Since the founding of the Junior Red Cross in 1917, youth and the Red Cross have been partners. Even before that, in 1884, youth volunteers assisted during flooding in Johnstown, PA. Today, the involvement of young people with the Red Cross is more important than ever. Our goal is to provide young people with meaningful opportunities for education, training, and volunteer/community service so that they remain a part of the Red Cross family throughout their lives. Young people up to age 24 make up 29 percent of all Red Cross volunteers.
Young people are trained to become involved in many areas of Red Cross Disaster Services, including community disaster education, disaster preparation in their local community, and disaster response through Red Cross disaster action teams.
Health and Safety Services
In RedCross babysitter training, first aid, CPR, aquatics, and water safety classes, young people are being educated about leading healthier, safer lives as well as being trained to serve as instructors, lifeguards, and peer educators. Youth aged 16 and above can be trained to become instructors.
Young adults, ages 17 and older, donate blood. Red Cross youth volunteers help with blood drives by recruiting donors, arranging appointments, acting as escorts, and serving refreshments.
Fund raising, organizing blood drives, providing international assistance, and learning about such things as disaster preparedness and HIV/AIDS prevention and education.
Schools can host Red Cross Clubs where students are able to choose and organize projects in a typical afterschool program setting. Examples include making bags of disaster preparedness information, fundraising, taking Disaster Service courses, and many other things. If you are a student or teacher and are interested in bringing a Red Cross Club to your school, contact Lucas Pierce at PierceL@usa.redcross.org.
Besides clubs, youth of all ages can also be trained in preparedness activities, health and safety services, International Humanitarian Law, and many other things.
Young people learn about other cultures by assembling Red Cross school chests and by learning about international humanitarian law and its implications worldwide. Information is available for high schools to teach about international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions.
Other Youth Opportunities
Young people are involved in other areas of the American Red Cross. There are opportunities that are related to school and college and Internships, as well as openings in Leadership Development and Community Services.
Service to Armed Forces
Young people provide volunteer service to help thousands of U.S. service members separated from their families by military duty stay connected.
Other activities can help youth develop important skills, such as public speaking, leadership, leading projects and committees, and more.