November is National Youth Involvement Month and the American Red Cross recognizes the valuable contributions of its many young volunteers who do incredible work supporting the mission of the Red Cross.
From school and college groups to young professionals, young people of all ages are involved with the Red Cross. In FY15, more than 44,000 youth and young adults volunteered with the Red Cross, contributing more than 1.3 million volunteer hours. Their work supported all Red Cross services and their accomplishments include the following:
During the fiscal year, youth and young professionals donated more than 830,000 blood donations and more than 19,000 platelet donations. Elementary school Pint Size Heroes held more than 1,700 blood drives resulting in more than 51,000 blood donations. Middle school Red Cross volunteers held about 770 Future Blood Donor drives resulting in the collection of more than 23,000 blood donations.
Young members of the High School Leadership Program contributed more than 13,600 blood donations and more than 19,300 volunteer hours. On college campuses, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics hosted 258 blood drives at campuses across the country, resulting in collecting more than 10,400 blood donations.
Disaster Cycle Services
The Pillowcase Project is a Red Cross presentation especially designed to teach students in third through fifth grades about home fire safety, how to be prepared, and how to cope with emergencies. More than 227,000 youth were part of this year’s presentations and more than 200 of these presentations were given by youth and young adult volunteers.
Preparedness, Health and Safety Services
There are many PHSS programs and services for youth and young adults. In FY 15, more than 1,900 youth and young adults completed Advanced Child Care Training. More than 81,000 completed Babysitter Training. More than 30,000 children completed the Scrubby Bear program which teaches them how germs are spread, how to prevent the spread of disease and how to wash their hands properly. More than 19,000 children and young adults learned preparedness skills through the Masters of Disaster program.
Across the country, 54 college and high school Red Cross Clubs helped raise awareness and funds for the Measles and Rubella Initiative. The Red Cross and its partners work to vaccinate children across the globe. Since 2001, more than 1.8 billion children have been vaccinated against measles, one of the world’s deadliest diseases.
International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which includes the Geneva Conventions, is at the core of the global Red Cross network. It is critical to preserving a minimum of humanity in the worst of circumstances. In FY15, more than 400 students organized into 45 IHL Action Campaign teams, sharing the importance of IHL with more than 11,300 youth and adults. During IHL Weekend Workshops, nearly 300 students representing 40 law and graduate institutions in 22 states learned about the importance of IHL.
Service to the Armed Forces
Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) engages youth on military installations overseas and throughout the United States. Youth volunteers help at Veterans’ Administration Medical Centers and state VA homes and in military hospitals.
Youth and Young Adult Red Cross Organizations
The National Youth Council is a group of 13 youth members and adult advisers who nationally represent the Red Cross youth volunteers.
The National Collegiate Assembly is a network of college Red Cross Clubs that help with communication and building collegiate partnerships across the country.
The National Young Professionals Council represents young professional volunteers throughout the Red Cross. Members come from various backgrounds, including previous National Youth Council members, community leaders and philanthropists.
To learn more about Red Cross youth and young adult volunteers and their outstanding work, visit redcrossyouth.org, the official national Red Cross youth resource and networking website, hosted by the American Red Cross National Youth Council.