Red Cross services highlighted at Rotary

Submitted Photo Rachael Snyder (right), American Red Cross (ARC) of Western New York Chapter Recruitment Specialist, shares some information with John Hamels (left), Westfield-Mayville Rotary President Elect. Snyder spoke about ARC volunteer opportunities during the Oct. 30 meeting of the Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club at The Parkview in Westfield.

Rachael Snyder, Volunteer Recruitment Specialist of the American Red Cross Western New York Chapter, described the various fundamental principles, services and volunteer opportunities of the American Red Cross (ARC) during the Oct. 30 meeting of the Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville, which was held at The Parkview in Westfield. Club President Elect John Hamels welcomed Snyder and introduced her as the guest presenter.

Snyder said, “Rotary and the ARC actually have quite a bit in common, such as local and international volunteer efforts.” The latter lists its mission statement as “The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” Snyder noted that during high school she was an Interactor, which is the Rotary group of secondary students who conduct various volunteer service projects.

“ARC was founded by Clara Barton on May 21, 1881. We are not government affiliated, and, like Rotary, we offer services around the world,” stated Snyder. She noted the seven fundamental principles of the ARC as humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. Her Rotary program focused on various aspects of volunteer services. Snyder said, “At ARC we like to say sleeves up, hearts open and all in.”

She discussed the eight categories of ARC volunteer services as disaster response, preparedness education, service to the armed forces (which is the oldest), health and safety training, international humanitarian services, fund-raising, leadership and blood services. Snyder noted that in the Western NY region, there is a great need for services related to house fires and flooding. She said, “ARC assists families affected by house fires about 180 times per day, and it assists 1,400 people per hour every day.”

Snyder continued, “We have a high need in Chautauqua County for volunteers to join our Disaster Action Team (DAT). Members of DAT can serve as disaster responders and help to set up shelters, be disaster public affairs volunteers, join as community preparedness presenters and serve with the home fire campaign team.”

ARC’s services to the armed forces opportunities include Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) volunteer, VA hospital volunteer, Hero Care Network Regional Caseworker, community outreach and events, Reconnection Workshop Instructor, and administrative support.

Snyder stated, “Ninety percent or above of our workforce consists of volunteers. General opportunities include fundraising, communications, volunteer management, community outreach, office administration and board membership. In addition, people may work with youth or young adult volunteers in our Red Cross clubs.”

The Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville commends the efforts of Rachael Snyder and all those involved with ARC. For more information about ARC of Western New York volunteer opportunities, contact rachael.snyder@redcross.org or 878-2231, or visit redcross.org/volunteer.

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