Red Cross club holds mission trips to help those in need

Students+attend+a+Red+Cross+meeting

Katharine Blackford

Students attend a Red Cross meeting

Katharine Blackford, Reporter

The Red Cross club offers a brand-new opportunity for volunteer hours and a non-academic club for students to participate in.
The Red Cross club focuses on raising awareness for issues, such as blood drives, in the form of mission projects, a way for the club to concentrate on a specific community-related issue. Currently, the club is focusing on creating care packages for veterans. Isha Bansal, the club’s president, explained the first mission project.

“[We decided] on doing a Veteran’s mission project for the first [project], so we’re going to make care packages for them. We’re thinking about donating [the care packages] to Blue Star Mothers of America,” Bansal said.

The packages will be completed mostly at the high school, but the club also plans to expand into the middle and elementary school. Bansal explained how the club plans to get the younger grades involved.

“We’re going to try to expand it to the middle school so it can get donations there. And then the elementary school, we’re thinking about them making cards to put in the care packages,” Bansal said.

Wesley Leong, the club’s Vice President and co-founder, plans to host optional meetings every day once they start mission projects.

“We’re thinking every single day we’ll have a meeting, so those that can come will get hours that they’re there. Overall, if you come every day of the week, you’ll get 5 hours a week. The good thing is that it’s flexible to your own schedule,” Leong said.

The Red Cross has its own online system for logging volunteer hours, done through a program called Volunteer Connection. The hours can be transferred to Revere’s system, but are logged independently.

“You just sign up under Red Cross’s system for volunteer hours called Volunteer Connection. We have to have at least 3 mission projects each year to be official under the Red Cross,” Leong said.

Leong first thought of the idea for this club over the summer.

“There were a lot of clubs, but I found none of them really fit my interests. A lot of them are more geared towards academics, and I felt like we should have one that’s more fun, yet also beneficial for the general student body. Red Cross already has a ton of information on their website on how to start one, and so we did,” Leong said.

Leong and the other board members contacted Mrs. Simonelli, the club’s advisor, about starting a club before the school year began.

“It was all a student-led initiative . . . they are our leadership team. They wanted to start a club that does service projects, but is also connected to a national entity,” Simonelli said.

The Red Cross club’s mission project system will first focus on veterans, but they also plan to extend into other areas.

“[The club’s focus is] mostly free mission projects, so one of our biggest opportunities this year is service for the armed forces. . . a lot of people were interested in biomedical services, so we’re trying to think of an activity we could do for that. We could promote local blood drives,” Leong said.

The Red Cross club’s attendance exceeded the ten member threshold needed to qualify as a club during the first meeting.

“Usually when I run a club, I’ll go down, they’ll be four to five students, [for the Red Cross], the whole room was full of students. Wesley [and the other board members] had done their job. King says we need ten people in order to call it a club here, all of a sudden there’s 20-some kids there. I just wanted to say, when it’s student-led, it goes really well,” Simonelli said.