By Jan Carabeo

By Jan Carabeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you’re patient, compassionate and would like to be a part of history, the American Red Cross in Philadelphia wants to hear from you.

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The organization needs 1,000 volunteers for the Pope’s visit in September, and the time to sign up has arrived.

The Red Cross Emergency Communications Center on Chestnut Street in Center City is always busy. Volunteers answer hundreds of emergency calls every day and dispatch crews across the county. That job won’t stop when Pope Francis is in town.

Instead, Red Cross volunteers will face the added task of aiding the masses that follow the popular pope.

“Philadelphia is expecting more than a million people, and we’re going to need as many volunteers as we can find,” volunteer Tom Riethof says.

Riethof has volunteered for close to four decades. The Red Cross is now looking for people with his compassion and willingness to learn. The volunteers will staff shelters, provide health services and more.

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“A lot of the work that we do can be taught, and we’re really encouraging people to go online and register so that we can get them trained,” says Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, CEO of the American Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania.

Those with specialized skills are a bonus. Multilingual volunteers, those trained in medicine, and people with skills in child and geriatric care are especially needed.

“It’s the young children and the elderly that will get disoriented and separated from their families, so we really want people who have those types of talents,” Cardwell Hughes says.

And since travel will be limited in and around the traffic box, the Red Cross will also shelter and feed its volunteers.

“You’re going to be part of history, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Cardwell Hughes says. “If you want to look back on your year, your life, and you want to make a difference, join the Red Cross, you’ll make a difference.”

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CLICK HERE to fill out an application form.