DC-region Red Cross CEO thanks volunteers for making a difference this National Volunteer Month

This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference from our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read more of that coverage.

It’s National Volunteer Month and a D.C.-area chapter of the American Red Cross wants to encourage more people to volunteer and thank those in the community who are already making a difference.

Dale Kunce, chief executive officer of the National Capital & Greater Chesapeake Region of the Red Cross. (Courtesy Dale Kunce)

Dale Kunce, CEO of the National Capital and Greater Chesapeake Region of the American Red Cross, said that 90% of the work they do is done by volunteers, whether they are responding to disasters, at a community blood drive or “making sure military families are taken care of.”

“We take somebody who is having their best day as they’re a volunteer and they’re making a difference and we put them right next to someone who’s having their worst day … whether it be at a disaster or at a hospital.”

When patients are having their worst day, “They need that blood product to survive that day whether they be a car accident victim, a new mother whose bleeding, a cancer patient or a NICU baby,” Kunce said.

The Red Cross is able to complete its mission through not only the power of volunteers, but also through the generosity of donators.

Kunce said donors allow them the financial ability to send disaster responders to other places in the country.

Donations “allow us to make sure that the folks effected by the fire in Upper Marlboro have the financial assistance that they need, that they have the medical care that they need, that they have the prescription medication that they may need, that they have access to a hotel room that night,” he said.

Locally, the Red Cross responds to over 2,500 disasters every year, and they work to collect 300 to 400 blood units per day in the D.C. area to meet the needs of its hospital partners.

(Courtesy American Red Cross)

Every day, Kunce said, the Red Cross provides CPR and first aid training. In addition, volunteers are hoping to make a difference in the lives of military service members and their families as they work with active duty members and veterans.

To find out how to volunteer, visit the Red Cross’ website.

Stephanie Gaines-Bryant

Stephanie Gaines-Bryant is an Anchor and Reporter for WTOP. Over the past 20 years, Stephanie has worked in several markets, including Baltimore, Washington, Houston and Charleston, holding positions ranging from newscaster to morning show co-host.

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