By: Ashley Emerson
With all the disasters that have occurred this past year, it is important for people to get involved. The National Red Cross (NRC) is an emergency disaster relief organization based in the United States. It was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons to provide aid to victims of wars and natural disasters. November is National Youth Involvement month. It is a time in which NRC celebrates teens who volunteer to help promote the mission of the Red Cross by organizing events that help with bring awareness to local and world problems. This year’s Red Cross theme is, “Travel Beyond the Boundaries.”
Susan Su, 12, is the president of the Martin Luther King High School chapter of the Red Cross Club. She, along with fellow officers, not only organize and implement events, but also notify people of volunteer opportunities through social media and club meetings. Su stated that non-Red Cross Club members are always free to volunteer in any of their events. A few of the events being held this year are: a semester long Recycling Competition, Sound the Alarm that ended Nov. 18, and a holiday Toy Drive that ended Nov. 30.
The Recycling Event is an event in which students, teachers, and staff are encouraged to bring empty water bottles. Participating classrooms have specific boxes for the water bottles that Red Cross Club decorates. Red Cross Club members gain community service for each bottle. The bottles are then recycled for money. This year all of the proceeds of this event will go to hurricane relief for the Caribbean. In previous years, the proceeds of this event have gone directly to NRC.
Sound the Alarm is an event in which students travel to local neighborhoods that are highly susceptible to fires, such as a mobile home park. They educate homeowners on certain precautions to take to avoid a house fire and they help install fire alarms if they do not already have them.
Red Cross also hosts a holiday toy drive and donate toys collected to the Children’s Safety Festival on Dec. 12. The Children’s Safety Festival is an event where NRC collect toys from all high school Red Cross Clubs and donates them to underprivileged kids. They also hold booths that interact with the kids in order to inform them of the actions they should take in the event of a natural disaster.
In an attempt to raise even more money, Red Cross Club sells donuts at their meetings for a dollar, open for purchase to anyone. For more information on how to get involved in The Red Cross or join The Red Cross Club, follow @mlkredcross on Instagram!