Discover volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross in Birmingham

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Volunteers old and young help carry out the mission of the Red Cross. Photo via American Red Cross

It’s not an understatement to say that volunteers are the lifeblood of the American Red Cross. Throughout the country, the Red Cross relies on 1 million volunteers each day. We spoke with three local volunteers to see how they help carry out the mission of the Red Cross.

More than Blood

Across the country, Red Crossers are finding ways to help their communities through the coronavirus crisis. Photo via American Red Cross on Facebook

What comes to mind when you hear about the Red Cross? If you said blood donations, don’t worry—that’s what I thought for the longest time.

While the Red Cross is most known for their blood drives, the scope of their humanitarian projects is far wider. From local disaster response to support of our Armed Forces throughout the world, the Red Cross is always there in people’s time of need.

At the heart of the Red Cross’ mission is their extensive network of volunteers. Volunteers make up 90% of the Red Cross workforce. We spoke with three volunteers in the Alabama Red Cross to hear why they joined, how they help and how their involvement has affected their lives.

1. Madelyn Vera — Volunteer Screener

Madelyn helps place new volunteers in a role that suits their interest, skills and schedule. Photo via Madelyn Vera

How long have you been with the Alabama Red Cross?

Madelyn: While I was finishing up my undergrad in healthcare management, I joined the Red Cross Volunteer Services as an intern. Afterwards, I was hired on and stayed for about seven months. Since then, I’ve transitioned into a volunteer role.

How are you involved?

Madelyn: In Volunteer Screening, we help new volunteers find the role that best suits their skills, interests and schedules. I’m not the one to go out to a disaster on call, but I talk to other volunteers and help place them in a role where they can contribute.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?

Madelyn: I’m a very “behind the scenes” type person, so I enjoy doing paperwork and increasing efficiency. It’s easy to see the impact of my work when volunteers I helped place excel in their roles. When COVID-19 hit, I had three volunteers immediately email me and ask how they can help—and that is rewarding.

2. Aaryn Johnson — Public Affairs Volunteer

Red Cross volunteers can work in the field, in the office or from home. Something for everyone! Photo via American Red Cross on Facebook

How long have you been with the Alabama Red Cross?

Aaryn: I joined the Red Cross a little over a year ago. I had always heard good things about the Red Cross, but their Sound the Alarm campaign drew me in.

How are you involved?

Aaryn: In my role in Public Affairs, I follow up with people who’ve received services from the Red Cross—they have nothing but nice things to say. Especially today, everyone needs something to feel good about. With the Red Cross, you don’t have to leave your home to volunteer.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?

Aaryn: It’s never too late to get involved with the Red Cross. Volunteering may seem a little intimidating at first, but once you get your feet wet it is an addictive experience. I get to talk with new people every day and see the Red Cross affect people’s lives. When a family loses their home, the Red Cross is there to offer food, shelter and support. It makes me feel so fulfilled to be a part of something bigger than myself.

3. Tiffany Palladino — Board Member

Tiffany Palladino is a member of the Board of Directors with the Alabama Red Cross. Photo via Tiffany Palladino

How long have you been with the Alabama Red Cross?

Tiffany: I joined the Alabama Red Cross in January 2019 after I was elected to serve on the Board of Directors.

How are you involved?

Tiffany: By trade, I’m an HR professional—my job is to take care of my people. I help build a solid culture and foundation. At my job, we believe that the best way we can give back is by getting our team involved in the community. Joining the Board of the Alabama Red Cross is my way of leading by example and giving back to such a prominent organization in Birmingham.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?

Tiffany: If you’re trying to find a way to give back to the community, it can be intimidating to find the best fit for you. There are so many organizations! However, the Red Cross (especially in Birmingham) is such a warm, welcoming group of people. We make it easy for anyone to volunteer. The Red Cross is much more than a bloodmobile—there are so many ways to save lives.

Volunteer Opportunities with the American Red Cross

When families are displaced by natural disasters, the Red Cross is there with hot meals and shelter. Photo via American Red Cross on Facebook

No matter your interests, skills or schedule, the Red Cross has a role for you. By getting involved, you can make a significant contribution to the local community and help people in their moments of greatest need.

Learn more about Volunteer Opportunities with the Alabama Red Cross.

Tune in to the Touch of Red Gala on June 12 at 6PM

At their annual Touch of Red Gala, the Alabama Red Cross selects five heroes based on their outstanding contributions to their community. This year’s heroes are:

Due to COVID-19, the Red Cross decided to host this year’s Gala online on June 12 at 6PM. When you register for the Gala online, all proceeds benefit the lifesaving programs and services of the American Red Cross.

How will you volunteer with the Alabama Red Cross? Tag us @bhamnow and let us know!

  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.