Red Cross News: A Resolution for Teens

Committed and compassionate trained volunteers are the heart and soul of the American Red Cross in Greater New York (ARC/GNY), and a New Year’s resolution to devote time to support fellow New Yorkers in 2007 will contribute to the Red Cross mission to help residents prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. Without dedicated volunteers, there would not be a Red Cross.
While many adult Red Cross trained volunteers respond individually to emergencies locally, nationally and internationally, the Red Cross also can be a family, school, or individual youth commitment. Parents can volunteer to become emergency responders or instructors while teenagers can help with many other projects supported by the Red Cross.
The ARC/GNY Youth Group consists of over 800 young people (14- to 18-years-old) who represent more than 75 New York City high schools, including Forest Hills High School and the Razi School. Here are some of the projects supported by the Youth Group:
Community outreach connects volunteers with the local community as they distribute important safety and preparedness information at street/health fairs, participate in events such as awareness walks, and teach children’s safety and preparedness programs.
Disaster planning and response provides basic training that is needed to assist in an emergency or disaster upon reaching 18 years of age. Youth participate in integral behind the scenes preparatory assistance for the Red Cross response mission.
Tutor children affected by homelessness or disaster at one of two homeless shelters.
Organize events for the American Red Cross Measles and Malaria Initiatives and learn about the youth and chapter relationship with the International Federation of the Red Cross at the United Nations.
Special events planning for the holiday season for our Book & Toy Drive that collects donations to buy books and toys for homeless children, and for the Spring Event to raise funds for the American Red Cross Measles Initiative and youth college scholarships.
Become certified in lifesaving skills and on track to becoming a certified Red Cross instructor at the age of 16.

How to Become Involved
Sign up for an upcoming youth orientation session online. Go to www.nyredcross.org/youthorientation. Print, fill out and sign the youth volunteer application and make sure a parent/guardian reads and signs the consent form.
Bring all printed and signed forms and a picture ID to your scheduled orientation session. Complete orientation, choose a service area and complete the interview.
Next month, we will share some tips on how a Red Cross Club can be created in your high school. If you have any questions, please contact the Volunteer Resources Department at 212-875-2158 or youthvolunteers@nyredcross.org.

Classes for Parents
Many classes are available at the American Red Cross in Greater New York - Queens. You can enroll online at www.nyredcross.org, or call to reserve a seat at 1-877-REDCROSS (1-877-733-2767). The following are a few of the classes that will be held in Queens during January. Dates and times are subject to change.
Wednesday, January 9, CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) – for the professional rescuer, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Cost $110.
Tuesday, January 15, CPR/AED - Adult, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Cost $65.
Wednesday, January 30, standard first aid, 2:30 - 6:30 p.m. Cost $60.

Joan Foley is director of the American Red Cross in Greater New York - Queens.
In Queens, the American Red Cross in Greater New York responds to emergencies such as fires, floods and power outages. It also helps residents prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies by offering first aid, CPR, aquatics and other classes along with free emergency preparedness training programs and resources. The Red Cross is located at 138-02 Queens Boulevard in Briarwood. More information can be obtained by calling 718-558-0053, or visiting www.nyredcross.org.

More from Around New York