County Red Cross honors backbone

Volunteers: “All work and no pay.”

That’s how speechwriter Robert Orben described them.

April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week and the Snohomish County Chapter of American Red Cross celebrates its volunteers, the people who power the Red Cross services.

In our region, volunteers respond to every home and apartment fire, offering shelter and support to families in their darkest hour. Volunteers drive (and maintain) the disaster relief vehicles, delivering supplies and equipment to shelters. Volunteers set up shelters, feed people and provide case management connecting people to resources. Volunteers keep our emergency supplies stocked and inventoried. Volunteers collaborate with state, county and city emergency managers to prepare for and respond to disasters and emergencies. Volunteers deploy from our region to other states and countries when needed.

Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. Volunteers provide more than 1,300 services to members of the military, veterans and their families annually, including communications linking military members to their loved ones during an emergency, no matter where those military members are stationed.

Nationwide, on average, the Red Cross has 15 volunteers for every one employee. If you’re looking to serve your community, consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer (www.snohomishcounty.redcross.org).

Right now the Snohomish County Chapter especially needs people who can assist military families through our Service to Armed Forces program, or assist local families affected by disaster, as a member of the Disaster Services program.

Chuck Morrison

Regional Executive

Snohomish County Red Cross