By Chris Chmura, American Red Cross volunteer
July 22, 2020- Our Northern Ohio Red Cross welcomed a new Young Professionals Council leadership team July 1. The team is dedicated to the YPC and the mission of the American Red Cross and will help create a positive, new chapter for the council. The new leadership of the YPC includes Jasmine Boutros of KeyBank, chair; Adam Joines of Jones Day, vice-chair; and Ali DeCrane of CBIZ, secretary.
The council is a dedicated group of mission-minded young professionals who support the Red Cross through volunteerism, outreach and special events. The YPC consists of four committees: Onboarding/Engagement Committee, Social Committee, Service Committee and Professional Development Committee.
The Northern Ohio Region’s YPC was formed in 2017 when Northern Ohio Regional CEO Mike Parks and the board of directors expressed an interest in engaging more young people in the mission of the Red Cross, expanding its volunteer base and infusing fresh new ideas into the organization. Over the next year, the YPC grew from a group of five individuals, to a group of 20.
Since the inception of the YPC, its members have volunteered hundreds of hours for the Red Cross, including participating in numerous Sound the Alarm events, hosting Missing Maps mapathons, supporting veterans at the VA, and assisting with blood drives throughout the region. The YPC holds quarterly professional development events, inviting top business leaders from the community (often times a Red Cross board member) to share their insights and advice with the group. The YPC also holds quarterly social events, including networking opportunities and dinners.
I asked why these individuals committed to the Red Cross in leadership roles and solicited their thoughts on the need for young volunteers.
Jasmine, chair, explained, “I’m passionate about the work of the Red Cross because I started my career in pediatric oncology. Working with kids fighting cancer and receiving regular transfusions, I’ve seen firsthand the impact Red Cross programs like blood drives can have on our most vulnerable population. It’s important for young professionals to get involved because we are the people who can create the momentum to make long, lasting changes to our community.”
Adam, vice-chair, said, “Volunteering establishes a sense of perspective. Whether it is installing smoke alarms in others’ homes, giving blood and following its journey to a patient, playing drums with veterans and families in therapeutic “jam sessions,” or consoling a family suddenly homeless after a fire, each opportunity provides a glimpse into another facet of life that the volunteer might not otherwise experience. Volunteering gives young people the opportunity to “walk a mile in another person’s shoes” and recognize the world from another angle.”
Secretary Ali DeCrane stated, “Growing up as the daughter of a fireman and teacher, the importance of helping those in need when you are able to was instilled in me from an early age. I felt that I needed to invest my time in helping those in our community and society who needed it. This organization was a natural fit for me, as my own values aligned so well with the fundamental principles it promotes. As a young professional, I believe that it is now our turn to take responsibility for building a better world for all people. My advice to young professionals is to make time to get involved because it will give you experiences and relationships that you will value for the rest of your life.”
Red Cross staff is grateful for Jasmine, Adam and Ali for their valuable time, energy and passion. They look forward to collaborating with them to advance the organization’s mission.
YPC membership offers:
- Networking opportunities with fellow philanthropic young professionals and community leaders
- A chance to volunteer for the world’s most recognized charity
- Leadership opportunities in areas including: event planning, fundraising and mission deliver
For more information on how you or someone you know can become involved with the Red Cross of Northern Ohio’s Young Professionals Council, contact Carolyn Wild at 216-346-8220 or email@example.com.
Edited By Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer