Club Red, disaster relief group, offers assistance to victims of Sandy

The Etownian November 28, 2012 0

Elizabethtown College’s Club Red began this last spring semester by senior Sarah Creme. The club is under the guidance of the American Red Cross, an organization that responds to natural and man-made disasters in the U.S.
These types of disasters include hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and hazardous material spills. People affected by these disasters count on the Red Cross to help them out in their time of need and provide shelter, food and health services. The Red Cross counts on donors or groups such as Club Red to help fulfill its mission.
Creme decided to start the club after she did an internship during the summer of 2011 at the Red Cross national headquarters in Washington DC. During the internship, she fell in love with the mission of the organization and the work that the Red Cross was doing throughout the nation. Creme is also an AmeriCorps scholar. Because she is an AmeriCorps scholar, Creme had to pick a primary organization as her focus for volunteering.
Creme, with her friends senior Caitlin Cecco and senior Elyse Archambeault, looked at some of the work that the Red Cross was already working on and together the girls figured out what they could do to help out the College and the surrounding community.
Since the Red Cross is known for its disaster relief, the club helps with whatever they can. The group has worked with a nonprofit organization called Lend-A-Hand, which also works with disaster relief. Lend-A-Hand has over 3,000 volunteers who help the uninsured rebuild their homes damaged by wind, water or fire. Club Red has helped the organization rebuild homes damaged by the flood in Sept. 2011. They worked mostly in Lebanon, Pa. in a few different houses, where they did a lot of removal of items that had been damaged by the flood. Recently, the group helped in the rebuilding phase by painting and sealing homes that were damaged.
Last year and again this year, Club Red hosted a family safety night at the local fire house. This involved children in preschool to fourth grade. The children were able to play in different rescue vehicles and see different gear firemen, police and EMS personnel wear. They also ran a smoke trailer where the trailer filled with smoke and an alarm went off. The firemen then showed the children how to exit properly and quickly without being harmed. The goal of this event was to teach the children what to do in case of an emergency and to teach them not to be afraid of emergency personnel.
Another recent event the club held was an event called Girl’s Night Out, where they held a free Zumba class. At the event they sold Mary Kay, Thirty One and Premier Design Jewelry and a portion of the sales they received go to help the group make comfort kits. Club Red is still collecting travel size hygiene items to make kits for people affected by natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. The Club is also still collecting comfort kits and monetary donations from students and people in the area. The kits that Club Red makes are then given to the Lancaster Red Cross office and then are distributed on a local level until they are needed on a national level.
When asked what the club’s biggest goal was, Creme said, “The biggest goal for the club is to link the College community to the local Etown community.”
The club has grown in number since it first began last year and is looking for new members. Members do not have to attend all events that the club runs. They work on different projects that appeal to all kinds of people. The club members are very willing to sign up for events and help out on campus and in the community.
The club’s plans for next year are just beginning to form. They want to work to bring the College and the community together. Creme said, “ I’m sure there will be CPR classes, hands-on rebuilding days or some kind of community volunteering in the future.”

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