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Red Cross School Clubs Involve Young Volunteers in Community Service
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November 13, 2009

Humanity. Impartiality. Neutrality. Independence. Voluntary Service. Unity. Universality.

These are values that change the world.

They are the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross.

These Fundamental Principles form the foundation for hundreds of Red Cross school clubs across the U.S.

Red Cross school clubs offer youth a place where they can come and make a difference in someone’s life. In turn, the act of service makes a difference in the lives of Red Cross young volunteers.

High School

High School Red Cross Club members gather in Richmond, Virginia.
High School Red Cross Club members gather in Richmond, Virginia.
Courtesy of the Richmond Area Chapter

Consider the lifesaving activities of high school students in and around Tulsa, Oklahoma.

When East Central High School held its annual blood drive, Red Cross Club members helped with the registration, served snacks from the canteen and acted as runners to bring scheduled donors from school offices to the donor station. Later in the school years, club members will be certified in CPR and First Aid.

“The kids really like helping others, and show pride when they have done so,” says school nurse and East Central High School Red Cross Club advisor Cathy Boley.

The Red Cross Club at Tulsa’s Union High School has just elected student leaders: president, vice president, secretaries and a publicist. Club members are planning several events, including a major blood drive, a fundraiser, CPR classes and a jeans and coats drive to collect and distribute clothing among the school population.

Elementary School

At the Red Cross, you don’t have to have a two-digit age to change a life. Lots of elementary school children in the Richmond, Virginia, area can tell you that.

Members of the Red Cross Club at La Barnum Elementary School, for example, learned about suffering in the Philippines and Vietnam following the September typhoons. Wanting to help, students organized a collection drive, raising cash which they brought to the Greater Richmond Chapter of the American Red Cross for the relief effort.

Red Cross Club students at Kersey Creek Elementary School decided to help fight measles, one of the leading killers of children worldwide. It costs less than $1 to vaccinate a child. By selling a spotted Measles Pin to students and teachers, club members raised enough money to provide a measles vaccination to more than 100 children.

“My daughter, Penny, sold Measles Pins for her Red Cross Club,” commented Phonesavanh Phounsavath, Greater Richmond Chapter program operations coordinator. “The project really made her aware of how one person can make an impact. She’s in college now, and still volunteers.”


The American Red Cross Club at UCLA is supporting a number of activities, ranging from blood drives to bringing members of an area high school Red Cross club on campus for a day to introduce them to college life.

With the start of the fall semester, the club partnered with the American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles to train all UCLA resident assistants in first aid and preparedness. The training, called Be Res Hall Ready, is the first of its kind on campus.

The American Red Cross Club at UCLA is a fully functional CPR and first aid training provider. The club has its own instructors, manikins and training supplies, and operates as the Red Cross authorized provider on UCLA, offering lifesaving classes to both students and faculty. Proceeds are reinvested back into the club.

This fall, the club raised funds to support disaster relief in the South Pacific. Also, members of the club interested in health and safety arranged for the sale of discounted disaster and first aid supplies, selling more than $1000 of merchandise in one day. Sales generated so much interest that the club established a Web site through which UCLA staff and faculty can continue to purchase preparedness items. Purchased supplies are hand-delivered by club members.

Get Involved as a Red Cross Volunteer

The American Red Cross believes that school clubs lay the groundwork for skills young people need throughout their lives: leadership, team building and the commitment to making a difference. For many young people, American Red Cross School Clubs are a great way to discover career goals, build a resume and make friends for life.

The American Red Cross also believes there is a direct link between the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and involving youth in the organization. With the Fundamental Principles as a guide, young volunteers will change the world, one act at a time, for decades to come.

November is National Youth Involvement Month. Join thousands of young Red Cross volunteers. Contact your local Red Cross for volunteer opportunities in your community.

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.

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