National Youth Involvement Month Rewind

November is not only the season for gratitude, but also the National Youth Involvement Month (NYIM) for the American Red Cross. Throughout November, youth volunteers across the country create unique projects and share their ideas and stories with other volunteers. The theme for NYIM 2018 was Race of the Regions, which encouraged friendly competition for youth involvement among regions. In celebration of this year’s NYIM, we have highlighted some outstanding events from the past that can motivate youth to get involved, get creative, and get started on planning their own event!

Movie Night Fundraiser

In celebration of NYIM 2018, the youth executive board from the Silicon Valley Chapter of Northern California Coastal Region organized weekly events that represented the different lines of services. Andrea Simonian, the Fundraising Coordinator, hosted a successful movie night fundraiser for the chapter. Andrea decided to organize the event as she wanted to create a friendly environment for new members to bond with one another early in the school year. While she had only a week to plan for the event, she was able to sort out the logistics through careful planning. She created and sent to volunteers a RSVP form, which include a survey about the movie and snacks that Club members wanted. Utilizing her region’s comprehensive youth mailing list, Andrea was able to advertise the event efficiently. At the movie night, members enjoyed watching “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” while munching on popcorn and meeting other Red Crossers. Currently a freshman at UCLA and an active volunteer since ninth grade, Andrea looks forward to continuing her involvement with the American Red Cross through her school’s Club. Thank you for your service, Andrea!

30 Days of Doing Good

To showcase youth volunteers’ everyday acts of good – from things small like recycling to large scale organized events like Sound the Alarm – Eva Luong and the Pasadena Youth Corps organized a month-long social media awareness campaign that encouraged youth to post on social media about their daily acts of good. By starting their planning for “30 Days of Doing Good” a month ahead of time, Eva and the Pasadena Youth Corps had a lot of time to discuss what it was they wanted to contribute and how exactly to get there. They prepared a detailed list that separated possible activities by difficulty and gave each day of the week a theme. “At first,” she said, “it was hard to get people engaged,” but after a lot of persistence, smart social media tricks, and an incentives system, they were able to reach over 1000 youth. Now, in college, Eva is excited about getting involved with a larger Red Cross presence and is looking forward to seeing how much bigger of an impact she can make!

Operation Gratitude

In the spirit of gratitude, Jeremy Reynoso spearheaded several volunteer events in honor of NYIM. As the former National Collegiate Officer for the Pacific and North Central Division, Jeremy actively promoted NYIM across his Division and within his own club on campus. He worked in close collaboration with the UCLA Red Cross Club leadership to mobilize the power of volunteers and turn compassion into action. He began planning for NYIM a month in advance and worked with club leaders to organize and execute Operation Gratitude and a Paracord Workshop. As part of Operation Gratitude, volunteers wrote letters of appreciation and posters expressing heartfelt recognition for Services to the Armed Forces. They also organized a Paracord Workshop where students assembled paracord bracelets, a vital tool for active service members, with small notes of gratitude. Both events showcased the commitment and energy of the UCLA Red Cross Club as members took great pride in their work and incorporated their artistic skills into the final products. Jeremy credits his club’s leadership for the success of the event. They utilized social media to spread the word on their upcoming NYIM and scheduled it during a previously planned event to increase volunteer turnout. Reflecting on his experience, Jeremy is grateful for the National Youth Council’s support and hopes for greater collaboration between youth volunteers to promote NYIM in the future!

Discovering Diversity

To Navya Binigi from the Georgia region,  “diversity” is much more than just a word. To her, it represents some of the most fundamental concepts of the Red Cross: compassion, inclusion, and acceptance. After seeing posts on Facebook encouraging youth to get involved in NYIM, Navya decided to mobilize her high school’s Red Cross Club and hold a Youth Diversity Pledge event. The Youth Diversity Pledge is an event where youth volunteers explore the importance of diversity in their community and how the Red Cross promotes diversity throughout its organization. Navya began planning the event almost a month in advance and worked with her faculty sponsor and local Red Cross contacts to create posters for the presentation. As the president of her club, she used her Club’s mailing list to spread the word and asked her Club members to do the same. Once the planning was completed, Navya held the Youth Diversity Pledge event in a classroom at her school. She and her friends learned how to be advocates and leaders for the American Red Cross through education surrounding diversity and inclusion issues. Currently a senior in high school, Navya is looking forward to continuing her involvement in the American Red Cross in college and beyond. As an active volunteer since her freshman year and a member of the 2018-2019 cohort of Field Ambassadors, Navya hopes to use her experience to continue making a difference in her community. Thank you for your service, Navya!

Whether through organizing fundraisers or educating volunteers about the importance of diversity, youth volunteers are a vital component in advancing the mission of the American Red Cross. The National Youth Council appreciates all the work that our youth volunteers do and is looking forward to seeing what’s in store for National Youth Involvement Month 2019! For more information on this year’s NYIM, visit

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