Red Cross App uses Gaming to Teach Children about Disasters

A newly released version of the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App can help save lives through gaming. Children between the ages of 7 and 11 role play as different monster characters and can earn points while learning how to be safe in home fires, hurricanes, floods and other disasters.


Children earn points as they direct the characters to identify hazards, locate a safe room in the house, and select items for their emergency supplies kit. They can earn gold, silver or bronze medals based on the number of points they score and star multipliers located throughout the episodes allow them to bump their scores even higher. If a player completes all the episodes, he or she will graduate and become a member of the ‘Monster Guard.’




Available for tablets and other mobile devices, the new version of the app runs on iOS 7 and above. The previous version runs on Android OS 4x and up. Go to or text ‘MONSTER’ to 90999 for a direct link to download the free app. Children should ask a parent or guardian for permission to download the app.


The app compliments The Pillowcase Project – a youth preparedness program to increase awareness and reduce fear. Both the app and The Pillowcase Project are sponsored by Disney.


Check out all of the Red Cross apps at

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American Red Cross Campus LEAD Program

The American Red Cross is looking to connect with your Dec. 2015 and Spring 2016 MBA, MPA, and MPP degree candidates with an interest in joining our Rotational Leadership Development Program, Campus LEAD, in July 2016.

The American Red Cross Campus LEAD Program is a dynamic rotational program designed to diversify the pipeline of talent for leadership positions within the Red Cross.  Campus LEAD is focused on exposing participants to Red Cross culture, operational management, and an enterprise-wide perspective to build leadership capabilities for the future.

In three years, participants recruited from graduate/professional programs into the LEAD Program rotate through assignments designed to accelerate advancement to key leadership positions across The American Red Cross. Graduates hired into the LEAD Program will complete up to three rotations of twelve to eighteen months each, within various Red Cross Lines of Service or departments including International Services (domestic based projects), Development, and Disaster Services.

While continuing rotations, participants will join existing Red Cross employees within the LEAD program for further development and preparation for leadership roles at the American Red Cross. The second level of the program adds components of executive level coaching and cohort development activities.Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 12.54.21 PM

Join us for our virtual information session, Red Cross 101: Campus LEAD on Thursday, October 1st from 6:007:00 PM.  This one-hour session is targeted for Dec. 2015 and Spring 2016 graduates only.  More information about the webinar and registration details are included in the attachment.  We have also included the current job description and brochure for this program.

Registration is required for the October 1, 2015 session.


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The Pillowcase Project

September is National Preparedness Month and Red Cross chapters around the country are gearing up for different ways to promote preparedness. One of the American Red Cross’ Corporate Partners is Disney and this month they have dedicated their Friends for Change website to assist the goals of the American Red Cross.

One of the most popular campaigns for the Red Cross is the Pillowcase Project. So far this year more than 270,000 youth have been reached and through the partnership with Disney, thousands more will be reached before the year ends. The Pillowcase Project is a preparedness education program for children in grades 3-6, which teaches about personal and family preparedness, local hazards and basic coping skills. The idea behind the name “Pillowcase Project” is that students are given a pillowcase in which they are encouraged to build their own emergency supplies kit.


Disney even helped create the “Mickey and Friends Disaster Preparedness Activity Book” that provides another outlet for youth to get educated on how to be prepared and safe during a disaster.

Pillowcase Project presentations are given during the school day, at after school programs, or other organizations’ meetings and events. They are a fun and easy way for youth to get involved with preparedness education! Contact your local Red Cross chapter by following this link if you’re interested in volunteering.

Keep an eye out for Disney’s Pillowcase Project PSA, which will be running the entire month of September as we celebrate National Preparedness Month!


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Camp Red Cross

This summer, I had the opportunity to volunteer as a counselor at my local chapter’s first youth camp. It was targeted for children of a certain income bracket to learn important skills such as water and fire safety.

The camp had been in the works for about a year, and we had almost 100 kids sign up for the 3 sessions. I personally had never had the opportunity to go to a summer camp, let alone be a counselor. I really didn’t know what to expect.

To my surprise, the kids were so easily able to open up to us. The first icebreaker dispelled any initial nerves. By no time, they were braiding our hair and telling us the gossip from their schools.

