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Red Cross Offers Expedited Training in Bloomington for New Volunteers

American Red Cross Serving South Central Illinois
After successful completion of Just In Time and a background check, volunteers are eligible to deploy to help with hurricane relief efforts.

The American Red Cross is offering expedited training courses for new volunteers in Central and Southern Illinois following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Bloomington-Normal is among those cities offering the course.

The Just In Time course offers a fast-track training experience for volunteers in the Twin Cities. Participants are eligible to deploy to disaster areas after completing the free training session and passing a criminal background check. The Bloomington Red Cross offered its first training session on Saturday, during which they trained 13 new volunteers. It will be holding another day-long session Sept. 30.

Red Cross Regional Communications Director Trish Burnett said volunteers are primarily needed to staff shelters.

“We’ve got about 7,500 people in Texas still in shelters,” Burnett said. “We don’t know exactly how many we’ll have in Florida, Georgia, and the southern tier. But we do expect a large percentage to need some continuing sheltering.”

Burnett also said she hopes volunteer efforts will continue in Illinois once this is all over.

“We love the fact that they want to go down there and help,” Burnett said. “But we hope that when they come back, they’ll stay on as a regular volunteer and help right here at home.”

The training session is free, but registration is requested. All sessions are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To register, contact Laura.Streid@redcross.org or (309) 662-0500 ext. 7428. Please specify which location when you register.

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Dania is a reporter at GLT, as well as a student at Illinois State University.
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