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Red Cross needs ‘superheroes’

The American Red Cross is seeking a few superheroes of its own.

These “superheroes” are actually called blood donor ambassador volunteers.

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, according to the Red Cross, and one blood donation can save up to three lives.

While donations are greatly needed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers are needed as well. These ambassadors will greet donors and assist with registration in the reception area.

Volunteers are also needed to assist in the canteen area, manage cleanliness in the reception and hospitality areas and provide other customer service duties, such as alerting staff if a donor feels unwell.

Volunteers are asked to commit five to six hours a month for a six-month period.

Volunteers are needed to help with scheduling and promotion of upcoming donations.

Southern Piedmont Chapter Executive Director Sheila Crunkleton said the Red Cross is a “90 percent volunteer-led organization.

“Right now volunteers are especially needed to help respond to local disasters and needed for larger national disasters,” Crunkleton said. “Training is free and important, so we ask people to start the process now. Volunteers to assist with casework for our Service to Armed Forces mission are needed. Also volunteers to help with blood drives — temperature screeners especially.”

Crunkleton said that while the need for blood never stops, the organization does run into staffing issues which sometimes lead to the cancellation of blood drives.

“We always hate for this to occur, so it is very important for potential donors to make appointments for all drives,” Crunkleton said.

Individuals can make appointments by going to www.redcrossblood.org and entering in the zip code for their area. Appointments can be made online or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Blood drives will be conducted outside Lowe’s in Albemarle from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday and at the Red Cross office in Albemarle from 1:30-6 p.m. Sept. 8.