For 32 years, Monroe County Chapter of the American Red Cross in Bloomington, Indiana has been hosting an Annual Book Fair to raise funds for local chapter to help respond to disaster, support local military families, and provide CPR and first-aid classes. Throughout the year, people in the area donate on average 100,000 books, as well as CDs, DVDs, and games, as well as collectables such as art and baseball cards to sell at the event.
This past year, the Bloomington North High School’s Red Cross Club, along with Indiana University’s Red Cross Club, helped to work at their local chapter’s event in early October, though setting up, cashiering, working customer service, and tearing down the event. The event was a huge success, as both these clubs helped to raise $73,100 for the Monroe County Chapter. Congratulations on having such a successful event, and keep up the great work!
November is right around the corner and you know what that means; National Youth Involvement Month (NYIM)! Did you know 20% of American Red Cross volunteers are youth! This means YOU make up a large portion of the American Red Cross volunteer force and November is YOUR month to highlight that impact.
How do I participate you ask, it is simple. The National Youth Council has created a 3,2,1 checklist for you:
3 How are you all IN for #NYIM? Begin to plan, and post a picture on Instagram/Facebook showing us a creative way you are IN with the hashtag #NYIM.
2 DO an activity! Your options are endless… http://redcrossyouth.org/6893-2/activity-guides/
1 SHARE your activity by e-mailing email@example.com, posting in the Facebook group: American Red Cross Youth Network, and in the Club events tab in Volunteer Connection. Tell us the stories of you making an impact! The National Youth Council wants to hear from you! Who knows, you might see you and your club in the next YouthWire or on redcrossyouth.org.
Then GO JOIN the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and redcrossyouth.org. Get Thanks and Give Thanks for making a difference in your community with the American Red Cross! Check out our guide to Get and Give thanks November 24-28.
If you have questions and need some guidance feel free to use the National Youth Council’s office hours found here.
National Youth Involvement Month (#NYIM) is a month dedicated to highlighting and celebrating YOUR involvement and what youth are doing throughout the country. Head on over LINK FOR REGISTATRION to register that are you are participating in National Youth Involvement Month.
It is October people so get out there, start planning, and let’s leave an enormous impact in all fifty states through National Youth Involvement Month 2014!
Taylor Waters, National Youth Council
When clubs are having their first meetings at the beginning of the school year, it is important to focus on the creation of a positive club community! By providing opportunities for new members to socialize and make friends within the club, clubs are more likely to retain members throughout the entirety of the school year. Here are some fun ways to get new club members excited about the upcoming school year!
Welcoming New Members at Meetings: Encourage new members to be involved!
- Icebreakers at the beginning of club meetings help new members learn names while also getting to know more about other members’ hobbies, interests, and activities
- Set up a survey with the question of “Why did you join [your school’s name] American Red Cross Club?” and share the responses at an upcoming meeting
- Offer new members the opportunity to contribute project ideas, and encourage them to be creative
- For members interested in pursuing a leadership position in the future, offer a mentorship program for new members to be paired with current club leaders for a look into how the club is led
- If new members are not already on a club’s email list, make sure to add them so that they can be aware of club meetings and events
- Also, make sure that new members are aware of/added to the club’s social media outlets
Socializing: Create friendships with new members outside of meetings!
- Grab some food before/after meetings at a nearby causal restaurant
- Have a Red Cross trivia night with questions about Red Cross history and Red Cross-themed prizes
- Plan a social outing, such as a movie night or a pizza party
- Go to a school event together, such as a football game or a theater production
Learn more at https://innovation.nfte.com/challenges/red-cross
Convert your energy into impact! Create a unique tablet or smart phone app that promotes volunteerism for a more caring society and a better world.
Develop an app for a smart phone/tablet to encourage people of all ages in your community to volunteer – focus on new technologies for online and micro- volunteering. Your app or tool should also be able to be posted on the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Learning Platform at http://www.ifrc.org/learning-platform
Micro-volunteering is a form of virtual volunteering: a task done by a volunteer, or a team of volunteers, either online via an internet-connected device, including smartphones, or offline in small increments of time. It typically takes only minutes or a few hours to complete, and does not require an ongoing commitment by the volunteer.
INNOVATION THEME IDEAS
- Get engaged in online and micro-volunteering opportunities
- Cooperate inter-generationally
- Link new technology to their entrepreneurial project ideas
- Cooperate with partners on a local, national and regional level
- Include a variety of different groups, especially remembering those who are not connected to internet
- Develop and provide training opportunities in soft skills like: confidence building, empathy, communication, critical thinking, teamwork, understanding of contexts, achieving results, and managing oneself in a changing environment.
- Find new ways to use their individual talents to improve their home communities
The International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies is the world´s largest volunteer based humanitarian network, working in communities all over the world. In 2014 Red Cross Red Crescent still appears to attract an impressive number of volunteers, currently estimated at 17 million people. However it is also clear that volunteering will be changing and challenging in the future. We are already seeing important changes in our own work with volunteers and their communities: volunteers have diverse motivations are harder to retain; communities are more diverse and their challenges more complex.
Key issues include:
- Globalization, technology and direct action
- Online engagement
- Education and training
- Leadership development
Volunteering will always be crucial for a well-functioning society, not only to benefit the community but also as an attitude and mind-set for citizens of all ages.