The American Red Cross is recruiting volunteers for a host of positions across Iowa. Matthew Thieschafer, a volunteer services specialist for the agency, says they have great opportunities for people who want to help others in their hometowns or abroad.

“We are looking for volunteers to fill a wide variety of roles,” Thieschafer says. “Those include people to respond to disasters both large and small. They include tornadoes, floods, home fires.” If disaster response isn’t appealing, the Red Cross could use a hand with its community outreach efforts.

“We install smoke alarms for individuals,” Thieschafer says. “We also have pillow case projects where we work with schools and work on educating students how to be prepared in case of emergency.” Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and commit to one year of service.

“Other roles include those that coordinate behind the scenes,” he says. “We also have individuals who dispatch to report to those house fires. They do that from their home and coordinate those responses. We also have individuals that work with mental health and medical expertise.” The agency’s training is provided at no cost to the volunteers. Learn more at

(Thanks to Karla James)