The American Red Cross is known internationally for the abundance of help it provides to others. This commitment to help others extends to the smaller branches of our Davis community as well – the UC Davis Red Cross Club has grown significantly over the years.
When the UC Davis Red Cross Club first began it was a smaller, less developed group.
“When I was a sophomore, there were maybe 10 people at the meetings. Now there are at least 30 or 40,“ co-president Sara Jones said. The club now has over 100 members.
As the Red Cross Club has grown, its involvement within the Davis community has as well.
Throughout the years, the Red Cross Club has taken part in large events such as the Heroes Luncheon, their largest function at Freeborn Hall in which they honor heroes of the community. Previous honorees have included firefighters, a high school student who saved a drowning victim, and a civilian who stopped on the side of the road to help with a car fire.
Other efforts that the group takes part in are CPR Saturday, various health fairs, Relay For Life, Davis Community Meals, Project Safe and the American Red Cross Blood Drive.
Currently, the club is working on Baskets of Love, a project that co-president Sarah Katz is leading. Baskets of Love aims to create baskets for Mother‘s Day in order to spread awareness about domestic violence. Other current projects include an upcoming health fair to be held on May 20 on the Quad, educating students with safety demonstrations and general information about the Red Cross.
The Red Cross Club differs from many clubs in its connectivity to the rest of the Davis community. The club has worked with a range of partners, varying from local fire stations, high schools, middle schools and other UC Davis clubs. In the past, the Red Cross Club has worked with UC Davis volunteer club Circle K to put on a health fair for kids. Recently, the club has collaborated with Woodland eighth graders for “Project Safe,“ an organization that attempts to teach seventh graders about safety.
While the club puts a great emphasis on fundraising, its budget still remains modest.
“We don‘t really keep anything for ourselves. We raise our own money and never really ask for money,“ Katz said. “If we raise anything, it goes specifically to our cause.“
The Red Cross Club continues to draw members in with its humanitarianism and connectivity to the Davis community.
“The American Red Cross is one of the largest organizations and it focuses on multiple areas,“ Jones said. “We do a lot of events with other community service clubs.“
Former co-president and current EMT, Chelsea Johnstone also shared her enthusiasm for the club.
“Because the American Red Cross club is so active on campus with its volunteering events, [it] has gained the respect and appreciation of many authority figures on campus,“ Johnstone said. “Being a student firefighter with the UCD Fire Department, I have seen how much of a positive impact that the Red Cross has when it comes to disaster situations.“
Along with helping others, the club serves as a surface for many other reasons.
“Preparedness is number one. The club is a great stepping stone for anything relating to public health, social work, the medical field or just for yourself getting involved in a nonprofit,“ Jones said.
The Red Cross Club meets at 6:10 p.m. every other Thursday and is open to new members year-round.
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