By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer
January 17, 2020- While 2020 has just begun, it’s a good time for young people to consider summer volunteer opportunities. The American Red Cross is proud to offer its Summer Youth Corps program, a meaningful, rewarding experience for those 13-24 years of age to help save lives and assist their communities. Participants also gain valuable training, work experience, skill development, and networking opportunities to help them prepare for their futures.
Those taking part in the Summer Youth Corps will serve as Red Cross Blood Drive Ambassadors. After training and orientation, they will be able to volunteer at blood drives being held throughout Northern Ohio between May 1 and August 31. The requirement is 10 shifts. Participants provide their own transportation to and from the drive, and a Parental Consent Form is needed for those 17 and under.
Red Cross Blood Drive Ambassadors have a range of customer service and other responsibilities. These include:
- Engaging with blood donors, creating a favorable impression of the Red Cross, and helping develop a long-term commitment to regular blood donations.
- Making reminder calls, rescheduling donor appointments, and performing follow up activities.
- Welcoming and greeting donors, escorting as necessary, and assisting with initial intake and hand offs through the blood donation process.
- Ensuring blood donors have relevant information and that questions are answered appropriately.
- Attending to donors in the Hospitality Area, ensuring each is recognized for his or her contribution.
- Displaying the utmost professionalism and communication skills.
- Learning and sharing the Red Cross story, including the mission, vision, and values.
Volunteering as a Blood Drive Ambassador offers a number of benefits. A few of these include:
- A letter of reference, which can greatly assist with future plans, including college and job applications.
- Documented community service hours.
- The opportunity to work directly with medical staff.
- The ability to build customer service skills, especially with the provided training.
- Valuable work experience to help prepare for the future.
- Networking and meeting new people.
- The feeling of helping save lives and contributing to your community.
Volunteering with the Red Cross in any capacity is a deeply rewarding experience. The Summer Youth Corps offers enriching opportunities and the ability to help people and communities. If you or your children would like more information or to apply for the program, please go to redcrossblood.org or contact Gail Wernick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-431-3328.