Many weather experts predict a destructive hurricane season this year. The American Red Cross needs 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.

“There have already been several named storms this year and experts report we could see 10 or more storms with winds reaching hurricane strength,” said Rod Tolbert, Regional Executive for the Red Cross of South Carolina. “It’s critical to have a trained, ready volunteer workforce to make sure we can provide disaster relief at a moment’s notice. Please train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and help if the need arises.”

SHELTER VOLUNTEERS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS NEEDED

The Red Cross needs new volunteers to support disaster shelters. Volunteers will help with reception, registration, food distribution, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks inside disaster shelters.

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. We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available. 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.

After most disasters this year, the Red Cross plans to 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 TEAM MEMBER

Local Disaster Action Teams 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. If you are team-oriented and want to help your neighbor, the DAT responder may be just the thing for you.

Last year, the South Carolina Region provided immediate emergency assistance to 5,600 people after nearly 1,500 home fires and other disasters.

If you want to make a difference and are interested in helping your community should a disaster occur here at home or across the country, please contact our area offices: Megan Shockley, Volunteer Recruitment Specialist-Regional Team Member, megan.shockley@redcross.org or (803) 351-2508.

BLOOD AND PLATELET DONORS NEEDED

Wildfires, record-breaking heat and a busy hurricane season can also impact the nation’s blood supply. On top of the toll extreme weather events take on the lives of millions, disasters can cause blood drive closures or prevent donors from being able to give safely. 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 RedCrossBlood.org, 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 4-month special offer to Apple Music by email (new subscribers only). Details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/FeelTheBeat.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Aug. 16-31

Barnwell

Barnwell

8/27/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., YMCA Barnwell, 660 Joey Zorn Blvd.

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Fairfield

Winnsboro

8/18/2021: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Winnsboro First Baptist Church, 1373 Newberry Rd

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Kershaw

Camden

8/24/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church, 1206 Lyttleton Street

8/30/2021: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Kershaw Health, 1315 Roberts Street

Elgin

8/19/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Blaney Baptist Church, 1400 Blaney Road

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Lexington

Cayce

8/25/2021: 3 p.m. - 8 p.m., Trinity Baptist Church, 2003 Charleston Highway

Chapin

8/16/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Lexington Medical Center Chapin, 557 Columbia Ave.

8/23/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Lake Murray Presbyterian, 2721 Dutch Fork Road

Gilbert

8/23/2021: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Gilbert-Summit Senior Center, 411 Broad Street

8/26/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Beulah United Methodist Church, 161 Beulah Church Rd.

Lexington

8/19/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., First Baptist Church of Lexington, 415 Barr Road

West Columbia

8/16/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Springdale Baptist Church, 357 Wattling Rd

8/18/2021: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., West Columbia Community Center, 754 B Avenue

8/22/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Mt Hermon Lutheran Church, 3011 Leaphart Road

8/27/2021: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Tri-City Leisure Center, 485 Brooks Avenue

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Newberry

Newberry

8/31/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Newberry County Family YMCA, 8220 Jollystreet Road

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Richland

Columbia

8/16/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Red Cross Community Drive, 2751 Bull St.

8/16/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Central Electric Power Cooperative Inc., 20 Cooperative Way

8/16/2021: 11:45 a.m. - 7 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/17/2021: 11:45 a.m. - 7 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/18/2021: 11:45 a.m. - 7 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/19/2021: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., AllSouth FCU - Elmwood, 730 Elmwood Ave

8/19/2021: 9:45 a.m. - 5 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/20/2021: 6:45 a.m. - 2 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/20/2021: 7 a.m. - 3 p.m., Prisma Health Baptist Hospital, 1501 Sumter Street

8/20/2021: 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Cecil A. Tillis Center, 1917 Harden Street

8/21/2021: 6:45 a.m. - 2 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/22/2021: 6:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/22/2021: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Shandon United Methodist, 3407 Devine Street

8/23/2021: 11:45 a.m. - 7 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/24/2021: 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Red Cross Community Drive, 2751 Bull Street

8/24/2021: 11:45 a.m. - 7 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/25/2021: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., VA Medical Center, 6439 Garners Ferry Road

8/25/2021: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., VA Medical Center, 6439 Garners Ferry Road

8/25/2021: 11:45 a.m. - 7 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/26/2021: 9:45 a.m. - 5 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/26/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Midlands Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery, 1910 Blanding Street

8/26/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Village at Sandhill, 304 Forum Dr

8/27/2021: 6:45 a.m. - 2 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/28/2021: 6:45 a.m. - 2 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/29/2021: 6:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/29/2021: 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Forest Lake Presbyterian Church, 6500 North Trenholm Road

8/30/2021: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Ft. Jackson Community NCO Club, Fort Jackson N.C O Club, 5700 Lee rd.

8/30/2021: 11:45 a.m. - 7 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

8/30/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., American Red Cross, 2751 Bull Street

8/31/2021: 11:45 a.m. - 7 p.m., Columbia Blood Donation Center, 2751 Bull St

Columbia

8/29/2021: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Radiate Church, 105 Sparkleberry Crossing

Eastover

8/28/2021: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., The B Strong Group, Eastover Park, 1031 Main Street

Irmo

8/23/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Dutch Fork Church, 3517 Dreher Shoals Rd

8/30/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., River Springs Church, 1007 West Shady Grove Rd.

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Sumter

Shaw AFB

8/17/2021: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Shaw Army Central, 1 Gabreski Drive

Sumter

8/26/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Grace Baptist Church, 219 West Calhoun St.

8/27/2021: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Trinity United Methodist -Sumter, Trinity United Methoditst Church, 226 West Liberty Street

8/31/2021: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Central Carolina Technical College, 506 N. Guignard Drive

About blood donation

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. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the 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 RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass 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 the highest standards of 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. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or follow us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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