The Red Cross needs YOU for Safe Families AmeriCorps

The Red Cross needs YOU for Safe Families AmeriCorps

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois is currently seeking individuals to join AmeriCorps both as Safe Families and Illinois Disaster Corps (IDC). There are both full-time and part-time positions available with members being able to serve out of the Chicago, Rockford or Romeoville offices. Anyone looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the community while gaining new skills and experiences is encouraged to apply.

These are remarkable programs in which members can truly make a difference in the communities and in their own lives. Safe Families team members reach tens of thousands of youth and adults every year across our region with life-saving preparedness education. Classes that they teach include First Aid/CPR, the Pillowcase Project, and much more.

In addition, AmeriCorps members also play a critical part in our Recovery programs and help families recovering from disaster find long-term housing and other resources needed to rebuild their lives. These same members are a key factor in our ability to quickly scale up for major disasters and IDC members also help communities manage in-kind donations and spontaneous volunteers.


AmeriCorps IDC Manager Matthew Sosnicki at a local Meijer providing public education on fire safety and CPR

Current Chicago & Northern Illinois Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer Adam Runkle was a member of AmeriCorps and says he is proud to have been a part of it.

“What first brought me to the Red Cross was the response to Hurricane Katrina and my desire to help others,” Runkle said.

runkle and kelly

Chicago & Northern Illinois Regional Disaster Officer Adam Runkle and Disaster Program Manager Kelly Clark

“After volunteering for a few months, I was inspired to join the organization in a full-time capacity because of its fundamental principles and capacity to alleviate human suffering. I found that opportunity through an AmeriCorps posting with the American Red Cross in Greater NYC. Over the course of a year, I worked hard as an AmeriCorps member to prepare New Yorkers for hurricanes and home fires, responded to dozens of local disasters, and built a robust community engagement program that lasts to this day.”


An AmeriCorps member presents safety education to children through the “Pillowcase Project”

Many AmeriCorps members take pride in their time with the organization. Safe Families AmeriCorps member Jessica Chencinski says joining AmeriCorps was a great opportunity for professional development as well as her own personal growth. People who have an interest in public health and helping others will thrive here gaining experience serving local communities.

“There is no greater feeling than knowing you can help someone even in the slightest of ways. My service with Safe Families allows me to work with the whole population including children and the elderly,” Chencinski said. AmeriCorps members say the work is rewarding because they have daily interaction with community members regarding safety and emergency preparedness while also serving people of all ages through teaching lifesaving skills.

“It is an experience that will be with me forever, and I will always be an advocate for national service,” said Runkle.

Safe Families AmeriCorps members will serve to organize community members across Illinois in making their cities, schools, organizations and households more resilient to emergencies. The member’s primary responsibility will be to present free American Red Cross courses on emergency preparedness, disaster-specific safety, and basic first aid and CPR to both youth and adults in Illinois’ most vulnerable and under-served communities. Safe Families members will also work with local disaster clients to deliver Red Cross services to impacted individuals.

Illinois’ Disaster Corps

Disaster Corps members will support impacted communities with spontaneous volunteer management and donation coordination in the event of a local or state disaster. Members will work hand-in-hand with local and state government entities, non-profit organizations, and other community organizations to provide timely and meaningful service opportunities to those seeking to assist their own communities after a disaster strikes. Though these positions will be based out the Chicago American Red Cross office, members will have the opportunity to train for and respond to disasters across the state of Illinois. Members will also be involved in local or statewide disaster response activities, community preparedness education, and may be deployed for up to two weeks at a time in the case of a disaster.

There are currently up to 6 full-time positions available, served as 1700 hours in an 11-month period.

AmeriCorps Pledge:

I will get things done for America – to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.

I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.

Faced with apathy, I will take action.

Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.

Faced with adversity, I will persevere.

I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.

I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.


  • Invaluable experience from a nationally and internationally-respected organization for school, a future job or new career
  • Educational grant of $5920 at completion of service (or max yearly Pell grant, subject to change)
  • Living stipend paid bi-weekly ($15,500 total over 11 months)
  • Basic Health Insurance for AmeriCorps member
  • Subsidized childcare
  • Student loan forbearance (on qualifying loans)


  • Successfully serve in the position, serve 35-40 hours a week and meet the 1700 minimum requirement for a full term of service
  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Must be 18 years of age at the start date of service
  • Have a valid Driver’s License & clean driving record
  • Pass required criminal background checks
  • Members should also be comfortable working with a wide variety of people from all walks of life and backgrounds, and respect the American Red Cross fundamental principles.

TO APPLY: Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis. Please apply at

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