THE BLOG

My Red Cross Journey As a Youth Volunteer

Apr 09, 2014 | Updated Jun 09, 2014

When we think of heroes, we are reminded of Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Wonder Woman, all Marvel and DC Nation heroes. But do we ever think of ourselves as heroes or possible heroes? There are heroes, and they belong to the Red Cross. Red Cross volunteers are everyday heroes that I look up to and a league I am proud to be part of.

My American Red Cross journey started my freshman year. At the time, I was part of several clubs, including service clubs. These clubs were fun, but they never held an area of focus. Luckily, a run in with the American Red Cross vans parked outside of my school's gym for the blood drive kick started my involvement with the Red Cross. On the day of the blood drive, I went home to research about the Red Cross to learn more about youth involvement. After much research online, I found the Red Cross to be the perfect fit. Youth volunteers would follow the seven fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, universality, as well as, five lines of services: disaster services, service to the armed forces, health and safety services, blood services, and international services.

I knew that bringing the Red Cross Club to my high school campus was exactly what students at my school need. From that point on, I spent the rest of my freshman year trying to get the club chartered on campus with the approval of my local American Red Cross Chapter (Arcadia).

At our first club rush, I was shocked to find out that around 150 people were interested in the club. Our club is continuing to grow; as of this year, we have around 200 members. With a large club, I am able to delegate larger scaled projects for my club members. Currently, we are placing our club's fund toward our club's project which allows us to update the first aid kits at our school.

In the past, we had held canvassing projects focused on preparedness and were able to raise money for the Measles Initiative. We also held Holiday Mail for Heroes (my personal favorite) which gave students the opportunity to make holiday cards to thank the American troops. We brought a CPR and first aid class to our campus so that students can get certified, along with, our own workshop presentations. And of course, we are involved with our school's blood drive. But the volunteer work does not stop there. My fellow club members and I at my school volunteer at Red Cross related events outside of school on the weekends. These events include kit packaging, responses/relief right after any disaster, and many other falling under the different lines of services.

I have crossed path with so many amazing heroes during my time with the Red Cross. These heroes range from youth coordinators to actual youth volunteers and sponsors of the club. Red Cross volunteers, myself included, place dedication, passion and time into all of our Red Cross related involvement. As time progresses, I truly see how each Red Cross volunteer adds to the definition of a hero.

Can you be a hero at 16 or even younger? Yes, and the only superpower you need is passion. As long as you have the passion and love to volunteer, you can be a hero. American Red Cross gives you the capability to be an everyday hero. My journey with the Red Cross has allowed me to play my role as an everyday hero and meet many other heroes. You can join the league by contacting your local Red Cross chapter.