Though a “life-long” (since I was 11 years old) American Red Crosser, I never belonged to a Red Cross Club. My affiliation with the organization during my high school and college years was limited, in part due to my commitment to sports and music, but also because clubs didn’t exist – nor had I any idea that starting clubs was even an option – at my high school or university. I maintained a connection with the organization by keeping my CPR, first aid, and water safety certifications up-to-date and donating blood on a regular basis, but it wasn’t until I became an adult that I learned how much more involved I could have been if Red Cross Clubs had been available to me.
Despite never joining a Red Cross Club, I know quite a bit about them; while employed at the Washtenaw County of the American Red Cross in Ann Arbor, MI, a co-worker and I – with the help of four unbelievably dedicated college students – founded the American Red Cross at the University of Michigan. The process was long and arduous and frustrating, but establishing that Red Cross Club remains one of my greatest professional achievements.
In the coming weeks I’d like to share with you a bit of insight into how Red Cross Clubs positively impact the communities in which they’re located, how you can become a member of a Red Cross Club, and how, if there’s no Red Cross Club available at your high school, college, or university, you can create one yourself. I also plan to share the stories – how they came to be, what their membership looks likes, how they engage with their local communities – of Red Cross Clubs already in existence to help you better understand why these clubs are so important to the future of our organization.
As I begin work on this series, I’d love for you to share – in the comments section below – any questions you have about Red Cross Clubs in general or for the leadership teams of the established Red Cross Clubs. I’ll make sure your questions are answered in one of my posts!