I got to teach a Red Cross leader-led program about water safety called WHALE tales, where I taught them about how to be safe at the pool or beach. We also did the Pillowcase Project, Scrubby Buddy, and many other safety-related lessons. The kids were really involved, answering questions and participating in skits whenever they got the chance. It was so incredible to see their desire to be so engaged, and I feel like I learned just as much from them as they did from us.

Throughout the week, we worked together on short skits related to one of the 5 major Red Cross lines of service. Some acted out what to do in the case of a house fire, some did how to respond to finding a wounded dog. Watching them bring together everything they learned that week was incredible. Within the span of a week, I had gotten so close to the kids that it was hard to part ways. The skills they learned will stay with them for years, someday potentially saving someone’s life. It’s important for all children to be trained in fire/water safety and first aid, especially at such a young age. Who knows when it could come in use?

rc camp 2

– Swati Guin, National Youth Council Member

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Teaching Teachers How to Save Lives

Over the span of two days during Labor Day weekend, Harvard College Red Cross Club volunteers certified the teaching staff of the course Computer Science 50 (CS50) in First Aid/CPR/AED. CS50 is currently the largest on-campus class at Harvard University, with around 80 total staff and 800 students enrolled at this time last year. This weekend, thirty-eight CS50 TF’s — who are themselves undergraduates at Harvard — participated in one of two three-hour trainings led by instructors Maria Zlatkova and Waverley He.

Harvard College Red Cross Club volunteer instructors and students pose after their First Aid/CPR/AED Class at the CS50 Offices

Harvard College Red Cross Club volunteer instructors and students pose after their First Aid/CPR/AED Class at the CS50 Offices. Photo taken by Winnie Wu, Harvard undergraduate and CS50 photographer.

These trainings mark the second time that all of the course’s Teaching Fellows (TF’s) were encouraged to participate in health and safety preparedness. David J. Malan, the professor of the course, hopes that the “tradition” will continue.

CS50 is an introductory computer science course known for hosting large student events, which include an all-night hackathon and a fair at the end of the semester. Two years ago, teaching staff were confronted by minor medical emergencies at each of these events. One student was transported to the hospital towards the end of the hackathon and one student suffered a head injury at the fair. Both cases were caused by simple factors (namely, lack of sleep) and emergency services were called immediately. However, these events called attention to a need for preparedness. Malan, who has had his EMTB license for almost ten years, also pointed to the increasing size of the class as a reason to certify TFs.

“Being certified makes me feel more comfortable, if not obligated, to do something [in the case of a medical emergency]. If you wait for someone else to respond and everybody shares the same mentality, nobody will react. […] It is helpful to know that someone will own the situation”, said Malan. He also added that he would love to see a point where every undergraduate becomes CPR certified, but that might still be a while from now.

A CS50 TF practices CPR chest compressions on a manikin. Photo taken by Winnie Wu.

A CS50 TF practices CPR chest compressions on a manikin. Photo taken by Winnie Wu.

The teaching staff of CS50 is only one group of many to have been certified in First Aid/CPR/AED at Harvard. Red Cross Club student instructors have each taught community classes at the Massachusetts American Red Cross chapter in Cambridge, and they plan to continue offering classes to interested students in upperclassmen houses. Instructor Spencer Dunleavy also spent his summer in Boston certifying student leaders in the local Summer Urban Program, which connects students with summer volunteer opportunities.

When asked why he chose to become a First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor, Dunleavy said that he “teach[es] because everyone should be able to help someone else who needs assistance. […] Through teaching, [he] can help to save potentially dozens or hundreds through the efforts of my students. It’s like a pyramid scheme where everyone actually does profit.”

Harvard College Red Cross Club volunteers value the idea of youth impacting other youth, and this idea is made clear through not only the classes they teach, but also the events they organize. Last year, they hosted four week-long blood drives (raising almost 1,000 pints of blood and saving almost 3,000 lives) and an International Humanitarian Law Action Campaign forum with refugee and expert panelists.

It is still early in the school year, but these volunteers are excited to continue impacting their peers and their campus community.

To learn more about becoming a CPR/First Aid/AED instructor or about hosting a blood drive, visit or contact your local chapter.

– Waverley He, National Youth Council YouthWire Editor and Harvard College Red Cross Club First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor

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