Red Cross seeks volunteers, blood donors for disaster season

Press Staff Writer

        Many weather experts are predicting a destructive disaster season this year.
        The American Red Cross is seeking volunteers to help on the ground, and blood and platelet donors to roll up a sleeve to maintain a stable blood supply in the face of emergencies.
        “We’re preparing for another extremely busy disaster season, and it’s critical to have a trained, ready volunteer workforce to make sure we can provide relief at a moment’s notice,” said Mike Parks, Regional CEO, American Red Cross of Northern Ohio.
        The Red Cross needs new volunteers to support disaster shelters, Parks said. Volunteers will help with reception, registration, food distribution, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks inside disaster shelters. Both entry- and supervisory-level opportunities are available.
        The Red Cross also needs volunteers who can work in disaster shelters to address people’s health needs and provide hands-on care in alignment with their professional licensure (registered nurse and licensed practical nurse/licensed vocational nurse). Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required.
        “If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with a current and unencumbered license, this position could be right for you,” Parks said.
        In the event of larger disasters, the Red Cross will open group shelters. However, in some communities, hotels may be more appropriate if the risk of COVID-19, including the delta variant, is particularly high. The Red Cross will also continue many of the safety precautions implemented in 2020, including masks, health screenings, enhanced cleaning procedures and encouraging social distancing.
        Disaster Action Teams
        Local Disaster Action Teams (DATs) provide 24-hour emergency response to local disasters, particularly home fires, ensuring that those affected have access to resources for basic necessities such as food, shelter and clothing. Team-oriented individuals who want to help their neighbors may be interested in volunteering to become a DAT responder.
        Last year, the Northern Ohio Region provided immediate emergency assistance to more than 5,100 people after nearly 1,200 home fires and other disasters.
        Call 216-431-3328 or email to sign up or for more info.
        Platelet donors needed
        Eligible donors can help overcome the critical need for blood and ensure blood is readily available by making an appointment to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
        As a thank-you, those who come to donate throughout the month of August will get a free four-month special offer to Apple Music by email (new subscribers only). Details are available at
        Upcoming local blood donation opportunities include:
        • American Red Cross Toledo Blood Donation Center, 3510 Executive Parkway, open Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
        • Oregon – Aug. 31, noon-6 p.m., Hope Community Church, 5650 Starr Ave.
        • Toledo – Aug. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Toledo Museum of Art, 2444 Monroe St.
        • Curtice – Aug. 27, noon-5 p.m., Jerusalem Township Fire Department, 9501 Jerusalem Rd.
        • Oak Harbor – Aug. 23, noon-5:30 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran, 122 W. Ottawa.
        • Gibsonburg – Aug. 28, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Gibsonburg United Methodist Church, 795 W Madison St.
        • Lindsey – Aug. 16, 12:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed, 1375 S. SR 590.
        • Woodville – Aug. 21, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Woodville Township Fire Department, 321 E. Main St.
        To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in.
        Donors can save up to 15 minutes at a blood drive by completing a RapidPass. With RapidPass, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
        In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.
        Blood drive safety
        Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows highest safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance.


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