American Red Cross hosts virtual open houses for volunteers

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KENTUCKY (WTVQ) – The pandemic has made it difficult for many businesses to operate.

But law enforcement, rescue crews, and many non-profits can’t stop what they are doing. And with pandemic — and a busy wildfire and hurricane season ahead — the American Red Cross needs more hands!

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“The coronavirus pandemic will make it challenging to deploy trained disaster volunteers from other parts of the country should an emergency occur. The Red Cross is asking you to be ready to help your community,” said Lynne Washbish, executive director of the American Red Cross Bluegrass Chapter. “Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in our region.”

Full information on volunteer opportunities is available here.

SHELTER HELP NEEDED There is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren’t possible, then the Red Cross will open traditional shelters. To help keep people safe, we have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for our workforce.

We need volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those we serve. We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.

HEALTH SERVICES SUPPORT NEEDED If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO, or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license, the Red Cross needs your support. Volunteers are needed in shelters to help assess people’s health. Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required. RNs supervise all clinical tasks.

Roles are also available for Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Home Health Aides, student nurses and medical students. We need volunteers who can provide care as delegated by a licensed nurse in shelters. This could include assisting with activities of daily living, personal assistance services, providing health education and helping to replace medications, durable medical equipment or consumable medical supplies.

FURRY FRIENDS NEED HELP TOO When people leave their homes during an emergency, they take their pets with them. The Red Cross is looking for established partner organizations to support the pet sheltering effort.

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING If you are interested in volunteering, two Virtual Open Houses are available to learn more about volunteer opportunities on August 19 from 12 P.M. to 1 P.M. and August 20 from 7 P.M. to 8 P.M., to register or to ask questions, please contact Stacy Taylor-Bernard, Sr. Volunteer Recruitment Specialist at (502) 612-9202 or kyvolunteerservices@redcross.org.