Lisa Morgan, American Red Cross, staff contributor
Each year, National Philanthropy Day reminds people about the importance of incorporating philanthropy into both their personal and professional lives. While most focus on the importance of the financial gifts the organization receives (that are totally amazing and truly make our mission possible) we’re going a different route this year.
“Time is money,” per Benjamin Franklin, but what does that really mean, and how does that apply to the American Red Cross? Volunteerism is an integral part of the Red Cross culture. Volunteers are essential to help the thousands of people the Red Cross aids each year. Without volunteers, we could not respond to the many home fire calls in the middle of the night or other disasters and emergencies that often don’t occur between the traditional work hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In fact, more than 90 percent of the Red Cross workforce is volunteers.
Volunteers are serving at senior leadership levels within the organization, bringing their professional skill sets to assist us in developing response strategy for large-scale disasters. Volunteers help bring our field command centers up and make them operational by moving equipment and hardware into vacant building spaces and setting up a disaster response headquarters in under 48 hours.
These amazing helpers can also be found teaching classes on lifesaving skills like CPR, first-aid, or other caregiving classes.
A profound commitment to making our communities safer, these selfless human beings provided over 130,000 hours of service, thus far, this calendar year! Those hours volunteered would equate to just over 800 full-time employees. The more than 4,000 volunteers on the roster in the North Texas region, through their generous gift of time, have allowed this region to have the strength of nearly 1,000 employees to cover the 121-county region.