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Red Cross celebrates volunteer week

This National Volunteer Week, April 21-27, the American Red Cross serving Greater Iowa is celebrating its dedicated volunteers and partners. These volunteers power the Red Cross, making it possible for the organization to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.

Each year, Iowa Red Cross volunteers bring food, shelter, comfort and hope to hundreds of local families faced with rebuilding after fires, floods and tornadoes.

Volunteers are central to the work of the Red Cross in Iowa and in communities across the country, as on average, the Red Cross has 15 volunteers for every one employee. According to the Independent Sector, the 2012 value of volunteer time is $22.14/hour, further evidence of the tremendous value and impact volunteers hold for nonprofits such as the Red Cross.

Red Cross volunteers-

*Teach first aid, CPR, swimming and other lifesaving skills

*Respond to disasters and reconnect families separated by disasters or conflict

*Support blood drives across the country

*Help veterans, members of the military and their families in the U.S. and overseas

Now, volunteering for the Red Cross is easier than ever thanks to a new system called Volunteer Connection. This online system is easy to use and better allows new volunteers to match their skills and interests to needs across the organization.

People interested in volunteering can go to www.redcross.org/support/volunteer to search and apply for opportunities in their community. The Volunteer Connection System was made possible thanks to a generous grant from W.W. Grainger, Inc.

Red Cross volunteers are united by their service and the feeling that in changing others’ lives, their lives are also changed. To learn more, visit www.redcross.org/support/volunteer or contact your regional office:

• Central Iowa (515) 243-7681;

• Eastern Iowa (319) 393-3500;

• Northwest Iowa (712) 252-4081.

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