Apply for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

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Now through November 4, middle and high school students who volunteer can apply for 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The program honors students in grades 5-12 who make meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service. Top honorees earn cash prizes and all-expense-paid trips to Washington, D.C. for four days of national recognition events. Learn more or apply at http://spirit.prudential.com

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National Youth Involvement Month (Nov 2014) #NYIM

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. During November all youth volunteers and Red Cross Clubs across the country are all invited to participate in #NYIM.

How do I participate you ask, it is simple. The National Youth Council has made a checklist of different activities to complete throughout the month of November. This checklist includes: a preparedness activity, a fundraising activity, and a blood services and/or Service to the Armed Forces activity. You can make your own activity or use the awesome Activity Guides found on redcrossyouth.org. If you have questions and need some guidance feel free to use the National Youth Council’s office hours found here.

The checklist also encourages you to connect with Red Cross youth across the country by posing a picture with the hashtag #NYIM, telling about your inspiring involvement by e-mailing youthinvolvement@redcross.org, and posting in the Facebook group: American Red Cross Youth Network. 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.

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 to redcrossyouth.org to register that are you are participating in National Youth Involvement Month. We want to see the area’s influenced during November.

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!

Much love,

Taylor Waters, National Youth Council

#NYIM

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You Hold the Power to Save Lives

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The American Red Cross is happy to introduce a first-of-its kind Blood Donor App that puts the power to save lives in the palm of your hand. Through the app, users can schedule appointments, track total donations, earn rewards and invite others to join them on a lifesaving team. The Blood Donor App is a great new way to help meet the constant need for blood.

The app has many exciting features including:

·         Find local blood drives and donation centers quickly and easily;

·         Convenient, easy appointment scheduling and rescheduling;

·         Receive appointment reminders;

·         Keep track of total blood donations;

·         Receive special blood shortage alert messages;

·         Claim rewards from participating retailers for donating blood or platelets;

·         Join or create a lifesaving team, recruit other blood donors and view rankings on the Blood Donor Teams Leaderboard;

·         Rate the blood donation experience;

·         Follow the user’s blood donation journey from donation through delivery, when available.

This new and exciting app is free and available for download on iPhone® and Android™ devices.

Download the Blood Donor App Today!

Text BLOODAPP to 90999*, search Red Cross Blood in the App Store or Google Play™ or click here to download now.

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Celebrating the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary

For the past 20 years, a special group of individuals has been embedded in American Red Cross operations across the country, helping respond to disasters, teach CPR courses, present on preparedness and everything in between. As September 12, 2014, marks the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, the Red Cross recognizes and celebrates this group of AmeriCorps members who pledge to “get things done for America” and help advance the Red Cross mission.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN The Red Cross first began working with AmeriCorps in 1994. Following the Northridge Earthquake, the Los Angeles Red Cross chapter coordinated a program that involved 40 national service members to assist in earthquake recovery efforts.

The Los Angeles chapter then piloted a nationwide Red Cross AmeriCorps program. This program helped provide vital emergency assistance to communities affected by disaster and increase preparedness in the areas of greatest need before disasters strike by recruiting, training and supporting young adults in Red Cross direct service activities.

In 1997, the Los Angeles chapter partnered with Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C., to launch the first nationwide program. This nationwide program continues to grow and currently deploys more than 100 members in service at 22 sites across the country. Additionally, members support and amplify the Red Cross mission through a variety of other AmeriCorps programs related to disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

DISASTERS, PREPAREDNESS AND TRAINING Preparedness education is a primary role for many AmeriCorps members, reaching thousands of individuals of all ages.

AmeriCorps members with the Red Cross Central Valley chapter in California support a robust preparedness campaign. This year, six new members will assist with the Prepare Central Valley Campaign, a four-year initiative to empower 250,000 local residents to be prepared for any disaster. Members support the community by providing disaster preparedness presentations and engaging residents at community outreach events.

Sometimes members help respond directly to disasters. In the Red Cross Greater St. Louis Region, AmeriCorps members sometimes ride along with disaster workers to help individuals and families affected by home fires. After a tornado destroyed parts of the small town of Brookport, Illinois, in 2013, just weeks before Thanksgiving, members helped with damage assessment, set up a shelter in an old gym and helped with casework.

AmeriCorps members may also help with Red Cross training and certification as CPR and first aid instructors.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AmeriCorps members find many great opportunities to gain and sharpen new skills with the Red Cross, making their service a valuable experience in their career path. In fact, one individual started out as a Red Cross volunteer, served in AmeriCorps and then was hired on as a Red Cross employee.

Kaleena Wright was a Red Cross AmeriCorps member and Homeland Security liaison in 2007 and 2008. She also became a Red Cross employee after her service.

“The level of exposure and responsibility I was entrusted with gave me the confidence to create my own impact,” Wright said. “After that year of intense engagement things like public speaking, program development, fundraising, storytelling and innovative strategic development became second nature. It allowed me to grow my career on my own terms by knowing and understanding that my ability to make an impact is only limited by my ability to imagine and be a part of something larger than myself.”

For another look at how the Red Cross network has partnered with AmeriCorps members who “bring Americans together to strengthen our communities,” read more from Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern.

From redcross.org.

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Disney Helps Celebrate National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month! Check out all the awesome resources we have to help you get prepared this month.

Mickey and Friends Preparedness Activity Book

The Red Cross and Mickey and Friends Disaster Preparedness Activity Book teaches kids how to be prepared and stay safe during disasters. Using interactive games and activities, children and their families learn how to be better prepared for the unexpected in a safe and stress free environment.

Friends for Change

Want to learn more information about being prepared? Check out our Pillowcase Project PSA,sponsored by Disney, and learn more about what to put in a kit, and how to help keep you and your family safe during a disaster!

Disney Get Prepared Action Kit

Download the Disney Get Prepared Action Kit and learn what to put inside of your emergency preparedness kit or pillowcase, how to make a family plan, and additional steps to stay safe during an emergency.

Want to learn more about the Pillowcase Project? Visit Redcross.org for more information!

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