What Drives Red Cross Volunteers to Help those in Need

BeFunky Collage

By Gordon Williams

Whether it’s aiding the victims of some far-off disaster or providing vital services to clients closer to home, the Red Cross relies on volunteers.

But what makes someone volunteer — giving their time and often more to help people who are likely total strangers? Volunteering at the Red Cross could mean driving just a few miles to a local office. But it could also mean flying thousands of miles to work under harsh conditions in an area wracked by storm or flood or wildfire. Continue reading



Gail3By Gordon Williams

Gail Fraser Chanpong of Port Ludlow, WA is an avid Red Cross volunteer in the Northwest Region’s Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas Chapter. She teaches first aid, CPR and preparedness and takes part in blood drives. When the Red Cross Sound the Alarm smoke alarm campaign kicks off next spring, she will be leading the initiative in Jefferson County. Continue reading

Explaining Recent Changes in U.S. Immigration Policy

A Message from the Red Cross Los Angeles Region CEO, Jarrett Barrios

ICRC Annual Report 2013 - Syria

Fellow Red Crossers,

Greetings to each of you and thank you, as always, for your service to the humble and humbling mission of Red Cross– preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
In light of our mission, several volunteers and staff have approached me about recent incidents at airports across the country affecting legal residents and refugees. Continue reading

Simulating War in the Classroom

By Kristen Vodak

Photo by Anna Kultin

Classrooms normally reserved for first aid and CPR training were repurposed for war simulations and a mock international criminal court.  On Friday, November 18 the Red Cross International Services Department hosted the highly interactive “Raid Cross” – a program developed by the Red Cross to help provide young people a framework to interpret violence in the media and to understand these situations from a humanitarian point of view.  Continue reading

Meet the Latest Class of “Graduates” from our Red Cross Restoring Family Links Program


“In light of current global challenges, the program continues to be a vital connection for families, among agencies and countries,” said Carmela Burke, a Red Cross volunteer and class participant. “Red Cross turns devastation and separation into the hope of restoration.”

Armed conflict, international disasters and migration leave millions of people around the globe in urgent need of humanitarian assistance every year. As a truly worldwide network, the volunteers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent are able to help families reconnect.

For program information and general inquiries use the International Reconnecting Families Inquiry Form. Or call: 202-303-1600.

A New Pair of Shoes

By Anna Kultin

“They stole my childhood.” Joseph uses these simple words to describe his experience as an Iraqi refugee. He was 2½-years-old when his family fled from Iraq to Kuwait back in 1991, during the First Gulf War, then to a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia, hoping for a better life. 

ICRC Annual Report 2013 - Jordan

October 30, 2013. Ruwaished, Jordan. Bustana assembly point. Twice a day, a local NGO distributes meals, paid for by the ICRC, in the assembly points and transit sites run by the Jordan Armed Forces. Refugees, the elderly and the very young among them, have walked long distances, mostly at night, to cross the border. Photo © ICRC/REVOL, Didier

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