Disaster preparedness for youth goes virtual

By Justin Kern, American Red Cross

Even tornadoes have gone virtual in these days of remote schooling, social distancing and Zoom meetings.

Jesse Coates, American Red Cross volunteer, recently led a lesson for seven elementary school-age children from Wisconsin through a virtual version of our Pillowcase Project lessons. These lessons are typically very hands-on, with dry-runs of disaster do’s and don’ts, and the occasional high-five.

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A screenshot from a recent Pillowcase Project virtual lesson led by American Red Cross volunteer Jesse Coates.

So, in the current virtual and remote environment instilled by the pandemic, Coates relied on vibrant language, props and visuals from the lesson plan to engage his online “classroom.”

As Coates put it: “Tornadoes, they can be the scariest. Do you know what a tornado is?”

Isabelle, one of the students, put it plainly, through her computer screen on the other side of the state: “Mean.”

Coates: “You guys rock, you’re awesome at this. You all are smart, that’s right … and remember to stay inside and away from windows.”

Pillowcase Project is typically taught by a few volunteers, in front of entire classrooms of kids, as an extreme weather and disaster preparedness course for youth ages 8-to-12. It’s complemented by Prepare With Pedro, another preparedness lesson set for 4-to-8-year olds.


Want to share disaster tips with young people in a fun, engaging way? Download our free Monster Guard app here and help the youth in your life get prepared, not scared.


During the recent first round of virtual lessons, Coates was clearly still finding ways to have fun and learn, and get the young people in this lesson to do the same. In materials shared on the screen and guidebooks accessed by adults who helped to guide their young attendees, Coates talked through things like where to go if tornado sirens sound, and how to cope with destruction from a fire. And, as children often do, they posed unexpected and big-picture questions.

From Isabelle, one of the students: “What starts the fires?”

Coates: “Fires have a mind of their own. It happens everywhere in all sorts of weird ways, that’s why we want to talk about this now … and talk about it with the big people at home.”

Our teams are ready to lead virtual disaster preparedness lessons for schools, organizations and youth groups. For information and scheduling, contact Nick Cluppert, Red Cross Senior Disaster Program Manager, at nick.cluppert@redcross.org.  

Greenfield’s Life-Saver Receives National Award

At only 11 years-old, Abram Suminski of Greenfield, Wisconsin, is a official recipient of the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit for selfless and humane action in saving a life. This is the highest award given by the Red Cross to an individual or team of individuals who saves or sustains life by using skills and knowledge learned in the American Red Cross Preparedness, Health and Safety Services courses.

When Abram Suminski was learning first aid basics in an American Red Cross Babysitter’s training course, I doubt he knew how quickly he’d be putting them to use in a real-life situation. Good thing he was prepared though when his younger brother, Logan, was in need. Shortly after, the brothers were playing in their grandmother’s basement when Logan started to choke on a piece a candy. Abram saw his brother turning purple and jumped into action to perform abdominal thrusts. His quick actions dislodged the piece of candy from Logan’s throat, saving his life!

Abram’s instructor from the Babysitter’s training course heard of his life-saving story, and she, along with the Greenfield Rec. Department (where the training took place), nominated Abram for the Red Cross Certificate of Merit, which is signed by the President Barack Obama, who is the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross!

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Abram Suminski holding his award with the help of his younger brother, Logan.

On Tuesday night at the Greenfield Common Council Meeting, Abram received the Red Cross Certificate of Merit. The Mayor of Greenfield, Michael J. Neitzke, and local Red Cross CEO, Patty Flowers, had the honor of presenting the award to Abram. In attendance, were some very special guests including Abram’s family, the vice principle of his school, his Red Cross instructor and the Greenfield Fire Department.

If you’re thinking about signing up for a Red Cross training course, don’t hesitate – be prepared! Information about the Red Cross Babysitting course, First Aid, CPR/AED and other training courses are available at redcross.org/takeaclass.

To see live action watch the Fox 6 news clip!

 

Ending Measles in Kenya: A Volunteer’s Perspective

Written by Sara Horein, American Red Cross volunteer and Tiffany Circle Donor

Sara recently traveled to Kenya to witness the life-saving work of the Measles and Rubella partnership. While the disease is most prominent thousands of miles from Madison, Wisconsin, it’s just a plane ride away.

