On this month's cover, Nam Ngo, RN, a volunteer with the American Red Cross, assists victims of Hurricane Matthew at a shelter in Fair Bluff, North Carolina. Ngo, a new nurse who had received his license a month prior, was one of thousands of Red Cross volunteers who traveled to the East Coast in response to the October 2016 disaster. The time he spent there motivated him to get involved with his local Red Cross chapter in the Los Angeles area, and as a Red Cross advocate he's shared his experience widely, hoping to inspire others to join: “When I was in North Carolina, some of the volunteers were coming from the recent [flooding] disaster in Louisiana and were tired. We could definitely use more volunteers,” he said.
We chose this photo for the cover to celebrate Red Cross Month—and also to acknowledge the vital role in the organization that nurses, most of whom are volunteers, play. Currently, more than 15,000 nurses are involved with the Red Cross in varied capacities. Some, like Ngo, help provide disaster services (in 2016, the American Red Cross provided more than 144,000 health and mental health consultations to disaster victims around the country); others teach or take on leadership roles, such as managing blood drives. Information about volunteer opportunities for nurses and nursing students can be found at www.redcross.org/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities.
This month's issue also features two articles that offer both historical and personal perspectives on the Red Cross: see From the Archives, “First Letters from Red Cross Nurses,” and Best of the Blog, “The Call to Service Is Personal: From Vietnam to Red Cross Volunteer.”—Diane Szulecki, Associate Editor