Although just about everyone has heard about the American Red Cross not too many students have heard about the relatively new American Red Cross Club on campus. The club is composed of eight board members who coordinate events and make the club run smoothly.
‘[The club] was formed in the spring of 2004 by a few individuals who had been involved with Red Cross in high school,’ said Shyla Raghav, a third-year applied ecology major and president of the Red Cross Club.
The club holds events such as community service, blood drives, fundraising for disasters, HIV/AIDS education and First Aid/CPR training.
At the beginning of the school year, the club raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims by holding a booth for donations on Ring Road and holding a fundraiser at Gina’s Pizza.
The club provides free First Aid/CPR training to its members during select weekends. Through this program, members will learn to respond to emergencies. The club also provides HIV/AIDS education training where members learn about HIV/AIDS and then make presentations about it to educate students at colleges, high schools and junior high schools about the deadly disease.
Through the club, Michelle Tu, a third-year biomedical engineering major and member, participated in the Ronald McDonald event.
‘The Ronald McDonald House was an event where several Red Cross members and I went to the Ronald McDonald House in Santa Ana and prepared a breakfast meal for the families living in the home,’ Tu said. ‘The home houses families who have sick children and need special medical attention. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to give these families a break and let us cook for them. Our small act of kindness was very much appreciated and I’m glad that they enjoyed our companionship.’
Being part of the Red Cross Club is a way in which its members can lend a hand to those in need.
‘Being in the Red Cross means helping people, saving lives and learning to appreciate how fortunate you are to be healthy enough, financially stable enough, to actually help others in need,’ said Vanessa Pau, a third-year biomedical engineering major and treasurer of the club. ‘It is also about teamwork and getting to know other people who share the same willingness and ambition as you to give, without any expectations of taking back.’
‘Being part of the Red Cross club is very important to me. I have volunteered for the Red Cross for more than six years and it’s a great pleasure to be able to serve the organization here at UCI as club president. Red Cross youth services greatly enriched my life as a teenager by making me a confident and focused leader. I hope that our club can accomplish the same goal for our current members,’ Raghav said. ‘The best part of being part of the Red Cross club is the camaraderie that all of the members have. Members of the Red Cross are given the opportunity to serve the community in many different ways, meet other like-minded students and build their leadership skills. In my opinion, the Red Cross Club is an asset to the UCI club community and it is my hope that it will continue to be.’
Through their generous members and community service events, the Red Cross Club has proven to be a great club for people who want to help others and give back to the community.