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I recently returned from a trip to Kenya where the government —supported by the American Red Cross and our partners in the fight to eliminate measles—completed a successful nine-day vaccination campaign in the East African country. Targeting 19 million children between nine months and 14 years old, this effort was Kenya’s largest immunization campaign in the Measles & Rubella Initiative’s 15-year history.

Although preventable by a safe, effective and inexpensive vaccine in use for over 50 years, measles still kills about 315 children every day. Conditions in Kenya made this campaign particularly vital: 45.9 percent of the population currently live in poverty, while many children have limited or no access to medical treatment and are often malnourished.

Because of widespread poverty and weak kenya2public health infrastructure, only 79 percent of children in Kenya receive vaccines through the routine immunization system. The large number of unvaccinated children
 can lead to deadly measles outbreaks, such as a 2016 outbreak in remote Mandera County. These outbreaks are particularly deadly in communities that are also experiencing conflict or natural disaster, with the youngest children—those less than two years of age—
at greatest risk of dying from the disease. In recent years, Kenya has experienced extreme flooding and drought, increased security issues and urban growth.

The safe, effective and inexpensive vaccines delivered throughout Kenya will undoubtedly add to the growing number of lives saved through the Measles & Rubella Initiative. Since 2001, the Initiative has helped immunize more than 2 billion children in 88 countries. This work has had an extraordinary impact. The number of measles deaths decreased by 79 percent between 2000 and 2014— saving the lives of 17.1 million children.kenya3

The seemingly impossible feat of reaching 19 million children in just nine days is only achievable through dedicated Red Cross volunteers. The success of any campaign relies on mobilizing parents and caregivers to bring their children to vaccination centers, and Red Cross volunteers are ideally located and well equipped to carry out this vital task. They speak the local language, know community members and understand local customs.

Leading up to and during the nine-day campaign, the
 Red Cross trained more than 1,300 local volunteers to canvass neighborhoods throughout Nairobi, Bungoma and Tharaka Nithi. These volunteers played a fundamental role
 in building awareness, educating parents and calling them 
to action on vaccination days. While they used many forms
 of communication—including megaphones, radio ads, and text messages—the most relied-upon and effective method was personal outreach through house-to-house visits. This was particularly important in engaging households that may otherwise not be reached through traditional communications. kenya4

As a Red Cross volunteer and donor, I witnessed the strong partnership and lifesaving efforts between the American Red Cross and Kenya Red Cross. The breadth and depth of staff knowledge, dedication of local volunteers and overwhelming resilience of Kenyans amazed me. It was exciting to see donor dollars hard at work, saving lives one vaccination at a time. The Measles & Rubella Initiative is important because the virus is only one plane ride away – living in one shared world, we need to improve the lives of everyone. I am honored and humbled to have represented the American Red Cross during this mission-focused trip in the fight to eliminate measles.

Watch Sara and other Red Cross volunteers’ trip to Kenya to vaccinate millions of Kenya children with Measles and Rubella vaccines.

How YOU can help: Donate! Text PREVENT to 90999 to give $10 to the Red Cross and help us vaccinate children against measles. Learn more here.

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Meet Kendall – Our New Disaster Cycle Services Intern

We have a new Disaster Cycle Services Intern Kendall Stauber at our Oshkosh office. Kendall is a student at University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and plans to graduate by next spring. She majors in Human Services Leadership with a minor in Communication Studies.

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Kendall enjoys traveling, concerts, jet skiing and spending time with her family and friends.

We have a new Disaster Cycle Services Intern Kendall Stauber at our Oshkosh office. Kendall is a student at University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and plans to graduate by next spring. She majors in Human Services Leadership with a minor in Communication Studies.

“I love to volunteer and help where I can. I have volunteered for several Hands on Oshkosh events where I was put with groups of people on campus and sent into the community to help certain organizations. I have also volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh and I was an intern this past spring semester at the Oshkosh Seniors Center.  These volunteer opportunities have led me to work with diverse age groups and help with a variety of projects that were rewarding to see the impact that I can do to help.”

Although this is Kendall’s first time interning with the Red Cross, she has been aware of their mission and services for a while. When she was younger, she obtained her babysitting certification through the Red Cross. Now that Kendall is an intern with the Red Cross, she’s excited to assist in carrying out the mission, stating:

“The American Red Cross is an interest to me because I wish to help, inform, and be there for people and communities after a disaster has struck or to inform people with possible resources before a disaster occurs. I am really excited to see what I can learn and give during this summer internship.”

