American Red Cross needs volunteers

by Senior Airman Katherine Holt
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

“The American Red Cross would not be here if it weren’t for volunteers,” said Kim Charomicz, Ramstein American Red Cross chairwoman of volunteers.

In fact, 96 percent of all personnel working for the American Red Cross are volunteers.

“We have a million things to do,” Charomicz said. “We rely on our volunteers.”
With the holidays quickly approaching, the Red Cross is in need of volunteers more than ever. For the last five years, volunteers ensured the delivery of 3.5 million holiday greeting cards from the American public with the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.

The Red Cross partnered with Pitney Bowes, a mail stream technology company, to collect and distribute holiday cards to American service members, veterans and their families in the U.S. and around the world.

“This year, we received hundreds of greeting cards that need to be sorted,” Charomicz said. “In the past, we have had a good amount of people helping and we are going to need the same for this year.”

Though the holidays bring a special need for volunteers, the Red Cross offers opportunities all year round.

“We offer opportunities that capitalize on our volunteer’s assets,” said Cynthia Reuter, reserve senior station manager.

One of the most popular programs is the dental assistant volunteer program. Volunteers get their certification and spend time at the Ramstein Dental Clinic. From there, they can take their certificates and work at any dental office.

“We have had great feedback from volunteers that participated in the dental assistant program,” Reuter said.

Opportunities like the dental assistant program wouldn’t be possible without agencies opening positions for volunteers to fill.

“We have volunteers that are able to give a good amount of time to help out different offices,” Charomicz said. “Agencies just need to contact us to let us know there is a need.”

Whether volunteering full time or helping out during events throughout the year, the Ramstein Amercian Red Cross can always use an extra hand.

To volunteer, call the Ramstein American Red Cross at 06371-47-2171.