Red Cross Month: How You Can Help

The American Red Cross has been helping people in need since it was founded by Clara Barton in 1881. Known internationally for humanitarian aid and disaster relief, the American Red Cross has been a source of compassion, medical care, and CPR training for millions of soldiers and civilians since its inception.

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This year International Student Exchange has teamed up with the Red Cross to help them accomplish their mission. ISE students and families have already begun organizing and executing blood drives and gathering donations for Red Cross outposts across the country. Want to get involved? Well you’re in luck, because March just so happens to be Red Cross month. Right now is a great time to get started.

Most people know the Red Cross as an organization that runs blood drives, and it is true that blood collection is a large part of what they do. But did you know that the Red Cross also provides classes and training in lifesaving skills; provides food,water and supplies to disaster victims; and has offered support to the military since the 1800′s? Internationally known for its efforts to help those in need, the Red Cross is always looking for volunteers to expand their network and fulfill the needs of more and more people.

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There are plenty of ways that parents and students can get involved:

-Organize a donation drive at your school or church. Funds are needed to obtain supplies and personnel both at home and abroad.

-Set up a blood drive. Gather a few of your community members or friends together to make this happen. Collection points can be at a school or any other community center willing to let the space be used. Red Cross personnel can make themselves available for your blood drive.

-Help the Red Cross by volunteering at one of their outposts. Trucks get dirty, offices get cluttered, and organizing events is hard work. The Red Cross is always happy to accept help from local communities.

-Take a lifesaving course, get certified, and share your newfound knowledge with your friends and family. Learning CPR and other lifesaving techniques are invaluable for you and those around you. One day you just might save a life.

-Begin a social media campaign. Pressed for time or can’t give blood? Why not use your Facebook and Twitter accounts to help out?

These are just a few ideas, but there are many more on ISE’s Project Help site, and at redcross.org. Assisting the Red Cross is an excellent way to complete service hours for your exchange program or gain community service experience. Check them out today and see how you can help.

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