Post college Kendall plans to continue her education with a focus on social work . She then hopes to pursue a career in counseling, specifically helping those affected by disasters and trauma.

The Red Cross is grateful to have Kendall as an intern, and to be a part of her educational experience. To start volunteering like Kendall, please visit redcross.org/volunteer.

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteer of the Month – Tara Williams

 

Tara williams rco_blog_img_Congratulations Tara Williams, the December 2015 Volunteer of the Month!

Tara became an American Red Cross volunteer just over a year ago. Since then, she has been a tremendous volunteer for multiple departments and entrusted Young Professionals Group leader. It all began when she blood at the Shopko company blood drive, in Green Bay, when Ben Delcore shared his volunteer experiences with her. The rest may be history as they say.

Tara jumped in from the start with both feet. Through her Young Professional Club experience her involvement within the different lines of service began to grow. She has been involved with The Club since its inception just over a year ago and has served as in active member participating in the Holiday Mail for Heroes Campaign, volunteering at blood drives, donor thank-a-thons and much more. Just recently, Tara was chosen to the new President of the Red Cross Young Professional Club effective November 1st. In this role, she will lead the Club into its second year of program development and membership recruitment. She is always the first to rally support and participate in events such as; the Packer 5K, Holiday Mail for Heroes, Dancing with Our Stars (DWOS) and Lambeau Field’s Spooktacular.

“Tara is the perfect volunteer example of a person who thinks with her heart and goes to work with her hands. She’s making life better for people around her and at the same time, it lifts her up too!” stated Barbara Behling, Communication Officer.

Tara has been an active participant in the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. During these events, she has used her skills as a social media ambassador to post comments and reflect on her observations and the positive interactions she has had with smoke alarm recipients.

In a one of a kind event, Tara was vital for the Trout Museum Pillowcase project. Not only did she work with their Public Relations person, she utilized Red Cross promotional materials to create a the news release and media alert and then drove to Green Bay early one morning to be on live TV to discuss the program. The day of the event, she worked with the materials, captured photos and so much more. She even rallied other young professionals to support the project.

This month, Tara will take on yet another role by becoming an adjunct Northeast Wisconsin Chapter board member. This young volunteer undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of her, as she continues to demonstrate the power of her ongoing commitment to the Red Cross mission.

Thank you, Tara for proudly representing the Red Cross in your community, we wish you a lifetime of continued success!

To learn more, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer or contact the office of Volunteer Resources at volunteerwisconsin@redcross.org.

A Holiday Mail Story to Warm Your Holiday Spirit

It is always rewarding to give something that means something, especially during the holidays. No matter how big or small the gift is, it is the touching emotions and gratuity that make it all worth it.

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Mr. and Mrs. Claus are definitely watching! Tara and Alexa made it on the nice list!

Rachel Goodrich, Holiday Mail For Heroes Coordinator from our Madison office shares her heartfelt experience delivering holiday cards, celebrating with veterans, and watching her daughters as youth volunteers.

This past Tuesday, Rachel and her two daughters, Tara and Alexa, along with other Red Cross volunteers delivered holiday mail to the veterans at Tomah VA. The holiday mail delivery is part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. The program gives people the opportunity to send holiday cards to U.S. Armed Forces members, veterans and their families. Cards may include thanks, support and holiday cheer. As Rachel describes it,

“… a magical night of laughter, tears, smiles and dancing. Red Cross volunteers helped serve cookies and punch. We danced the night away with veterans while wheeling, spinning them around in their wheel chairs on the dance floor. We even took some of them back to their rooms after the evening was over.”

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Special Delivery! Tara gives a veteran his holiday mail!

At the beginning of the eventful night, the girls were a bit timid but once they warmed up, they danced and even asked the veterans to dance with them. And how sweet is this? Tara received a kiss on the hand from a veteran and was thanked for dancing with him. She thanked him for his service too.

Rachel recalls the emotions in the room when the veterans received their cards, “We watched tears roll down the faces of some veterans while reading their cards, smiles lit up the room as we shook their hands and thanked them for all that they have done. The sound of laughter and pure happiness filled the air while volunteers danced with Veterans. ”

It is great to know that Tara, 10 on Christmas Day and Alexa, 8, are making a difference in their community as youth volunteers. They are also registered on the American Red Cross Volunteer Connection, where they log in their own volunteer hours and badges and earn certificates. Rachel continues with, “I don’t even know how to put this into words. Kids love the community service and learning how to give back, show their appreciation, there is more to the world than what’s in front of them”.

