By Emily Thornton
In September 2020, LinkedIn ranked the American Red Cross as the organization with the highest number of monthly volunteers. This year, the Red Cross has seen an increase of 20 percent in new volunteer applications and almost 30% of Red Cross volunteers are ages 25 to 49.
Among the new volunteers was Katelyn Hinkin, 34, a registered pediatric nurse in Wenatchee, WA. “In pediatrics, I felt like I was doing nothing during this pandemic,” she said. “I felt like I wasn’t being useful.”
In April 2020, she joined the Red Cross and has screened donors at three blood drives. She also has cared for COVID-19 patients. “I haven’t done a lot yet, but I hope to be deployed at some point,” she said. “I like travel and community health.” Hinkin worked as a traveling nurse before the joined Central Washington Hospital’s pediatric unit in Wenatchee.
Hinkin recommends volunteering to anyone who is interested. “It’s very important,” she said. “I think it just puts life in perspective.” In her free time, she loves spending time in the mountains and with her dog Mazy, who she met while volunteering at an animal shelter.
For Hinkin, volunteering with the Red Cross feels like a natural fit. “I didn’t really know how much of it is nurse-run,” she said. “My skills kind of fell in step with the Red Cross’s needs.”
The American Red Cross is actively seeking new volunteers for virtual and in-person opportunities. Visit the Red Cross website to learn more.