The WWU Red Cross Club, which provides students with training and volunteer opportunities, is slowly coming back to life.
To get back on its feet, the Red Cross Club is working to put more effort into fewer events.
“We want to not plan so many events,” said Blake Bishop, a student adviser to the club. “But we want to make sure those few that we do [plan] are great.”
The Red Cross club will be hosting an event called Holidays for Heroes toward the beginning of December. The club will table on Vendor’s Row and invite students to create holiday cards for U.S. soldiers.
“That will be the main thing we focus on this quarter, along with membership,” Bishop said.
Bishop said he hopes the club will expand exponentially if every member brings at least one friend to every meeting. By the end of the quarter, Bishop hopes consistent attendance will be in the 20s.
The Red Cross is a non-governmental organization and takes no stances on political issues.
Though the club isn’t connected with the nursing program at Western, it’s connected with the Mount Baker chapter of the Red Cross, located on James Street.
There are a variety of internships and business opportunities to be found with the Red Cross. Because it’s a national organization, people have no trouble finding work when they need to relocate, said Linda Giles, the Volunteer Services Director at the Mount Baker Red Cross chapter.
“If a student working here decides to leave Bellingham, their record can be transferred to another location,” Giles said. “Their training goes with them.”
Giles said there are positions for everyone, student or otherwise, at the Mount Baker chapter. In particular, volunteers are needed for the on-call disaster action team. The team responds to smaller local emergencies to provide support for the victims. The training is free and no experience is necessary, Giles said.
Bishop volunteers on the disaster action team for six weeks out of the year, tending to people who have been the victims of events such as house fires.
The club works to educate the community on disaster preparedness and ways to volunteer in the Bellingham community. They also spread knowledge of how to create a disaster kit and plan meet-up spots in case of emergencies.
Bishop wanted to see the club continue so students can employ their passions for helping people and staying prepared. Without the club on campus, students would have had limited access to recourses on how to be prepared during a disaster. No education or experience is needed to join the club, Bishop said.
“There were not good mechanisms in place in order to hand [the club] off to the next group of students coming up who have a passion for volunteering for the Red Cross,” Bishop said.
Bishop said he didn’t intend on holding any position for the club, but didn’t want to see it go under because there is something there for almost any student.
“[The Red Cross] can fit almost any skill set that you can bring to the table,” Bishop said.
Those interested in joining the club can check out the Facebook page for the WWU Red Cross Club. The club’s next meeting will be 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 in AW 406. They meet every other Tuesday.