A total of 63 packs of holiday mail were given to the veterans! Both girls attend Caesar Chavez Elementary School in Madison. Students in their class created cards as well.

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Red Cross volunteers (L-R: Sharon Ernst, Rachel Goodrich and Jane Ramsey) posed with the big Red Cross holiday card! Can you imagine how many notes and signatures were filled with that card?

We thank each and everyone of our volunteers for their time and dedication. Special thanks to those that sent in and created cards for the members of our armed forces and their loved ones.

To learn more about the Holiday Mail for Heroes programs, please click here. For more ways to help and donate, please click here.

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Mix & Mingle at the Club Red of NEW Kick-Off Event!

362547 YP

Are you…
• Looking for a change in your life?
• Wanting to make an impact in your community?
• Interested in networking with other young professionals?
• Between the ages of 21-35?

If you answered yes, we have the perfect opportunity for you! We are thrilled to introduce Club Red of NEW. We have developed and put together a framework and structure for the club. Now we are ready to share with our current Red Cross registered members and potential members within this demographic what Club Red will look like, and how we can engage you and other young professionals within Northeast Wisconsin.

Nationally, the American Red Cross recognizes that across the county the segment of the population between 24-34 is an underrepresented segment with in our volunteer base. To build awareness for the Red Cross among young, civic-minded philanthropists, who want to make a difference the Red Cross has developed a tool kit for clubs across the country to develop Young Professional Groups.

About: Club Red of Northeast Wisconsin is a young professional group that provides you with an opportunity to network with other socially conscious professionals and help your community. Our mission is to Give. Guide. Provide. Whether planning social fundraising events or participating in community service projects (Give), you can support events that can help save lives. Club Red Members will also have mentoring opportunities with our youth volunteers (Guide) and leadership development through opportunities available within the group (Provide).

Benefits: Club Red will provide many benefits to its members.
• Social benefits- meet new people
• Professional benefits- mentor/leadership development
• Personal benefits- sense of self, purpose
• Attracts, engages and retains young professionals in the area
• Ensures lasting support that the Red Cross provides to the community

Co-chair member, Erin Thayse, explains what she hopes members will gain from being a part of Club Red, “I hope Club Red members feel they are part of a worthwhile group that understands how important it is to pay it forward. They might not need the services offered by the Red Cross today, but they or someone they know might in the future.”

Requirements: We ask that club members perform a minimum of 25 hours or donate $75/year. Hours and donations are required on a yearly basis.

Mix & Mingle: We would like to see you at our kick-off event on September 25th from 5:30pm-8:00pm at The Marq located on 3177 French Rd, De Pere, WI 54115 to learn more about Club Red. The night will also include networking, appetizers, cash bar and music by local artist, Rob Anthony.

 

Bring your friends! Invite your friends! Share this video on Facebook & Twitter!

Jennesa, events & marketing chair, is excited for the future of Club Red, “I am excited to see where all of the hard work will go, who will all be involved in this young professional group and what kinds of service projects we are going to do for the year.” We hope to see you in Club Red’s future!

If you are interested in potentially joining Club Red: Northeast Wisconsin please RSVP by September 19th:

Jennesa Heiting
heiting.jennesa350@gmail.com

Find our event on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

 

My First Large Scale Disaster

By Jenny Berry, American Red Cross Disaster Services Intern

(left-right) Brenda Haney, Denis Davenport, Nick Cluppert and ME!

Can you believe it is only my second day interning with the American Red Cross and I have already been on a local disaster response call and now traveled to Platteville to be a part of a larger scale disaster operation. It all seems so surreal. I did not expect to gain this much experience in so little time.

On Thursday, I went with Nick Cluppert, Disaster Program Manager, and Maxine Klumb, disaster volunteer, to Platteville to observe the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) that the Red Cross was opening with the help of community partners. We wanted to gain information on the MARC because the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter is looking to invite our local partners to information sessions come fall to educate the different partners on what a MARC is before a disaster strikes and we need to set one up. By doing this we will be able to provide information to community partners in the area and are able to demonstrate how they are a great resource for a community following a disaster.

