April 6 – 13 is National Volunteer Week and the American Red Cross thanks the 400,000 volunteers who help make it possible to carry out the Red Cross mission.
One such volunteer is Eddie Zitnik. Despite his young age, he is a longtime Red Cross volunteer. A college student and Red Cross National Youth Council member, Zitnik has found that through helping others, he has enriched his own life.
“As volunteers we not only have the power to bring out the best in our communities, but we also have the ability to bring the best out of each other,” he said. That is how he explains what drives him to volunteer.
A native of Youngstown, OH, Zitnik started volunteering with the Red Cross in high school by helping with blood drives. When he went off to college at Ohio State University, he took his love for volunteering with him. Not only did he join the school’s Red Cross Club, he has used his interest in medicine to expand the club’s outreach on campus.
As a member of the club’s diversity outreach and blood services committees, Zitnik worked with minority students to increase blood donation in underrepresented groups. He went on to expand the diversity program by including educational outreach on sickle cell disease, HIV/AIDS and FDA blood donation regulations.
Now, a senior pursuing a double major in Molecular Genetics and Slavic Studies, he was recently elected President of his club. And if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, he’s also a volunteer CPR/First Aid instructor for the Greater Columbus Chapter of the Red Cross.
While Eddie focuses on one day becoming a physician, his free time is in short supply. Yet, he makes it a priority to continue volunteering with the Red Cross and in his community.
“I choose to volunteer with the Red Cross because it gives me a chance to surround myself with people who truly care about the people around them,” he said.
Become a Red Cross Volunteer
The Red Cross relies on the generosity of its volunteers to fulfill its mission. There are a variety of ways people can get involved, and the Red Cross is looking for diverse volunteers of all ages and skill levels.
Go to redcross.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.