What I love about working with the Red Cross is that they have volunteer chances for everyone. There were so many groups that told me I just wasn’t old enough. They never did and that meant a lot to me.
Red Cross Holiday for Heroes Card Drive
Since 2013, I have made and collected Holiday cards for the veterans and soldiers to be delivered to the VA and overseas to our troops. In 2013, my friend Anna and I collected 100 cards. My school and community participated with me and we collected 13,000 cards in 2014. In 2015 we collected and delivered over 27,000 cards as far as way as Cuba, Japan, Iraq and even Antartica. While the Red Cross is no longer running this program I so appreciate the opportunity and experience of working with them. For 2016, I am proud to be running the Casimir “Cas” Krolak Holiday Card Drive for our Troops in memory of my friend , WWII Veteran Cas Krolak. Our goal is 30,000 cards. The final total for 2016 was 37,712 cards collected and delivered. Holiday for Heroes
Red Cross Valentines for Vets
In 2015, I made and collected Valentine cards to be delivered to the Veterans at the VA. I used the same plan again. I invited my friends to join me at the Bethany Nursing Home, collected cards from Jen’s Day Care and cards from 4 different local schools. I delivered 400 cards with the Red Cross to the Bath VA. Love the smiles of the Vets when I visit. Some of them have no one to visit them.
Bethany Nursing Home
As part of my Presidential Volunteer Service Program, I have been volunteering at our local nursing home for the past few years. I am allowed to take seniors for rides in their wheelchairs, hearing their stories and doing projects with them. They helped me with my last 2 card drives and we even had some Valentine cupcakes together too. The oldest senior to make cards was 103 years old. You are never too old to volunteer.
Jen’s Day Care
I have been volunteering at a local daycare for the past few years. I am able to read to them, do crafts with them and they also have been participating in the Red Cross Card Drives. Even the 4 months old baby was making cards. You are never too young to volunteer.
President’s Volunteer Service Award
This is a program I participate with at my school. I have a volunteer log sheet, pick a volunteer activity, get it signed by the group or person I am volunteering for, and then I turn it into my teacher when I get my report card. You can get awards for 50, 75 or 100 hours of service. Last year I reached the 100 hour service award. I got a certificate, a service pin and a letter from the President of the United States. www.presidentialserviceawards.gov
When I was awarded the George Bush Daily Points of Light Award for the Holiday Card Drive, their website had a kids club. It is called GenerationOn. They were interested in kid stories and so I sent in mine and registered my service hours. I really like that it keeps track of all kid volunteer hours everywhere. That is really cool. www.generationon.org
Locks of Love
I grew my hair for a whole year and donated it to the Locks of Love. It was easy but took a long time because the hair has to be 10 inches long. We went to the Hair dresser, she put it in a pony tail, cut it and then we mailed it in a special bag. I liked that my hair would help kids with cancer. www.locksoflove.org
Relay for Life
As I was looking for ways to get out into the community for the Red Cross Holiday Card Drive, I was given a chance to participate in the Corning Painted Post Relay for Life sponsored by the American Cancer Society. There were over 40 booths set up around a track at our local middle school. People from our community walked around the track and some even camped out all night long to raise awareness and money to help people with cancer. I helped run a bake sale for one month before the Relay. We stayed all night, even though I slept in a tent for a few hours because I got pretty tired and it was really cold out there. I met a lot of great people. We got a chance to talk about the Red Cross Card Drive, volunteerism and cancer awareness. Find an event or join in a team in your area. One person can make a difference in the fight against cancer. www.relayforlife.org
I am a registered volunteer at the Bath VA and would encourage everyone to participate in their programs. The veterans’ stories are so interesting, and I have learned so much with my visits all during the year… not just at holiday time. www.bath.va.gov/giving
I have been a member of my school’s Rotary Interact club and have had the honor of attending the Corning Rotary Service trip to El Salvador to help build homes since 2017. I am looking forward to going back again next year. Rotary is a great way to get involved locally and have an impact globally. Service Above Self. www.rotary.org