This a sponsored post on behalf of the Red Cross.
Since there was so much valuable information packed into my trip to the Red Cross Washington, D.C. headquarters, this is Part 2 of my trip. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, you can do so HERE!
One of the many important life-saving tasks of the Red Cross is their blood donation program. It’s probably one of their most visible programs and for good reason. Did you know that every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and that each donation can potentially save up to 3 lives? Because we cannot manufacture blood and platelets, the only way they are obtained is through volunteer donors.
We were fortunate to attend a presentation by Brian Boyle, who along with being the recipient of 36 blood transfusions due to a horrific accident at the age of 18, also works for the Red Cross as a donation advocate. He shared his truly remarkable story of coming back from a near-fatal car accident and how blood donations saved his life after losing 60% of his blood volume!
He tirelessly promotes the life-saving work of the Red Cross and their blood donation program as a way of giving back. The Red Cross hosts blood drives across the country and hosting a blood drive in your community is a very powerful way to help so many people throughout the country! You can find more information on how to host a blood drive HERE. They will help you every step of the way including help with planning, recruiting, and by providing all of the equipment and staff. You just find the location, volunteers and donors!
After the afternoon sessions, we had a tour followed by dinner and a presentation of the international work of the Red Cross. As part of The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the American Red Cross works to provide humanitarian assistance to people and families abroad who are affected by storms, conflict, drought, famine, and other natural disasters.
Through the contribution of financial assistance, relief supplies, and volunteer personnel, they work tirelessly to help people from other countries. One program I wasn’t aware of was the work they do to reconnect families that are separated as a result of international crises. In fact, they have reunited over 9,900 families! This is another great program you can volunteer for– especially if you would like to be able to volunteer from home and/or speak a language other than English!
The following morning we headed out to the Fairfax County Office (Regional Headquarters) to see how the Red Cross operates daily in response to disaster relief around the country. The hub of the organization for major disaster relief, this building has plenty of space for Red Cross employees and volunteers to gather and coordinate relief efforts while staying on top of current forecasts and news. It was AMAZING to see where all the action happens and I left with absolutely no worries about their abilities to manage national disasters!
All in all, I had such a WONDERFUL time during my visit with the Red Cross, and I’m proud to say I’ve already signed up to volunteer!
For more information on the Red Cross and volunteer opportunities, click HERE.