Red Cross Club Strives To Make a Change


Courtesy of Zoe Jackson Delos Angeles

Christine Nguyen, Co-Editor-in-Chief

  Disasters, fires, diseases—these are only a few of the problems that plague our world today. Although these issues may seem distant, they still affect the South Bay region. Founded in 2011, American Red Cross is a club at West High that strives to spread awareness of safety and health related matters through education and volunteering. The club directly involves the students with opportunities that can help make a difference within their community, which can contribute to a worldwide change.

  One of the various volunteering events that Red Cross provides is their annual blood drive held at the West High Gym. Members are encouraged to sign up and offer a helpful hand in ensuring that the event runs smoothly. Assigned roles include assisting blood donors back to their classes or giving them healthy snacks after their donation. A few board members also wear a blood drop costume as a fun way to display spirit.

  Club President Jason Tran (12) said, “The foundation of Red Cross itself is a special quality that differs from other clubs since it’s not just a volunteering club. It focuses on different fields that are applicable to real life such as the blood drive or the home fire campaigns which can be useful in the daily life.”

  Besides blood drives, students can also also participate in individual activities throughout the year, such as Artwork for Armed Conflict. The goal of this project is to design a visually appealing poster about the International Humanitarian Law as a way to educate students on the rules of war. Another event that is focused towards veteran services is the Veteran’s Wish List. The goal of this activity is for members to place new, unused self-care products, including toiletries, into a bag for donations.  

  Chaturika Bandara (10), an active Red Cross member, expressed, “I like that that there are specific activities for [this club]. For other service clubs you usually volunteer at random places but with Red Cross volunteering you actually go to Red Cross events and learn about it.”

  District General Meetings offer these types of activities, events, and more. It is a monthly meeting led by the South Bay Youth Corps Executive Board along with a couple of adult supervisors. At last month’s meeting, members from different schools in the South Bay created posters about a country’s problems and posed potential solutions to the multiple issues as a group.

  Riya Thakre (10), who has attended a DGM, said, “From being a part of Red Cross, I have learned a lot of knowledge about the human blood but also the fact that communication is very important. A lot of the events I attended required a lot of communication between teams for them to work well.”

  The meeting often concludes with a slideshow presentation and interactive questions for the audience members.

  American Red Cross allows students to interact with different people and connect with their community on a deeper level. It aims to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.​ The club welcomes all students who would like to take part in the organization’s mission. Meetings are usually held every other Thursday during workshop in room 4210.