The CSU Channel Islands campus was still quiet as Laurie Hurtado made her way to the library. She and other Red Cross Club members were there early to set up for their blood drive. All week they had been tabling in front of the library to sign students and faculty up for the big event.
Laurie came prepared with her club t-shirt and stack of forms. Together the group set up their table, complete with clipboards, balloons, and flyers.
Red Cross Club members like Laurie play an integral role in community outreach. From blood drives, to fundraising, to preparedness education, these clubs are a fun and energetic experience for high school and college students throughout the region. Red Cross Clubs also offer many opportunities for self-development, and empower students to build critical leadership skills.
“I have been a blood donor since 2005, so I was thrilled to become a club member at school and to have the opportunity to participate in other ways for the organization,” said Laurie, “Being a student nurse, I find that being a volunteer for the Red Cross enhances my education and leadership skills.”
Earlier in the week, Laurie and her fellow club members decorated a beautiful glass case display in the library to celebrate Blood Donation Awareness Week. Their engaging visuals, facts, and stories were starting pay off as students began to approach their table.
“My favorite part about being a Red Cross club member and volunteer is being an active member on my campus and in my community. I like spreading awareness about blood donations and encouraging people to donate,” said Laurie.
It was Laurie’s turn to make her own donation, one of more than 41,000 donations that are needed every day. She climbed into a chair and got ready. Just then a woman approached her and said thank you. The only reason she was alive was because of a blood transfusion she had years ago.
“Every time I get nervous about the needle stick, I think of that woman and how scared she must have felt when her life was in jeopardy. I am instantly humbled and no longer nervous.”
Red Cross Club members like Laurie are part of the more than 90% volunteer workforce that provides humanitarian services in the Central California Region. The Red Cross thanks and honors these selfless and compassionate every day heroes during National Volunteer Week, April 12-18. Click here to learn more about the “Day in the Life of a Volunteer” series.