Red Cross prepares volunteers for future careers
By Lance Cpl. Darhonda V. Hall
| | April 23, 2004
MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
The American Red Cross, which was founded by Clara Barton in 1881, has been providing medical and humanitarian aid to service members and their families for more than a century.
Blood drives have become the most recognizable and celebrated aspect of the organization's efforts, but few realize how many employment opportunities are created by the Red Cross' endeavors.
Roland Born, a Cleveland native, who has worked for the Red Cross for more than 30 years, said that the ongoing battle to keep America's blood supply fully stocked is con-
stant, and that each pint of blood collected benefits three people.
The Red Cross has always provided life-saving medical supplies to those in need, but it also provides many volunteers with the opportunity to begin a successful career.
Volunteers may submit an application at any Red Cross location or online at www.redcross.org, said Born. Prospective volunteers should clearly define their interest on their resumes, as that will play a key role during the application review process.
Caroline Washington, volunteer coordinator at the Depot's Naval Dental Center, collects and views the applications and conducts interviews with potential volunteers.
"The interviewing procedure allows us and the person to see whether or
not they would like to continue on with the volunteering process," said Washington.
Volunteers must devote at least 350 volunteer hours before earning the certificate given at the end of the course.
"It's tedious, but it lets us know who's really interested," said Washington.
During the first six weeks, the volunteers are taught the basics before they move into more job-specific lessons.
Throughout the six-month course, the volunteers are told step-by-step and in detail what the daily routine will consist of.
That type of in-depth training has led to many success stories for men and women who began their careers as Red Cross volunteers.
"We've seen people who had been through our volunteer program that went to Dental School and became dentists," Washington said.
"Women who were stay-at-home mothers have began a career through volunteering," Washington added. "They liked their volunteer experience, and now they are getting paid."
Born agrees and believes that career flexibility is an additional benefit of volunteering with the Red Cross.
"Through the Red Cross, volunteers receive good insights in many different job training areas," said Born.
Volunteers with the Red Cross have various options to choose from.
Life guarding, dental assistant, child-care provider training and assisting at the Naval Hospital Beaufort are among the many opportunities offered.
Another blood drive will be held Wednesday at the Religious Ministries Center from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information on donating blood or volunteering, contact Roland Born at 228-4680.