Volunteers are lifeblood of Red Cross

Volunteers play a major role in the American Red Cross of Augusta.

"Most of the work you see done at the Red Cross is done by volunteers," said Cecil O'Bryan, the disaster services committee chairman. "I'm a volunteer myself."

People as young as middle school age can volunteer with the Red Cross in a variety of areas, including office support, health and safety, emergency services and armed forces emergency services.

Tasks include answering phones, helping with fundrasing and special events, teaching health and safety classes and responding to disasters.

The organization places volunteers in areas based on what they would like to do and the skills they have.

"If they are interested in helping us, we will find something for them to do," he said.

Training courses include disaster assessment, shelter operations and simulation, CPR/standard first aid and basic sign language.

People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to volunteer, O'Bryan said.

"I don't think there's anything you can do that can be more rewarding than helping somebody else," he said. "Think about it. If you really want to do something that makes you feel good, that you don't get paid for, I can think of no better place than the American Red Cross.

''That's not taking a thing from the church, because I do that, too."

Those interested in volunteering with the Red Cross should call (706) 724-8481 or visit www.arcaug.org.

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.

HELPING RED CROSS

TO DONATE FOR DISASTERS:

Send check payable to American Red Cross Local Disaster to:

American Red Cross of Augusta

1322 Ellis St.

Augusta, GA 30901

Make an online donation at www.arcaug.org

TO DONATE FOR HAITI RELIEF EFFORTS:

Send check payable to American Red Cross Haiti Disaster Relief to:

American Red Cross of Augusta

1322 Ellis St.

Augusta, GA 30901

Make an online donation at www.arcaug.org.

Make a $10 donation by texting "Haiti" to 90999.

As of Friday, the Augusta area had contributed more than $3,000 to the American Red Cross for Haitian disaster relief.

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