill those volunteer hour requirements, American Red Cross is a great way to give back as family. I know I couldn’t have possibly touched on ALL of the Red Cross volunteer opportunities – as some are local to your chapter. Get more info on Red Cross volunteer opportunities here.