Red Cross of the Ohio River Valley needs new volunteers | News, Sports, Jobs

PARKERSBURG – A major Hurricane Ian volunteer drive will be hosted by the American Red Cross of the Ohio River Valley from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Blood Transfusion Center at 3201 Dudley Ave. , an agency official said Thursday.

The Red Cross is expected to stay in Florida for another four to six months, which will strain the number of local volunteers available there and for local disasters, according to Sharon Kesselring, executive director of the Ohio River Valley chapter.

“We need more volunteers” she says.

The Red Cross has 1,500 volunteers from across the country and more than 80 emergency response vehicles are deployed in Florida for Hurricane Ian relief. Many work in shelters and feeding operations, Kesselring said.

The Red Cross is helping 2,000 people in shelters and served 142,000 meals, she said.

“It takes a lot of people to do the job” said Kesselring.

About 30 volunteers from the central Appalachian region, which includes all of West Virginia and counties in Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia, are on deployment, including 23 in Florida. Nine volunteers were sent to Florida before Ian made landfall.

Two types of volunteers are needed locally — volunteers who can do the two-week deployment to Florida or other disasters and volunteers to help with local disasters when others are deployed elsewhere, Kesselring said.

“We need as many volunteers as possible,” she says.

A recruiting table will be set up in front of the Blood Center for those who might be uncomfortable entering the building, Kesselring said.

“People can stop at the tent to register”, she says.

Training is required before new recruits are deployed to a disaster, which will be discussed with the prospective volunteer, Kesselring said.

“We will explain this to them when they register” said Kesselring.

Volunteer information is also available at and click on volunteer, she said. Information is also available by calling 304 488-5279.

Jess Mancini can be reached at [email protected]

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