MOUNT PLEASANT S.C. (WCBD) — The American Red Cross is asking for your new year’s resolution to be joining their volunteer team of over 1,800 South Carolinians.

Red Cross officials said the benefits of volunteering include meeting new people, learning new skills, being part of something larger, making a difference in someone’s life, and staying active.

“Volunteers make up 90% of the workforce at the American Red Cross, and so we are really heavily relying on volunteers,” said Chase Loudermelt, account manager for the American Red Cross in the biomedical services department.

According to the Red Cross, the organization has more than 1,840 volunteers in South Carolina and nearly 300,000 across the country.

In South Carolina alone, volunteers responded to more than 1,700 disasters and assisted more than 5,670 people in 2022.

The Red Cross needs help filling a variety of positions, including blood donor ambassadors, transportation specialists, disaster action team members and volunteers for services for military and veteran families.

Click here to apply for a volunteer position.

Volunteers help make a variety of events possible, including blood drives — and News 2 partnered with the Red Cross to host two drives across the Lowcountry Wednesday.

The blood drives will last from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the following locations:

  • Omar Shrine Center, Mount Pleasant
  • Rollins Edwards Community Center, Summerville

Officials with the Red Cross said the organization experienced its first blood shortage at the beginning of 2022.

Plus, they added they typically see fewer people coming out to donate blood around the holidays.

“The winter season is always the hardest season for the Red Cross to collect blood, just because people are getting sick, more people are canceling their appointments due to weather,” Loudermelt said.

Donations are always needed at local hospitals, and just one pint of blood can save up to three lives, experts said.

“More people are traveling, so there’s more car accidents, and then we have diseases like cancer and sickle cell disease, that never take a holiday, so the people that usually need blood transfusions still need them,” Loudermelt said.

Nationally, volunteers with the Red Cross respond to more than 60,000 disasters each year, deliver more than 6.4 million blood products to hospital patients in need and provide nearly 550,000 services to military members, veterans and their families, officials said.

“Our Red Cross volunteers step up to help our neighbors here in the South Carolina Region each and every day,” said Rod Tolbert, CEO of the Red Cross South Carolina Region.

To donate blood Wednesday, click here, and use the sponsor code “BLOODBLITZ,” officials said.