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Red Cross Unveils New App to Find Volunteers

By Emily Cassulo
By ecassulo@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Volunteering for the American Red Cross is now as easy as reaching for your cell phone.

The non-profit organization just launched a new smart phone app to recruit help during times of disaster.

"It gives people who would like to volunteer in a local disaster the opportunity to get information on what positions are available, and get them started with an orientation," said Jennifer McCraw, who works for the Jackson area chapter of the American Red Cross.

And workers said the app will save them time during disasters. Their employees are often tied up answering calls from volunteers wanting to help.

"Some are people wanting to volunteer," McCraw said. "Some are people needing help. So it will give us more time to help the people who need help and then the volunteers can get information that they need through their app."

They said the app would have helped in West Tennessee a few months ago, when several areas were damaged by straight line winds.

"We had our volunteers going out and doing damage assessment and doing case work, and had we had more people to help with that, it would've been very helpful because we could've served people a lot quicker."

Once you have downloaded the app, and the Red Cross needs volunteers, workers said the app will notify you based on your location.

"The spontaneous volunteers is what we call them, who are not already in our system," McCraw said. "This a great way for them to get involved, and if they want to become regular Red Cross volunteers, then we can do that too."

The app is free, and designed for iPhones and Android smart phones, plus tablets.

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