Did you know as many as 25% of American Red Cross volunteers are youth or young adults, age 24 and younger?
The Red Cross has a proud history of commitment to youth and their value to the organization. That commitment centers around programs to involve young people starting in elementary school through high school, college and beyond.
Young Red Cross volunteers are as diverse as the U.S. population. They are athletes organizing blood drives on college campuses, nursing students training to serve in community disaster shelters, high school students raising funds to vaccinate kids across the globe against measles.
As a member of their school’s Red Cross Club, students can support local, national or even international issues. Besides Red Cross Clubs, high school students can participate in the Field Ambassador program, serving as liaisons between their local Red Cross region and the National Youth Council. The Council, yet another opportunity for young people, is made up of youth members who advocate for young volunteers to get involved both at the national and local levels.
Many students who go on to higher education continue to support the Red Cross by joining Red Cross Clubs on their college campus. And there are Red Cross Young Professionals groups across the country composed of dedicated 25-to-35-year-old volunteers from all industries and backgrounds who promote and support the Red Cross.
Young people represent both the future of the Red Cross as well as the present. Youth engaged in Red Cross services and programs are experiencing first-hand the humanitarian values the Red Cross exemplifies. By such involvement they will become the organization’s future leaders, service volunteers, blood donors and community supporters. You can find out more at redcross.org/red-cross-youth.
Throughout the year, young volunteers support the Red Cross in different ways. Here are a few of their stories:
ANNA DU serves as the secretary of Davis Senior High School’s Red Cross Club and as Disaster Services Coordinator of the Gold Country Region Youth Executive Board. While helping her community with her school’s club, outside of school she is able to contribute to her region as a part of the Youth Executive Board.
Her first Red Cross regional event was a Zombie Apocalypse. This zombie-themed disaster preparedness event served to educate the region on natural disasters that quite commonly recur throughout the year in California. Her club has also arranged card-making opportunities for veterans and healthcare workers, participated in Missing Mapathons, hosted restaurant fundraisers for Red Cross disaster relief funds, planned blood drives for her school, and assisted in many community service projects with other organizations as well as the Red Cross. Being able to help positively impact those around her as well as those miles away from her has been an important experience for Anna.
PRANAV SINGARAJU created the Youth IT Team as a member of the North Texas Youth Executive Services Board. He became involved in the North Texas Region in early 2020, initially applying his technical skills and knowledge to his position as an Excel spreadsheet manager, organizing, merging and categorizing data reports.
He became interested in Microsoft Power BI and developed numerous reports that are currently hosted on his region's operations summary board. He later joined the North Texas Youth Executive Services Board (YSEB) and proposed the addition of a technical branch, which resulted in the creation of the youth IT team. As a team, they have addressed countless registration issues, extracted several data reports for disaster response, recorded a "how-to-register" video, created a youth IT service desk, pioneered a youth engagement Microsoft Power BI dashboard to promote involvement, and developed a regional Red Cross Club map.
THE AMERICAN RED CROSS CLUB AT UCI (RCC at UCI) strives to help improve the lives of those living in Southern California and around the world. One of the ways their members contribute to the community is through the variety of weekend service events they offer each quarter. Fundraising is also an integral part of the club. Their goals for the year include maintaining consistency of members throughout each quarter and collaborating more with their local American Red Cross Chapter to host and attend affiliated events.