ALBANY, Ga. -- While the Flint River Chapter of the American Red Cross is recognizing and honoring Red Cross supporters and volunteers as vital to the organization, it is also encouraging people across the area to join the Red Cross by volunteering, making a financial contribution or donating blood.
"Volunteers are essential to the Red Cross and to our ability to be there in times of disaster and help in other ways in our community," said Wanda Purdy, volunteer specialist with the Red Cross Flint River and South Georgia chapters, in a news release. "The Red Cross is always seeking volunteers with a diverse range of backgrounds, ages, talents and skills, and our goal is for the Red Cross to be the premier place for volunteers to work."
The Flint River Chapter, officials say, is especially interested in volunteers in the areas of disaster and office support.
The Red Cross is launching a new online volunteer system, dubbed "Volunteer Connection," across the country that officials say is easy to use and better allows new volunteers to match their skills and interests to the needs of the organization.
"Our new 'Volunteer Connection' system will be a great benefit for the Red Cross, a great tool for our volunteers and a great asset to our service in communities," said Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern in the release. "We believe 'Volunteer Connection' will improve our response to community needs and deliver services of the Red Cross mission by better engaging one of our greatest assets -- the talents, time and dedication of our volunteers."
"Volunteer Connection," which is being used in chapters and other parts of the Red Cross across the United States, was created and deployed with the help of a $3 million grant from W.W. Grainger, Inc., officials say.
"Grainger is proud to partner with the American Red Cross in its efforts around 'Volunteer Connection,'" said Jim Ryan, Grainger chairman, president and CEO.
Grainger also is the national founding sponsor of the "Ready When the Time Comes" program, which recruits and trains the employees of local businesses and organizations as disaster responders. The program has trained more than 14,000 volunteers since 2001, officials say.
Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact the Flint River chapter's Americus office at (229) 924-2026 or visit www.redcross.org.