April Monthly Focus: Hope, Innovation, and Service

Hope, Innovation and Service

April’s monthly theme is Hope, Innovation, and Service – but what does that mean? To embody these values, we’ve picked out three main initiatives to focus on: National Volunteer Week, World Immunization Week, and Sound the Alarm. If you’re looking for inspiration this month, look no further than Sound the Alarm! This campaign is a great way to promote fire safety and preparedness in your community, and to hope, innovate, and serve. You can learn more about Sound the Alarm and check out some ways to get involved from your own home here, including filling out our virtual Pledge to Prepare! 

Here’s how each of the main focuses is planned throughout the month: 

  • [Apr. 8–May 8] – Sound the Alarm 
  • [Apr. 18–24] – National Volunteer Week  
  • [Apr. 24–30] – World Immunization Week  

How to Get Involved 

One of the best ways to explore the spirit of Hope, Innovation, and Service is to participate in the National Youth Council’s upcoming Twitch livestream fundraising event: 

On April 24th from 5pm – 7pm EST the National Youth Council will be hosting a Sound the Alarm Fundraiser Stream on twitch.tv. We will be playing a Jeopardy and a couple other party games, so be sure to be on the lookout on our Instagram for more details! 

More Information 

Here we’ve included some helpful links to learn about the other topics included in this month’s theme! 

Youth Stories! 

Read on to hear from Pranavi Garlapati, a volunteer from the North Texas region, about her experiences with the Measles & Rubella Initiative and how they connect to this month’s theme of Hope. 

1. What has your work within the American Red Cross taught you about hope?  

When I first joined the Red Cross, I wanted to give back to the community, but I had no idea the number of opportunities that were available for me to do so. Slowly, as the Fundraising and Social Media Coordinator for the North Texas Youth Red Cross, I was able to learn of all the different initiatives the Red Cross was doing, such as Missing Maps, Blood drives, IHL, etc. I was so moved by all the different missions the Red Cross had and the impact it was making, so I decided to start a fundraiser for the Measles and Rubella Initiative. Through working on this fundraiser and numerous social media campaigns, I’ve experienced the hope that the Red Cross was giving everyone all over the world. In addition, I’ve learned that as part of the Red Cross each mission I take on, small or big, like setting up a fundraiser on my Facebook page, can bring hope to hundreds of individuals. 

2. How are you giving hope to individuals through the Measles and Rubella Initiative?   

The Measles and Rubella Initiative, and specifically the Vaccinate a Village Initiative, is an amazing mission that would vaccinate 1 child for every dollar raised and a whole classroom for 10 dollars. With over $2800 raised in the fundraiser I have conducted with my team, the impact that can be made is incredible. Thousands of individuals, who are unvaccinated, would be able to have a preventative measure against Measles and Rubella through this initiative. The Measles and Rubella Initiative would give much hope to many individuals, who do not have access to the medical care that we have and give them hope as it helps the members of their community to stay safe. 

3. Would you be able to share your experiences with the Measles and Rubella Initiative? Specifically, what is it like fundraising virtually and what are the best practices you have learned? Additionally, what first made you want to get involved?  

I first learned about the Measles and Rubella Initiative after exploring the Red Cross website, and I really connected with it, especially because the mission was extremely important given the current pandemic. I wanted to help the initiative, but I wasn’t sure how especially because the pandemic limited what I could do. Then, I got the idea of fundraising virtually on my Facebook page after discussing it with the other members of my team. Fundraising virtually was definitely a challenging experience because it takes a lot of effort to get the interaction you need to make the fundraiser successful. I feel some of the best practices I have learned are having a great support system (people who are willing to help you throughout the process) and consistently being motivated to try new ideas if something is not working. For example, at first, I tried to contact the youth demographic to donate to the fundraiser, but my attempts were unsuccessful, so I contacted a lot of the adults in my community, which I feel really helped take the fundraiser to the next level. 

4. Any last advice to Clubs or individuals who are looking to get involved with the Measles and Rubella Initiative during this challenging time of virtual fundraising?  

I would say the best advice I can give and has really helped me through this experience of virtual fundraising is to stay organized and passionate. If you are planning a virtual fundraiser, it may look like less work upfront, but it’s really important to choose the platform you are fundraising on (keeping in mind processing charges that may be in each option), plan how to promote the fundraiser (graphics, social media, emails), and doing smart outreach (contacting a specific demographic). While it takes a significant amount of effort to really push a virtual fundraiser, I would say that the experience is extremely rewarding and will definitely make a significant impact both on you and the initiative. 

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