Young Red Cross volunteers making a difference
When most people think of American Red Cross volunteers often the image of retired or older people in the community come to mind. In Allegany County, Red Cross volunteers can be found in nearly every age group. With Houghton College, Alfred State College, and Alfred University within the county, students from all three colleges look to the Red Cross to help their community aw ay from home.
The local colleges all support American Red Cross Blood Drives with two each semester. Each campus collect more blood than most community blood drives. Students from each college provide their own volunteers to work the blood drives. Sometimes these blood drives become a contest between resident halls, sororities and fraternities, and other student organizations to see who could get the most members to donate blood.
Some students took time out of their busy semester to help spruce up the Red Cross office in Wellsville. Drawn to Diversity students from Alfred University painted a mural on the wall in the Red Cross classroom and Houghton College students helped paint the floors in the classroom. Now, the classroom is a great room to learn more about preparedness and safety.
Students from Houghton and Alfred State planned fundraisers for the Red Cross as well. In late March the Latin American Student Organization held a Home Run Derby to benefit the Red Cross raising over $100. Students were able to receive pitches from a formal minor league pitchers coach and gain bragging rights for the next year. At the end of April, Houghton College held their annual ‘Soup Run’ 5K where runners take a scenic tour around the remarkable campus as they raise money for the local soup kitchen and the American Red Cross.
As students work to support the Red Cross, the Red Cross supports the colleges by supporting the projects. Funding for the projects and the cohesion between the Red Cross and students create a great relationship in the form of a Red Cross Club. Some campuses are more organized than others, but they all have the same goal of supporting and helping the Red Cross in Allegany County.
The Allegany County United Way makes it possible to create that partnership with a grant for the Red Cross Clubs. Without their support the Red Cross could not work as well with the colleges in Allegany County.