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American Red Cross looking for volunteers and blood donations as hurricane season starts

Officials said the American Red Cross is almost entirely volunteer-run, with people spending their own time helping others in need.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Anyone who ever wanted to make a difference in someone's life and help their community has a chance to fulfill those dreams with the American Red Cross.

Officials said they are looking for volunteers and blood donations as hurricane season starts. They said this year's hurricane season started Tuesday and the organization reminded people that additional safety regulations will be in place while they provide support for communities, due to the pandemic.

Spanish Version: Cruz Roja Americana en busca de voluntarios y donaciones de sangre tras comienzo de la temporada de huracanes

Red Cross leaders said the pandemic also affected the number of people who volunteered last year. This year, they hope to train more people to be able to help after a disaster. The Red Cross relies on volunteers since most of the organization is made up of them.

"Volunteers are critical to the American Red Cross," said Heather Carbajal, from the Northeast Tennessee chapter of the Red Cross. "We are about 99% volunteer-run."

They are looking for volunteers to work as blood collection support, on their disaster action team and for people who can volunteer from home. Several blood drives are also scheduled throughout the East Tennessee region for anyone who wants to donate blood.