When we first arrived we went to where the MARC was being held at Platteville’s High School. We were warmly welcomed by the American Red Cross Badger Chapter. Funny thing was that the first person I saw was a good family friend, Brenda Haney. Wow, it is small of a world! The Red Cross staff and Red Cross volunteers immediately filled us in the information we needed and much more about the MARC. I thought it was great with how much input we received. I think it will be very helpful when we create and setup a MARC come fall.  I also think that a MARC is a wonderful idea to have in times of a disaster because it makes it easier and more convenient for those who are suffering.

Some of the damage I saw as we toured the area.

Some of the damage I saw as we toured the area.

Volunteers, Brenda Haney and Diana O’Neill, invited us to go see the affected area. It was not until we reached the affected area when I realized how badly the area was hit. I understand that this was not a “major” disaster, but to me this was devastating. I still have crystal clear images of the damage that was caused to the homes of the community and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. It is unbelievable how incredibly strong and destructive a natural disaster could be. When we arrived at the center of the scene I was in shock. Since I had never experienced or seen something even close to this, it took me a moment to take it all in. Nick, Maxine, Brenda, and Diane jumped right out of the Red Cross van without hesitation and went into action, going door to door of those affected. I then snapped out of it and jumped right out there with the others and started to help in our own little way by distributing information about the services provided by the MARC to those in the community that were affected by the disaster.

After that initial shock, it all started to come natural to me. In my opinion being able to lend a hand to even a few people is something that I have always aspired to do and to be. I now know that after even a few short days with interning with Red Cross so far, that I am meant to be helping others in any way that I can. It is beautiful to have been an observer of how the volunteers and staff of the Red Cross will travel and do anything possible to bring some light back into the lives and communities that are affected by emergencies and natural disasters. For someone who has had their eyes witness events that they have never seen before (house fire and community affected by tornado), I cannot say enough that the services provided by Red Cross is one of grave need in times of emergencies and natural disasters. Without a doubt in my mind, the Red Cross staff, volunteers, and community partners truly fulfill their mission and values which were one of the many things that drew me to the Red Cross.

My First Disaster Call

By Jenny Berry, American Red Cross Intern 

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Jenny Berry observing the two disaster team leads as they talk with the clients to determine their emergency needs.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014, was my first day interning at American Red Cross in Oshkosh, WI and I would not have wanted my first day any other way!  I immediately felt welcome and at home with the American Red Cross especially after my boss, Nick Cluppert, Disaster Program Manager for Territory 2, sent out a welcome email to staff and volunteers and the warm, kind and insightful welcome emails started to pour in. I even received my own desk and computer to work with during my time at the American Red Cross.

I spent most of my first day researching and updating information for community referrals as well as partnerships and hotels for the County Annexes.  I think that this is a great resource readily available for communities and individuals when a natural disaster occurs. I also helped Nick with filling out client information for a fake/mock case so Red Cross workers can gain more experience with how a case works, follow-up, and entering information into the new CAS 2.0 disaster intake system.

The environment in the office was so welcoming and engaging that I cannot wait to see what the rest of my time in the office brings! I have been given an amazing opportunity to learn and to grow with this organization and can’t wait to take it all in.

Towards the end of the day, I was asked to respond with the Disaster Action Team (DAT) to a fire that had happened the previous day in Winneconne in Winnebago County.  I thought that this was a perfect opportunity to get out in the field and gain some first-hand experience. I then received my American Red Cross vest and headed out for the call.

Disaster Volunteer, Dick Henderson, writing out our forms to assist clients in need.

Disaster Volunteer, Dick Henderson, writing out our forms to assist clients in need.

While riding with DAT Captain, Becky Tiles, I started to become very nervous and anxious because I did not know what to expect or exactly how to approach individuals when something so terrible like this happens to individuals. So basically, my mind was running in a million different directions before arrive at the scene. Thankfully, Becky calmed my nerves by preparing me for what to expect and giving me excellent advice for this type of experience. We then met another DAT responder, Dick Henderson, at a parking lot in Winneconne and road to the scene together.

When we got to the scene, I mainly observed how Becky and Dick were responding to the clients and the scene which is precisely how I wanted my first time out to be like. An event and scene like this is a lot to take in for a first-time responder so performing the paperwork and additional support would have been difficult to pursue. Personally and fortunately, I have never experienced any type of disaster so my heart sank for the clients. I was surprised at how well and how strong the clients were handling their situation, but I still wanted to snap my fingers and make everything better for them.  Knowing that snapping my fingers was an impossible task, we instead were able to provided assistance for food and clothing.

Even though, it may not seem like a lot, providing the littlest of assistance and alleviating the smallest of pain to those who suffer from a natural disaster or an emergency like this is something that is truly remarkable that the American Red Cross and the partners of American Red Cross are able to do.

I feel that we all hope that we will not have to go back out to another scene, but sadly, natural disasters cannot always be controlled. I am grateful and appreciative for being able to attend the scene with two individuals who offered their experience and knowledge so when the next time (praying there won’t have to be) comes I am one step closer to being able to respond full-force at the scene.

I am so thankful to be interning alongside a great organization that is filled with incredible individuals that are making first-hand differences in people’s lives. I am eager to continue to explore, participate, and learn more of what the American Red Cross and the individuals are doing to lend a helping hand to those in need.  I could not have imagined a better way to start my journey with the American Red Cross and excited to see where the journey heads next!

Volunteer Spotlight: Brenna Schobert

Monday, May 5th was the 8th Annual Celebration of Student Leadership event to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of UW Oshkosh Student leadership and organizations.

We are very proud of our UWO Red Cross Club in taking home honors of New/Emerging Organization of the Year and club member Brenna Schobert was awarded Emerging Volunteer of the Year.

Let us share with you a little more about Brenna, and why she deserved this award.

By Angie Dusenberry, UWO Red Cross Club President 

IMAG3371Brenna’s leadership style can be defined simply as “get up and go for it”. At the first Red Cross Club meeting, Brenna reached out to me right after with the hopes that she could get involved at a deeper level within the organization. Being fully aware of the challenge that this club was brand new to UWO, Brenna was ready to hit the ground running with passion and excitement to get this club going. She has kept that same mindset and drive throughout the course of the year.

As president of the club, I have looked to Brenna to fulfill many different aspects of the club and she does each of them whole heartedly. She is extremely versatile, and is always willing to step in wherever she is needed. At the beginning of the year, she willingly volunteered to become the Oshkosh Student Association (OSA) representative. That job quickly escalated to taking over the blood services portion of
the club, where she works directly with the American Red Cross to organize blood drives on campus and in the community. As if that wasn’t enough, Brenna has fallen into the role of becoming the spokesperson for the club members. I always look to her in terms of helping me with figuring out what the club members are looking to do next, and how they feel about various volunteer ideas and Red Cross courses. I can say with full confidence that Brenna is the main reason we have had such great club member
retention. On top of all of that, Brenna has established a new relationship with a campus fraternity (Delta Sigma Phi) that has allowed us to recruit more than 15 new volunteers for the club. With Brenna’s help, our club is now becoming largely known on this campus. Our club advisors and I look to Brenna to maintain that relationship to allow our club to grow year after year.

Brenna’s dedication to the American Red Cross goes so much further than her number of volunteer hours. The amount of time she dedicates to the club would probably be over 100 hours!

Let me remind you that Brenna is only a freshman! That kind of drive and passion for our organization’s success and the drive that she has to satisfy our club member’s needs and wants is something that definitely should be recognized. Brenna openly has stepped into a brand new, relatively unknown role with her headfirst and her heart followed right behind. She has definitely helped pave the way for this organization and I am confident that with her at the reigns we will continue to grow as the years come!

IMG_0895 group picIn Brenna’s own words:

“As a freshman, we all look for a good place to fit in on campus. I attended the first American Red Cross club meeting and knew that I could help them become the club they wanted to be. I felt very welcomed and encouraged to get involved. I applied for a board position and was granted it. Since then, my position has evolved into the Blood Drive Chair for the club. I work closely with the American Red Cross when they host drives here on campus. Because of the opportunities placed before me by the club I have discovered my potential as a leader and active member in my own club as well as others as we reach out to other organizations. We have recently started working with the Fraternity Delta Sigma Phi. We are hoping next year, they will be able to help us spread our club even further.

As an emerging club we have faced struggles such as no funding our first year, no storage space first semester and having a small amount of active members. However, we have proven our strength as a team. We have volunteered at multiple activities at Lambeau Field, Kings Veteran Home and on campus.

These activities include Holiday Mail for Heroes, Project Play 60, bingo and bowling with veterans and more. We reach such a variety of people and hope to continue on through the years. Joining this club was the best decision I made my first semester here. I enjoy every meeting and event and feel I have been able to expand my own interests and viewpoints on many subjects.”