Organizing and Advertising Your First Meeting

Organizing and Advertising Your First Meeting

Your Red Cross club’s first few meetings are some of the most important of the year. This is the time to not only recruit students to join the club, but to grab and hopefully maintain their interest so they regularly attend club meetings and events.

If you have a large number of returning club members, it is not always necessary or efficient to ask them to attend the first meeting, as this “interest meeting” is usually meant for new members or students interested in joining the club.

As club president or leader, you will have to be comfortable speaking in front of a group. Remember, the attention span of youth is limited, so be careful not to add superfluous detail or excess information or speak in circles while you are facilitating the meeting.

It also couldn’t hurt to serve candy or food and drinks to entice more people to come! You can also contact your chapter to see if they have any Red Cross goodies to give out, such as pencils or pins. If you are serving pizza or some other type of substantial food, be sure to advertise this on your flyers.

The American Red Cross National Youth Council and the youth staff at National Headquarters (and at your local chapter) are here to assist YOU! To help school clubs and their leaders, we develop resources which guide and supplement their activities. Here are two resources which will help you specifically with your first meeting:

The Save a Life Guide: A Student Guide to Starting a Red Cross School Club (2001) discusses the basic framework of your first meeting. Read pages 8-9 from “we suggest…” to “… questions, socializing, and snacks.”

The new Club in a Box guide is an amazing resource for clubs. This guide includes sections on how to organize and advertise your first meeting. Pages 54-57 detail how to work with your school peers, page 61 talks about meeting efficiency, and pages 63-64 list important general meeting practices.

Lastly, in the coming days and weeks following this post, which is a segment of our club improvement series as part of National Youth Involvement Month, National Headquarters will be releasing several promotional materials to help you recruit and engage youth volunteers. Two templates of flyers that can be used to promote your meetings should be coming very soon. Further down the line, a postcard template and a youth brochure template will be published. To get access to these materials, Red Cross clubs should reach out to their contact at their local chapter contact to find them on CrossNet and customize them at Brand Central.

Personally, I have led the Red Cross club at my high school for the past four years as well as guided several other Red Cross clubs with their activities. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or to the rest of the National Youth Council for tips and best practices. We also want to hear your success stories and know about the awesome things your club is doing! You can email me at eruss.nyc@gmail.com. Have fun, and best of luck!

Written By Eli Russ, National Youth Council Member

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