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American Red Cross Announces New “Young Professionals Auxiliary”

DALLAS, TX (August 17, 2012) – When the American Red Cross was founded in 1881, it took a strong woman leader, Clara Barton, and circle of her acquaintances to launch what is now the largest disaster relief organization in the world. Now 101 years after first obtaining a charter in Dallas, the Red Cross is launching the Young Professionals Auxiliary (YPA) for philanthropists and volunteers ages 21-30. Just like in 1881, it is a young woman, Caroline Hurley, and her associates that are launching the YPA and leading through its inaugural year. This newly formed group will help the Red Cross with special outreach events and service projects, as well as assisting victims of disasters across North Texas through volunteering and fundraising.

While this is her first time to be leading a young professional’s board, Hurley has been volunteering since she was a youth, beginning with her mom in the National Charity League where one of their projects was assembling comfort kits for the local Red Cross in Los Gatos, CA. While she was completing her bachelor’s degree in corporate communications and public affairs at SMU, Hurley interned at Shore Public Relations where she developed press initiatives and events for non-profits. It was her first post-college job as a receptionist at Colliers International where she met her mentor, EVP and Red Cross Tiffany Circle Co-Chair Mary Stoner Yost, and began thinking about how she could work with the Red Cross again in a new way while getting her fellow young professionals in on the fun. Hurley is now the senior marketing coordinator at SRS Real Estate Partners.

“Mary Stoner Yost is my mentor and role model, especially because she shows how important it is to volunteer and give back to the community,” Hurley explained. “In the same light, the mission of community involvement at SRS Real Estate Partners has really motivated me as I’ve worked to launch this new group for the Red Cross. I’ve felt so supported through the launch and am hoping that leads to big success for YPA.”

The American Red Cross Young Professionals Auxiliary contributes to the mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies. Major influencers and mentors to the Young Professionals Auxiliary include both the American Red Cross board of directors and members of the Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders. These three groups will come together to fulfill the mission of the American Red Cross to aid those affected by disasters through volunteering, fundraising and networking.

“As we begin the inaugural year of the Young Professionals Auxiliary in Dallas, it is my goal to engage the young professionals in my city to make a commitment to their community,” Hurley added. “I look forward to working tirelessly alongside my peers so that the Young Professionals Auxiliary’s vision of young person-led service in Dallas will become a reality.”

Red Cross YPA members will enjoy an extensive and often exclusive calendar of events throughout the year, which will include social events and Red Cross mission-driven projects, such as a Cocktails and Comfort Kits event inspired by the same volunteer project Hurley used to do with her mom. “One of the intangible benefits of joining the Auxiliary is the opportunity for professional networking alongside people who share your same passion for humanity,” said Hurley.

The Red Cross YPA has events scheduled through the rest of the calendar year that combine the service focus of the Red Cross with social opportunities. Young professionals can network in a relaxed environment while signing Holiday cards for servicemen and women at the Cards and Cocktails event in November. The group is also planning a holiday party fundraiser called Wrapped in Red.

An official YPA Kick-Off event is slated for Wednesday, September 12, 2012 from 6:30p.m. -8:30p.m. at St. Ann’s Restaurant and Bar on Harwood St. in Dallas, Texas. The event will feature speakers from the Red Cross and give guests the opportunity to learn more about YPA’s service goals for the year and apply for membership. There will be a special YPA membership rate at the event of a tax deductible gift of $65 to the Red Cross. The standard membership rate is $75 or the sponsorship of a Piper the Puppy in a YPA member’s name for $100.

Those interested in joining the Young Professionals Auxiliary should email Caroline Hurley, YPA President, at caroline.hurley@redcross.org or visit the group’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/AmericanRedCrossDFWYPA.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.