American Red Cross facing volunteer shortage for one of most lucrative fundraisers of the year

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) –Out in the parking lot of the New York State Fair, volunteers with the American Red Cross are continuing a tradition that started nearly two decades ago. 

It’s $10 for a spot in the lot. The money collected parking cars helps fuel the Red Cross all year long. With an 18-day state fair this year, it’s on track to collect a normal amount for the event, even with lower attendance. 

However, there’s no telling how much money is being left on the table because of attendance and the pandemic. The problem is finding folks to help collect that money. 

“We have 750 shifts that we fill so we always need a few more volunteers. we have people who come every day but on top of all that we have people headed to Louisiana to address that so it is a work in progress always,” said Lisa Smith, Executive Director of the Central and Northern New York Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Some of the volunteers who are here have been in this lot every day of the fair so far. With the last week historically being busy, there’s concern there won’t be enough people as we approach the finish line. 

“Saturday looks bleak so anyone who can help and can come down on saturday that would be fantastic,” Smith said. 

Anyone 18 year or older can sign up to be a volunteer, and help to keep this tradition going. You can sign up here.

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