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Red Cross reaches out to honors students at ASU

Published: Thursday, February 9, 2012

Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2012 15:02

red cross

Caleb Hennington/Herald

The Northeast Arkansas Chapter of Red Cross is located on West Jefferson Ave. Students interested in volunteering can pick up applications at this location and get information about more volunteer opportunities.

The American Red Cross and members of ASU's Honors College have teamed up to help the Jonesboro community through volunteer work.

An Honors College Association meeting was held in the Honors Living Learning Community classroom on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and featured two members of the Northeast Arkansas Red Cross chapter.

Pam Carver and Jody Carter spoke to the HCA about opportunities for students to get involved with the Red Cross through volunteer work.

Camden Harrell, student public relations director for the HCA, explained how the Honors College became involved with the Red Cross volunteer program.

"HCA was looking for volunteer opportunities," Harrell said. "Amanda Nguyen, assistant director for the Honors College, brought to our attention the possibility of working with the Red Cross."

The Red Cross needs volunteers to help out in other areas as well.

"The Red Cross is always looking for people who can help in the creation of the comfort kits, help with office jobs such as stapling, entering data, answering phones or copying papers," Harrell said.

Comfort kits are bags of supplies that the Red Cross gives to disaster victims.

They include necessary items such as toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, razors, toothpaste and soap.

"We agreed that making the comfort kits with the Red Cross could be a good experience," Harrell said.

In addition to helping out with office work and comfort kits, the Red Cross also needs more volunteers to help out in disaster areas.

Redcross.org states that every year the Red Cross responds to more than 70,000 disasters nationwide.

The Red Cross also volunteers through blood drives. More than 155,000 Red Cross volunteers collect half the nation's blood supply, which equates to 6 million pints annually.

The representatives from the Red Cross spoke to honors students at ASU, but anyone can volunteer to help out.

Harrell said there aren't a set number of volunteers needed, but volunteers are wanted and always welcome.

Volunteers for the Red Cross learn the skills necessary to help out with disaster relief after applying; first aid, CPR, swimming and other health and safety skills are all taught by Red Cross volunteers.

"The Red Cross has training days to help train volunteers," Harrell said.

Last year, more than 158,000 volunteers helped teach the disaster relief courses in Arkansas.

In addition to learning disaster relief skills, volunteering for the Red Cross is also a great way to find job opportunities.

"Students will gain experience with working with disaster relief, and it doesn't look bad on a resume either," Harrell said.

There are currently more than 650 chapters of the Red Cross in the United States. Northeast Arkansas has two locations, one in Blytheville and one in Jonesboro.

Students who would like to volunteer to help the Red Cross can pick up an application at the Jonesboro chapter located on West Jefferson Ave. Applications were also sent out to Honors students in emails and can also be found online at redcross.org.

The Northeast Arkansas chapter also has a website at nearkansas-redcross.org.

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