Summer is in full swing and for most youth, summer is filled with no school, no exams and free time.
The only thing on the mind of young people is sleeping in late, hanging out with friends and enjoying the freedom warm weather and sunshine brings. But here is another possibility - volunteering with the American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross of Southwestern New York is close by, so why not take advantage of it. With offices in Jamestown, Olean and Wellsville and blood drives in nearly every community, volunteering is easy. A youth volunteer has many options in ways they can help. Blood drives always need someone to help donors when they first come in at the registration table or after the donation process at the canteen area.
At the local offices, the options are limitless. Youth volunteers could help clean up a storage area, organize disaster supplies, paint walls, help with a fundraiser or by answering phones and filing papers, just to name a few. There is always something for everyone and every talent.
If youth want to dedicate more time to the Red Cross, they can help start a Red Cross Club in their schools to help educate their peers on preparedness and how to save a life through peer to peer presentations and extracurricular activities.
The benefits go beyond the good feeling at the end of the day. Students can earn community service hours which could be used for school projects and college applications. Often when a youth volunteers, they dedicate their adult life to the Red Cross by joining the Disaster Action Team, by becoming a Blood Drive Coordinator or a regular office volunteer.
To find out more information about becoming a volunteer, contact a local Red Cross office in Jamestown at 664-5115, in Olean at 372-5800, or in Wellsville at (585) 593-1531. The American Red Cross of Southwestern New York is a United Way Agency.