The work of the American Red Cross reaches throughout every country and touches lives all over the world. The Auburn Red Cross Campus Club provides a way for students to join in these efforts.
Auburn's Red Cross club meets the first Monday of every month at 5:30 p.m. in Student Center suite 2216. This team of students works hard each day to serve the organization, this campus and their community.
“We are so much more than just the blood drives that happen upstairs,” President of the club Azeem Ahmed said. “The Red Cross is always the first to respond, from a simple house fire to when the Twin Towers fell or when the 2010 earthquake hit Haiti.”
Every year the club works hard to support the organization locally as well as nationally and internationally. Typical efforts include CPR training, disaster preparation classes, distribution of flu kits and several of blood drives throughout the year.
This week the club hosts a toiletries drive in an effort to help local house-fire victims. Donation boxes are at Foy information, Tichenor Hall and on the concourse until Friday.
Auburn’s Red Cross chapter was the first nationally-chartered collegiate club in the nation. The chapter established on campus in 2006 in response to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The Auburn club functions as a sub-chapter to the Lee County Red Cross, and they collaborate on almost every event. They usualy send volunteers and promote local events on campus.
Auburn’s chapter also works closely each year with Project Share. New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and the American Red Cross established the national program to provide financial assistance in energy expenses. Persons over 60 years of age, persons with disabilities or those with serious medical conditions receive the service. Auburn students specifically help to make houses more energy efficient to reduce costs.
The Red Cross nationally is the world's largest humanitarian network with more than 97 million volunteers. Auburn’s club, however, only has around 20 members. “We have accomplished so much, but it can be hard to get things done. We just don’t have the numbers,” Ahmed said. The club experienced a influx in membership last year in response the Haiti tragedies, however the numbers fell again when the craze died down. “People in Haiti still need help, and lots of people don’t know that. When a disaster is gone the Red Cross is not, and thats what makes them an incredible organization,” Ahmed said.
Despite the small size, the club continues to accomplish impressive feats. Friday, the club participated in the event Be a Hero with Cater Hall’s Team West Wing. The event, held at Greystone Mansion, raised close to $2,000 through ticket sales and a silent auction. All proceeds of the fundraiser help serve the Lee County chapter and its operational spending of $1,100 a day.
Members of the club consider the work rewarding and satisfying. “I always followed the club in high school, so serving as the President has been such an honor,” Ahmed said.
The club currently has in the works plans to offer CPR training sessions to Greek chapters and other campus organizations. All participants receive certification after 90 minute-long sessions. Anyone interested in serving the club in anyway is welcome to join. The next meeting is Monday, April 11th, at 5:30 p.m. The club is an opportunity to make friends, serve your community and be a part of something bigger than yourself. Consider joining today.