By Noreen Walton, American Red Cross volunteer
Elisha Savalia, June 2023 Riverside County Volunteer of the Month, describes her work with the American Red Cross as exciting and fulfilling. As president of the Red Cross Club at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, where she just completed her senior year, and special events lead for the Youth Advisory Council, Elisha has made volunteering with the Red Cross an essential part of her high school experience.
Elisha is committed to designing special events that are informative, fun and engaging. Under her leadership, student volunteers have learned about several Red Cross mission programs including the Measles and Rubella Initiative, International Humanitarian Law, Home Fire Preparedness, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Elisha believes she benefits from these presentations as much as her fellow volunteers. “I can feel a difference being made,” she explains. “And I get to meet with other volunteers who are as passionate as I am.”
The youth diversity and inclusion event that Elisha helped design in November 2021 stands out as one of her favorites. “I remember watching the other Red Cross volunteers speaking and participating. Their passion for this topic was obvious and very real. I realized that leading special events was something I really wanted to continue to do.”
In 2022, Elisha applied to be a GLOW Red Staff Leader at Camp Cedar Lake in Big Bear, California. This weeklong camp helps students build their personal confidence and strengthen their leadership capabilities. Elisha collaborated with other camp leaders before the event, preparing and finalizing a series of workshops. Their hard work paid off. “When camp came, I could see the changes taking place in the people who attended. That’s why I volunteer for the Red Cross. It is a way for me to create change and progress within my community and with others. I am able to aid those in need, which brings me a sense of fulfillment and joy.”
Elisha’s message to potential Red Cross volunteers is simple and direct. “Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid. As long as you give your best, you will get the change you want to see.” Elisha has definitely seen that change in others and has experienced that change, herself.