By: Lynn Cohen, Senior Volunteer Engagement Specialist
As we head into the school year, we will not only rely on our working-age volunteers, but also on the student volunteers who make up the 17 active Red Cross Clubs in the Eastern Pennsylvania Region. And this year, they’re better trained than ever.
Earlier this month, the Lehigh Valley Bucks Chapter in Allentown hosted the first-ever Red Cross Club Officer Training, which included a whole day of activities for 23 student attendees, two coordinators and two advisers from 10 high schools and colleges. A Red Cross Club is a group that provides students with opportunities to make a difference by addressing their community’s greatest needs and developing leadership skills. Red Cross Clubs empower their members with knowledge and life-saving skills to help their school and community respond to emergencies.
Several staff assisted and presented at the training, including Guy Triano, the Eastern Pennsylvania CEO, who wanted to make sure he shared with our youth how important they are to our mission. The objective of the training was to provide attendees with the tools they will need to move forward with starting a new club or enhancing their current club. We wanted them to be aware of the tools and resources available to support and navigate their clubs through a successful academic year.
Kristine Macatantan is the president of the Northeast High School Red Cross Club and said, “This training opened my eyes for a new hope that Red Cross at Northeast will flourish into a long legacy of success in volunteering that I am glad to be a part of. My team and I have learned more ways to engage our club members, gain new ones, and make the school more of a community!”
Later in the day the group practiced a Ready Relay (imagine the Amazing Race), to help clubs learn how to use this activity as a fundraiser, while teaching attendees about the Red Cross. At the end of the Relay, clubs were asked to perform an 8-line Rap about the Red Cross. Last but not least, Bryan Solis and Cody Tran, Chair and Vice Chair of the National Youth Council, respectively, skyped in from California to share their Red Cross stories and shared club resources for the clubs and youth in general.
“At the training, I learned many things about the Red Cross that I didn’t know before, such as all the different ways one can contribute to helping the Red Cross. I also got a sense of how to lead my group, and organize matters accordingly,” said Ayah Ibrahim, president of the newly formed Pleasant Valley High School Red Cross Club.
Interested in starting a Red Cross Club? Check out more information at this link: http://redcrossyouth.org/college/how-to-start-a-red-cross-club-2/