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Red Cross thanks Vermont volunteers

VERMONT — During National Volunteer Week, April 18-24, the American Red Cross Northern New England Region is recognizing its volunteers who continue to work tirelessly to help people in need during COVID-19.
In Vermont, 323 people volunteer with the Red Cross by responding to home fires and other disasters, supporting blood collections, providing emergency assistance to military families, and much more. These individuals are among the more than 300,000 volunteers who comprise more than 90% of the national Red Cross workforce.
Locally, Red Cross officials named five Addison County volunteers who deserved recognition: Taylor Bakerian of Whiting; Genevieve Jackman and Suzanne Audy of New Haven; and David Punia, Elaine Eldridge and Linda Miller of Vergennes.
“We are grateful for the dedication of our volunteers, whose support makes a compassionate difference for our neighbors in need,” said Stephanie Couturier, CEO of American Red Cross of Northern New England. “Their support during disasters and other emergencies has been more critical than ever, as families cope with increased anxiety and financial strains brought on by the pandemic.”
Vermonter Pam Uhlendorff shares how her volunteer journey with the Red Cross began. “I became involved with the Red Cross when my family lost our home to a fire in 2017. Red Cross volunteers helped me to move forward one step at a time,” said Uhlendorff. “I have always been a person ready and willing to assist people in need, and the Red Cross has given me the skills and training to provide support for victims of disasters. Volunteering for the Red Cross I feel part of a family that is committed to helping and caring for people in need.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP
Become a Red Cross volunteer to help ensure families don’t face emergencies alone. Visit redcross.org/local/me-nh-vt/volunteer to learn more, including about our most-needed volunteer positions:
• Blood donor ambassadors and transportation specialists: Blood donations are essential to the health of our communities, and blood donor ambassadors are a vital part of this work by welcoming visitors and taking their temperatures before entering Red Cross facilities and blood drives. Visitors could include potential blood donors, people seeking help, training course participants, and Red Cross employees and volunteers. We also have a high priority need for transportation specialists to help deliver blood from our facilities to local hospitals.
Currently there is a high need for volunteers for this position in Addison County, officials said.
• Disaster Action Team: Most of the U.S. disasters that the Red Cross responds to every eight minutes are local home fires, which can destroy nearly everything a family owns in a matter of minutes. Partnering with local fire departments, Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers connect with families by video or phone call to provide emotional support, emergency financial assistance and information to help families begin to recover.
• Volunteer from home (virtual positions): Help from the comfort of your own home through a wide range of virtual opportunities, including Volunteer Recognition and Appreciation Team members.
You can also make a lifesaving difference by making an appointment to donate blood at RedCrossBlood.org, if you’re healthy and feeling well. Those who come to give by April 30 will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $1,000 e-gift cards to a merchant of choice. Additional details are available at rcblood.org/Gift.

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