Volunteer Spotlight – Amy Smith

Each week during Red Cross Month, we’d like to recognize our Everyday Heroes who give of themselves and help their community.

We’re proud to recognize Amy Smith for her dedication and commitment to fulfilling the Red Cross mission in the SC Region. Amy is the type of person any organization would be lucky to have on its team. Every Tuesday and Thursday for the past nine months, she has walked through the doors of the Columbia Red Cross building with an upbeat attitude and a smile on her face.

Amy contacted the Red Cross after seeing a listing for volunteer opportunities online. After coming on board as a volunteer, she also became a blood donor during the annual Boots & Badges blood drive competition at the Columbia donation center.

While having a disability can present additional challenges in many aspects of life, Amy doesn’t let it get in her way of giving back and thriving as a Red Cross volunteer.

“Even though I’m disabled, I still wanted to be a productive member of society, and the American Red Cross gives me the opportunity to do just that,” said Amy.

As a volunteer who provides support for multiple departments, Amy is busy from the moment she arrives until she leaves in the afternoon. A typical day for her begins with scouring area print publications for Red Cross articles and inputting new volunteer information into the volunteer database.

Her next stop is the Human Resources Department where she assists with clerical duties and other tasks as needed.

“Amy is a very important part of our HR team,” said Karen Crumpton with the SC Region Human Resources Department. “She has taken on many projects that we would not have the personnel to handle without her. She is always happy and smiling and willing to do whatever it takes to help us out. She manages our filing, shredding and data entry. We truly are grateful for all she does.”

But Amy doesn’t stop there. She also helps out in the Donor Recruitment Department with sorting promotional items and folding T-shirts for specialty blood drives and events such as the Family and Friends blood drive.

For this year’s Family and Friends drive, Amy used her personal funds to purchase crafts so donors’ children would have a fun activity to do while their parents were donating—talk about going above and beyond!

“I truly am inspired by Amy’s dedication and ‘can do’ attitude”, said Astrida Thomas, HR Manager. “She is very engaged, efficient and a team player at all times. We would be unable to be as efficient and effective in our daily HR activities if it were not for her assistance. We are fortunate to have her as a part of the HR team and hope to continue to have her on our team as long as she is willing.”

Amy is an asset to the Red Cross volunteer program, and she epitomizes what the Red Cross mission is all about—people helping people. We’re grateful for her support and dedication to the organization.

If you’re interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer, please visit Redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

March is Red Cross Month – Join the Movement!

March is American Red Cross Month and is a time for community members and businesses to join the Red Cross movement and help us carry out our lifesaving mission with a gift of time, money or blood.

Red Cross volunteers and staff members kick-off Red Cross Month by building a human red cross

Red Cross volunteers and staff members kick-off Red Cross Month by building a human red cross

March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by resident Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.

We  respond to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. We provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collect and distribute about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and train more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

Last year in our community, the we provided emergency assistance to 5,041 adults and children that were affected by a disaster, handled 5,594 military emergency communications, trained 38,227 people in lifesaving skills and collected 109, 881 red blood cells and 27, 677 platelets. The Palmetto SC Region is made up of seven Red Cross chapters, serving 35 counties in South Carolina.

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need.

To learn more about how you can get involved visit Redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Red Cross teaches kids lifesaving skills

Every March, the American Red Cross celebrates Red Cross Month across the country.  This year we teamed up with the Richland County Recreation Commission to teach kids Citizen CPR, a hands-only CPR technique.

During the week of March 12th we trained 94 kids of the Richland County Recreation Commission’s Afterschool program.  The kids had a great time learning the importance of being prepared for emergency situations and we did, too!

The children in the Richland County Recreation Afterschool program excited to learn how to perform Citizen CPR.

Kids listen attentively to instructor Stanley before performing Citizen CPR.

Practicing the Citizen CPR technique.

In 2011, the Red Cross launched the new Citizen CPR lifesaving training.  Also referred to as “hands-only CPR,” the potentially lifesaving technique involves no mouth-to-mouth contact and is best used in emergencies where someone has seen another person suddenly collapse.  The hands-only technique increases the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside medical settings.

For more information about Red Cross life-saving training, please visit www.Redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS.