Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa Konrath, President, UWGB Red Cross Club

(l-r) Michelle Etheridge, musician, Rob Anthony and Melissa Konrath at last years Red Cross Club Awareness Concert on Campus.

As a University of Wisconsin- Green Bay student, Melissa Konrath, 20 years old, is active on-campus and in intramural sports. She is also active in the American Red Cross as president of the UWGB –Red Cross Club.

The UWGB Red Cross Club is an on-campus organization that provides opportunities for students to get involved in the community through things like CPR training, disaster training and volunteering. Its mission also includes raising awareness to the community services and needs of the American Red Cross. They also don’t forget to bring the fun in this social and interactive environment.

As a class officer in her high school in Slinger, WI, Melissa, helped to plan and run blood drives so she was familiar with the Red Cross as an organization. As a student at UWGB, she joined the Red Cross Club on campus its first year. “I thought it would be a good way to get back into volunteering,” says Melissa.

“I have learned that there is more to the Red Cross than blood drives.  I think that is a common misconception throughout the general population,” says Melissa.

Melissa served as Vice President the first year and was recruited as president of the club for the experience she could bring to the role the next year.

Since the club’s inception in the spring 2009 semester they have supported the Red Cross in many ways. Their members have volunteered for a variety of fundraisers including a concert for Haiti. They also made cards for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program, making comfort dolls for AIDS orphans in Africa, babysitting to support Military Services, volunteering for the Packers Spooktacular and Project Leap events, participated in service to help at a Downtown Green Bay clean-up day and help at on-campus and community blood drives.  The clubs signature  event is organizing an annual concert with musician, Rob Anthony, to raise Red Cross Awareness on-campus to the students and faculty.

“I am amazed at how much the Red Cross Club on campus has grown and all that we have accomplished since the club was first brought to UWGB.  Because we are growing each year, our accomplishments also have expanded as well as getting the word out there of the mission of the Red Cross,” says Melissa.

When Melissa isn’t busy volunteering with the Red Cross she is spending time with friends and family including her 5 year-old-sister. She is also busy working towards a double major in Psychology and Human Development.

“The Red Cross is something worth making time for because you know you are helping others and can even sometimes see first-hand your impact.”

(l-r) Mellisa and Jody Weyers, Red Cross Club Staff Advisor, at UWGB Fall Org Smorg recruitment event.

UWGB Red Cross Club Make Comfort Dolls for AIDS Orphans in Africa

In honor of World AIDS Day, Wednesday, December 1,  20 UWGB students met at the Mauthe Center, on the campus of UWGB, to make comfort dolls. The Red Cross Club partnered with the College Crafters Club in assisting and teaching us how to knit and crochet. We didn’t finish any dolls that night, but the students will be able to work on them through the interim and in January we will come back together to see our success.

Click HERE to see WBAY-TV news story of our event.

Click HERE to read the impact the comfort dolls have on the children of Africa.

 

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” – James Allen

By Guest Blogger: Doug Harvey, Communications Intern, American Red Cross

James Allen once said, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”  This past Saturday students from UW-Green Bay as well as myself had opportunity to put this thought into action.  The UWGB Red Cross Club (RCC) teamed up with GB Nites to help promote the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign.

UWGB Red Cross Club members making cards and banner at our monthly meeting.

Holiday Mail for Heroes is program set up to help people send thanks to our American service members, their families, and veterans all over the world, by sending them cards during the holiday season.  GB Nites is an event that takes place in the Student Union with fun and free events for the students.  With things such as free henna tattoos, a black light dance party, and my personal favorite, free ice cream, GB Nites was a perfect atmosphere to get the word out about this program.

Myself, with the help of Kristie Walker (treasurer of the RCC on campus), got there a little early to help set up tables and supplies (markers, crayons, paper etc.).  Luckily, the RCC had made a banner during our meeting a few days before, so students could see where we were located and why we were there.

The students responded really well to event.  Lots of students came to help support our campaign. Almost every student that stopped by knew or knew of someone in the Armed Services and I could tell that they were really putting themselves into the cards they made.

Overall I had a good time, and it was a great experience for me.  Not only the setting up of the event, but seeing that college kids really do want to make a difference.  I certainly look forward our next RCC event.

For more information on the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes Program click HERE.

UWGB students making cards for our service members.

UW-Green Bay Red Cross Club Awareness Concert!

Join the UWGB Red Cross Club members and local musician, Rob Anthony, for an entertaining evening to bring awareness to the community on the impact the Red Cross has on our neighbors. Enjoy Rob’s inspiring and heartfelt music and listen to people share their life-saving Red Cross stories. At 9pm we will have a short intermission where some amazing people will share how the Red Cross has touched their lives! Join us for this FREE event.

Date: Thursday, March 25, 2010

Time: 8:00pm-11:00pm

Location: UWGB Campus, Phoenix Club Room, 2420 Nicolet Dr., Green Bay

To see a sneak peak check out the VIDEO from WFRV TV-5  Sunday Morning Show were Tracy and Allie shared their story and views were treated to music by Rob Anthony!

Lisa, Tracy and Rob

Lisa, Allie and Rob

Pictures from Blake Mycoskie’s Visit to UWGB

February 2, The Office of Student Life and the Good Times Programming student organization sponsored Blake Mycoskie’s visit to UW-Green Bay. Student Life Program Coordinator Grant Winslow said Josh Braun and Kyra Karenke from Good Times, and Mike Crum with the Red Cross Club and Katie Barrientos with the Social Work Club have been instrumental in planning the visit.

UW-Green Bay prepares for Feb. 2 visit by philanthropist CEO of TOMS Shoes

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will host Blake Mycoskie, the man who started the phenomenon that is TOMS Shoes, when he visits campus next Tuesday.

A former contestant on CBS network’s The Amazing Race, Mycoskie has also been featured in a nationwide AT&T commercial as the “Chief Shoegiver” for TOMS Shoes. He’ll bring his message of social entrepreneurship when he speaks at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 2) in the Phoenix Room of the University Union. The program is free and open to the public.

The Office of Student Life and the Good Times Programming student organization are sponsoring Mycoskie’s visit to UW-Green Bay. Student Life Program Coordinator Grant Winslow said Josh Braun and Kyra Karenke from Good Times, and Mike Crum with the Red Cross Club and Katie Barrientos with the Social Work Club have been instrumental in planning the visit.

Mycoskie has quite a story to tell. In 2006 the Austin, Texas entrepreneur had gone to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and enrolled in a four-week polo camp. During that visit he encountered children who not only suffered health problems, but also could not attend school because they had no shoes. From that experience Mycoskie came up with the idea that he could create a sustainable business while doing something worthwhile — providing shoes to needy children.

It’s a simple business plan with a simple philosophy — for every pair of shoes sold by TOMS Shoes, another pair is given to a child in need. Supporters call it “doing good deeds while doing good business.” The name TOMS is said to derive from a commitment to making a better tomorrow.

Since it was created, TOMS Shoes has donated more than 400,000 pairs of shoes, with the goal of reaching the one-million mark by 2012. Following the earthquake in Haiti, TOMS Shoes has arranged with the charitable organization Partners in Health to bring 30,000 pairs to Haiti in February.

UW-Green Bay sophomores Chris Baldwin and Cory Witek have embraced Mycoskie’s vision of social entrepreneurship and are looking forward to meeting the man.

“I really like the idea of the one-for-one movement,” said Baldwin, who is from Wonewoc, and majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis on marketing. It didn’t take much to convince Witek, a Racine native who is majoring in theatre performance, that this is a worthwhile cause, and together they are spreading the message on campus and in the community. “A few of our friends have started wearing TOMS Shoes.”

Baldwin and Witek have formed a TOMS club chapter and are planning some special activities in conjunction with Mycoskie’s Feb. 2 visit. They’ll encourage classmates to purchase TOMS Shoes and then have a “Style Your Sole” party in late February or March. They’ll also have a booth at the OrgSmorg activity fair on campus on Feb. 10.

Ahead of Mycoskie’s visit, UW-Green Bay students and faculty have donated already more than 300 pairs of shoes.

For more information about the visit contact Student Life Program Coordinator Grant Winslow at (920) 465-5676, or winslowg@uwgb.edu.

UW-Green Bay Recognizes New Generation of Veterans

Thank you Mike Crum, for your service to our county and your service to the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter!

By Matt Smith, WBAY TV 2   Click to see Video

Hundreds of veterans can be found on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus. Wisconsin’s newest veterans were honored Wednesday, on Veterans Day.

“I served two tours over in Iraq,” UWGB student John Bahde said.

“I did four years in the Marine Corps,” UWGB student Mike Crum said.

“I got deployed to Korea, Japan, and also Iraq,” UWGB student Matthew Christianson said.

They were once men and women armed on the front lines. Now they sit front-row in classrooms everywhere.

“We really didn’t fit in with the brand new freshmen,” Bahde remarked.

“Being a non-traditional student at the age of 30, to come back to college was really difficult,” Crum said.

At UW-Green Bay alone there are around 300 student veterans integrating into the campus this year.

For the fourth year in a row, they were honored in a special on-campus Veterans Day ceremony.

In attendance from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was Brigadier General William Gothard, commander of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command.

Green Bay’s 432nd Civil Affairs unit falls under his direction.

“We as Americans have paid a great price just in blood and in the coin of the realm,” Gothard said.

The brigadier general helped present awards to UW-Green Bay students who are about to deploy or have recently returned, including Matthew Christianson, who served five years in the Marine Corps, including time in Iraq.

“I’ve been getting little text messages all morning saying Happy Veterans Day and thanks for everything you’ve done,” Christianson said.

And that’s what this day is about, as our newest generation of veterans brings a new perspective on a day that first marked the end of World War I.

“It meant a lot more than it did when I first went in,” Christianson said. “Before I went in, it was just another day. You’d honor it, but at the same time it wouldn’t mean anything to you.”

“Just a little bit of recognition can go a long ways,” said Crum. “If you know a veteran, just thank a veteran. Thank them for their service. Appreciate what they do.”