American Red Cross of North Alabama seeking volunteers amid shortage

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About a dozen Red Cross volunteers from Alabama arrived in Louisiana before Hurricane Laura hit to prepare for storm assistance. (Photo courtesy of Red Cross).

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — North Alabama’s American Red Cross has fewer volunteers now than Executive Director Khris Anderson says she’s seen in her near-decade in the area.

“We are needing volunteers in every single county in North Alabama,” Anderson said.

Their numbers are down from between 10 and 12-hundred to just 800 people over the course of the pandemic.

“We’ve lost volunteers due to health reasons, and unfortunately we’ve lost volunteers to COVID,” she said. “The more volunteers we have, the more assistance we’re going to be able to provide to the community.”

Anderson says right now they especially need disaster volunteers to help locally in the aftermath of disasters like flooding, tornadoes and house fires.

“We’ve had twice as many families impacted by single-family fires than we had last year, and the thing is as we’ve had disasters and fires increase, our number of volunteers has decreased,” Anderson said.

She says they have a goal as we quickly approach another severe weather season.

“If we could recruit, say, 100 new volunteers across North Alabama, that would put us in a really really good position to move into our tornado season.”

She adds that volunteers can set their own schedules, working hours they find most convenient. She also says the North Alabama area has always stepped up to help victims of natural disasters, and she is grateful for the many un-official volunteers who show up when their neighbors need it most.

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