Ask not what the American Red Cross can do for you, rather, ask what you can do for the American Red Cross..and yourself!

Welcome to Week 1 of National Youth Involvement Month!

Obviously every American Red Cross youth volunteer across the country wants to get involved and find the greatest project possible that will raise some money, raise volunteer involvement in their respective clubs, and maybe even raise awareness about the organization as a whole. When I was president of my Red Cross Club in high school, I had a lot of trouble thinking of an innovative and creative project that would stay true to the mission of the Red Cross, my goals, and the views of my club members. Sometimes it is also easy to get lost in the midst of all that the American Red Cross has to offer. After all, there are six lines of service youth are involved in and you can choose from when planning a project: Leadership development, health and safety services, biomedical services, school-related activities, international services, services to the armed forces, community services, and even disaster response!

Last year, when planning a fund raising project for Haiti, brainstorming with my club was the most important part-I had to get everyone’s input, including my school administration and faculty. Our plan to have envelopes in every teacher’s room for them to collect money for the Haitian relief effort almost did not work out because some teachers did not agree with our ideas and did not want the responsibility of taking care of the donated money. My tip for choosing a volunteer project is first and for most, run ideas by your Red Cross youth advisers and teachers at school because they will have some creative and innovative ideas that come from having dealt with challenges in the education system over the years. Then, generate ideas with club members, take a vote, and have an organizational plan ready before pitching it back to the adults who will then give you the go ahead. Because as the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Anjuli, Berkeley, CA

Anjuli with her Leadership Develpment Camp (LDC) staff from her high school days.

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