Red Cross seeks volunteers in the Rio Grande Valley

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As the time for making New Year’s resolutions grows closer, the American Red Cross, Texas Gulf Coast Region, asks the community to consider volunteering in 2024.

With more frequent catastrophes including extreme weather, some of the organization’s most needed volunteer roles include disaster action team, disaster recovery care and disaster mental health. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families.

“Bilingual (volunteers), specifically, is our big call in the Valley,” said Vanessa Valdez, regional communications manager for the Red Cross.

Red Cross members help locals with meals at the Mercedes Dome after torrential rains caused widespread flooding on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Mercedes. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

In the Gulf Coast region, 3,636 people volunteer with the Red Cross — part of the almost 275,000 volunteers across the country whose support enables the organization to provide relief and comfort for disaster victims, lifesaving blood products for patients, emergency support for military families and veterans, and much more.

“Across the country, the Red Cross is responding to nearly twice as many large disasters as we did a decade ago to help people,” said Shawn Schulze, interim CEO, Texas Gulf Coast Region, Red Cross.

To request more information or sign up, visit

“Our volunteer services team will research out to you, to be able to guide you through the next steps,” Valdez said.

The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission.

For more information, visit or, or Twitter at @RedCross.

American Red Cross on Broadway Street on Monday, July 12, 2021, in McAllen. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])


>> Disaster Action Team: Most of the 60,000 emergencies that the Red Cross responds to each year are smaller disasters like home fires and these are no less devastating to the families affected. As a Disaster Action Team volunteer, you can help comfort and support people in your community by meeting any immediate needs such as food, shelter, clothing or supplies and connecting them to long term recovery services. All training is supplied.

>> Disaster Recovery Care: Casework volunteers provide support to people after disasters to help them get back on their feet. This can include providing referrals to other organizations, serving as an advocate, and issuing financial assistance through a special online system. Volunteers are needed to help both virtually and onsite after disasters.

>> Disaster Mental Health: Disaster Mental Health volunteers provide mental health support to those impacted by a disaster. To be qualified, you must hold a master’s degree and a current, unencumbered license as a social worker, psychologist, professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, psychiatrist, school psychologist or school counselor. Current psychiatric nurses with state license as a registered nurse and at least two years’ experience in a psychiatric setting are also qualified, as are retired mental health professionals who were licensed and maintained a license or certification in good standing upon retirement.