A new Youth Disaster Action Team
After working over the past two years to establish a Youth Disaster Action Team at my chapter, the hard work of other youth services volunteers, staff, and myself has finally paid off. This weekend, we will be hosting our first disaster services class, designed specifically for a high school student audience.
The meeting will also serve as an informational meeting for members to get more information on the program and meet some of the leadership of our program’s committee. This is such an incredible moment for me because disaster services has been a department which has shaped my volunteerism with the American Red Cross a lot.
Within my time at the Red Cross, I have helped out in various ways within disaster services. I have helped out at the airport crash drill at the local airport (San Francisco International Airport, one of the top 10 largest in the world), shadowed Disaster Action Team members on a house fire, and answered calls at one of the national call centers, here on the west coast during a hurricane. Until now, I have been the only youth at my original chapter (our chapter merged at the beginning of the year), who has gone through all of the training and participation. And now, I get to share this life-shaping experience with others.
Youth Disaster Action Teams are a wonderful volunteer opportunity for youth to get involved. Youth are more resourceful than ever and have amazing capabilities. Adding a Youth Disaster Action Team creates more ways for youth to get involved, adds more skills and resources to another line of service, and can help alleviate the dire need for volunteers when a local disaster occurs.
Lucas Matze, California