PRINCETON, NJ, January 11, 2016 — As we welcome the new year, the American Red Cross is asking people to join the Red Cross by volunteering in 2016. Red Cross programs and services are made possible through the dedication and support of local volunteers.

Across New Jersey, thousands of volunteers are part of the Red Cross. They respond to help families affected by home fires, teach community members to be better prepared for emergencies, volunteer at veterans hospitals and so much more.

“Volunteers are the heart of the Red Cross,” said Michelle Esposito, chief volunteer services officer, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “We are always seeking volunteers with a diverse range of backgrounds, ages, talents and skills to join our ranks of compassionate volunteers.”

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The Red Cross invites members of the community to sign up today and become a Red Cross volunteer. Volunteer opportunities include:

Disaster Action Team

The American Red Cross responds to an average of 70,000 disasters each year across the country, the vast majority are home fires.  When a family is faced with a home fire, the Disaster Action Team responds to provide comfort, support and Red Cross emergency assistance for families’ immediate needs like temporary lodging, food and clothing after a fire.

Home Fire Campaign

Help reduce the number of home fire injuries and deaths in New Jersey. Working with local fire departments, volunteers are going door-to-door in neighborhoods at high risk for fires to install smoke alarms and teach people about fire safety.

Blood Services Ambassador

Support local blood drives by greeting and registering blood donors as they roll up their sleeves to help patients in need.

Service to the Armed Forces

Service to the Armed Forces volunteers provide support to veterans, military members and their families. Brighten the day of veterans at local veterans homes and hospitals, help military families prepare for their loved one’s deployment and more.

To learn about all the volunteer opportunities available and to register as a volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteer.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About the American Red Cross in New Jersey 
The American Red Cross provides programs and services to a population of 8.8 million in New Jersey. The Red Cross trains and mobilizes more than 5,800 volunteers who support the delivery of services throughout the state. In New Jersey last year, the Red Cross responded to 889 local disasters, mostly home fires, helping 1,820 displaced families; collected 88,439 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; provided 3,920 military family case services with emergency messages, helping families find assistance and/or get counseling and referrals; and trained 117,088 individuals with life-saving skills in preparedness, CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics. Follow us on Twitter @NJRedCross.