Red Cross Summer Youth Corps offers enriching opportunities for those from 13 to 24 years of age

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.

Superstorm Sandy 2012

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.

Oroville Dam Spillway Compromised 2017

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.

Sound the Alarm Fulton

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 or contact Gail Wernick at or 216-431-3328.

Summer’s Coming – What are Your Kids and Grandkids Doing This Year?

 By Doug Bardwell,  American Red Cross volunteer

Don’t look outside; but trust me — summer is coming. We may just skip spring, but summer is coming. And, what do your children or grandchildren have planned for their school vacation? Red Cross has a suggestion.

Since many teenagers are required to complete a certain number of service hours, there’s a way they can do that and gain some life skills at the same time. Have them consider the American Red Cross Summer Youth Corps program  where youth will serve as Donor Ambassadors at our blood drives.


Open to teens and young adults from 14 to 24, it’s easy to get involved. Start by contacting Melanie Collins at or 330-204-6615. She’ll enroll them in one of the two remaining mandatory training sessions:

  • Saturday, May 5, 2018                9:30 am – 11:00 am
  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018            2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

After training, the program suggests a minimum of 10 shifts between June 1st and August 31st; but hopefully, they’ll enjoy it so much they’ll want to sign up for more.

What to expect?

The program focuses on Biomedical Services and helping with the blood drives throughout Northern Ohio, usually held Monday through Friday. You can select the locations and times that are most convenient. Heck, where else can you find a summer job that doesn’t tie up all your weekends?

At the drive location, there are multiple ways to help the medical staff, such as:

  • Welcoming, registering and escorting donors as they arrive.
  • Explaining the donation paperwork process.
  • Making reminder calls, scheduling or rescheduling donor appointments and doing follow up.
  • Recognizing donors for their contribution and socializing in the hospitality area.

IMG_1464The goal is to make the entire visit pleasant for the donors, ensuring that they’ll want to donate again in the future.

In return, volunteers will develop customer service skills transferable to any industry.  With a Red Cross name badge, they’ll be respected as a member of America’s leading blood donation organization. They’ll also receive a letter of reference for their resume/portfolio.  Isn’t that a better deal than a discount on greasy burgers?

Contact Melanie Collins for more details: or 330-204-6615.