Red Cross in need of volunteers during the holidays

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- If you're looking for a way to give back this holiday season, the American Red Cross is in need of volunteers.

"It doesn't necessarily get quieter," explained Lori Wilson, executive director of the Central Valley chapter of the American Red Cross. "It can sometimes get much busier."

The Central Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross stays busy year-round, but the holidays look much different.

"We definitely see a big uptick in the number of home fires we respond to on a daily basis," said Wilson.

The executive director added the disaster action team responds to at least two house fires a day. In early December, volunteers gave a Fresno family vouchers to stay in a hotel for a few days after a fire destroyed their apartment, then thieves stole items from inside.

"Having been on these home fires, it is one of the most rewarding experiences because you are that support," Wilson said.

Aside from providing relief locally, Red Cross volunteers travel across the country.

"We have the big disasters that are happening around the country," said Wilson.

Red Cross volunteers are already on the ground in Kentucky, and three from Central California are preparing to leave after a tornado left a path of destruction last Friday night.
"They didn't know what to do, and we're sitting there going 'You don't have to think about that right now. We got you,'" Wilson shared.

Local and national disasters, plus the pandemic, just increases the need for volunteers.

According to Wilson, it doesn't take up a lot of time.

"It's around your schedule and working with the managers to make it happen," she explained.

If you can't volunteer in person, you can volunteer virtually, donate to the organization or simply roll up your sleeve to give blood.

For more ways to get involved, visit the American Red Cross website.

Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.