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American Red Cross of Hawaii Calls for Volunteers

Tony Webster

The Central Pacific Hurricane Season runs through Nov. 1, and the American Red Cross of Hawaii is calling for volunteers.

The Red Cross is looking for shelter volunteers, health professionals and disaster action team members.

“We know it's a big ask to have people come in and do face-to-face in-person volunteering in a shelter with the pandemic weighing us down, but it is something that we do definitely need," said Matthew Wells, regional communications director for the American Red Cross - Pacific Islands Region.

"It only takes one, and take that however you will. It could be a wildfire, it could be a tsunami, it could be a hurricane. It just takes one and then countless people, their lives are in a complete disarray. So what we're looking for are those people that are willing to step up.”

Volunteers must be 18 years old and have an ID. They must also pass a background check and complete 3.5 hours of training. Shelter volunteers must also be willing to stay at the shelter during the emergency, if necessary.

The American Red Cross is not mandating vaccines for volunteers unless they are medical professionals.

"We know that is an even bigger ask to make because everyone in the medical profession is at such a high demand and their time is of an absolutely premium," Wells said. "However, because they work so closely to everyone in that one-on-one capacity, for medical professional that volunteers with us, we ask that they be vaccinated."

Those seeking assistance or shelter from the Red Cross will not be turned away because of their COVID-19 vaccination status, or other health and medical reasons.

During an emergency, the Red Cross will stand up a quarantine area at a shelter for those exhibiting COVID symptoms.

For more information, visit RedCross.org/Hawaii.

Jason Ubay is the managing editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Send your story ideas to him at jubay@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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