Kids today are thrown into a world where they can easily spend their time playing video games or searching the Internet. However, you might say that the kids in Augusta, Ga., are a little different.
Members of the High School Youth Board explain First Aid basics at an Elementary School Leadership Development Conference in Augusta, Ga.
(Photo credit: Victoria Trent)
This year, several American Red Cross chapters throughout the country were awarded grants for implementing or improving youth programs. The American Red Cross chapter in Augusta, Ga., was awarded a $1,000 grant to expand its great foundation of youth volunteer programs.
“This will inspire a new generation of Red Cross volunteers,” said Lynn Reese, the director of volunteers and youth services for the Augusta Chapter. The Augusta Chapter is currently responsible for hosting the Elementary School Leadership Development Conference (ELDC) in Richmond and Columbia counties. Principals from each school in the area send six student representatives to participate in this one-day workshop, free of charge. Usually 100 kids from the fourth and fifth grades participate in ELDC.
Conferences are led and facilitated by the High School Youth Board of Augusta. This board consists of 125 high school students which focus their efforts on teaching leadership skills to younger kids. ELDC serves to teach youth participants how to prepare and respond to emergencies, increase awareness of the American Red Cross, promote community service, and enhance leadership skills through team building and diversity exercises.
This year, the Augusta Chapter will be expanding its outreach to nine additional counties surrounding the Augusta area. The first ELDC held to incorporate the new counties will take place on April 21, 2019. Reese said this growth will provide “more visibility of the Red Cross to more counties,” and “stimulate interest in the Red Cross at a young age.”
The mission of American Red Cross is to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. For more than 15 years, the Augusta Chapter has been aided by the power of its youth. Reese is intent on furthering the mission of the Red Cross by educating the people of Augusta at an early age.
The Augusta Chapter has a staff of ten, and coordinates the responsibilities for a force of 1,000 volunteers, one-third of which are youth volunteers, ages 11-25.
Victoria Trent is currently a public relations major in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She is also an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and a participant in the Power of Two program that encourages the involvement of communication students in American Red Cross initiatives.
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.