Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Youth Council Brings Water Safety to Joy-Lou

The following was submitted by Louisville Area Chapter Club Council member Reagan Roy.

On June 11, 2013, the Louisville Area Chapter Club Council presented a Longfellow’s WHALE Tales presentation to around 20 children at Joy-Lou Pre-School & Day Care. The WHALE Tales program is derived from water safety classes created by Commodore Wilbert E. Longfellow.

Longfellow started the Red Cross Lifesaving Corps in 1914 to train volunteers in the methods of lifesaving and resuscitation. His next step was to provide large-scale instruction in swimming. The Commodore's teaching philosophy was to "entertain the public hugely while educating them gently." He did just that. In tribute to Commodore Longfellow, the mascot for the program is a blue whale named “Longfellow”. This is because Commodore Longfellow was nicknamed “The Amicable Whale” for his service.

The council members presented water safety rules to the children. Some of the rules presented were:

  • Don’t swim alone
  • Follow the pool rules
  • Look before you leap
  • Think don’t sink
  • Reach or throw don’t go

“Everybody did an outstanding job,” said Council Member Jada Stewart. “The children were great and really seemed to enjoy it.”

To engage the children, the volunteers performed three skits during the event followed by a question and answer session led by the members. Each child in the room had the chance to answer a question correctly and receive a Red Cross bracelet for their participation. The members also told personal stories or lead group discussions around the general pool side rules.

The teacher received WHALE Tales worksheets to work on with the children at a later date, reinforcing the message of water safety. Members who helped present were Taylor Greenwell, Brianna Rodgers, Jada Stewart, Michael Jones and Reagan Roy. Youth Coordinator Kristen Lawrence was in charge of preparing and overseeing the event.

If you are interested in more information on the Chapter Club Council or other youth volunteer opportunities at the American Red Cross Louisville Area Chapter, call 502-561-3601 or visit

Monday, June 17, 2013

Intern and Youth Volunteer Jocelyn Porter

Jocelyn (right) at 2012 Donorama Blood Drive
Hello, my name is Jocelyn Porter and I am a youth volunteer for the Louisville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. I just completed a five month internship here and am continuing my service through the Chapter Club Council, (Louisville’s chapter club). These past five months have been instrumental to my growth as a high school student. I’ve developed many noteworthy skills and have been given amazing opportunities.

There are three ways to volunteer with the American Red Cross:

  1. in a group such as your Girl Scout troop, church youth group, or school beta club
  2. in a Red Cross club at your school or in your local chapter
  3. as an individual volunteer
I am a member of the Red Cross Club at the Louisville Area Chapter and as mentioned before I am also a student intern. As a part of my internship, I came in three times a week to complete office administrative tasks along with Public Relations related assignments. Some of my office administrative duties included data entry in the volunteer office.

One very important task I completed was to catalog the volunteer pins given out before our newest computer system update. My help in this effort made it possible for seasoned and dedicated volunteers to be awarded for their hard work over the years. I recorded the names of volunteers and the awards they had been given so that we knew when it was time for them to receive another award based on the years of their service. I created a database of this information and cataloged names and awards from 1986 to 2011.

I have also made phone calls to youth in the community who have expressed interest in becoming a youth volunteer for the Louisville Chapter Club like me. I’ve put together bulletin boards in the building elevators that have announcements Red Cross employees should be aware of. These projects as well as the many other activities I do at the Red Cross are important for many reasons--they open the door for more volunteers, allow information to be stored in a more organized form, and contribute to the mission of the Red Cross as a whole.

I have acquired 90 hours this year. My favorite project that I have done thus far has been the Pin project. I was able to see just how many people over the years have volunteered their time to help their local Red Cross reach its goal of serving people worldwide and how committed those people have been. Some have been working with the Red Cross for 50 years.

I would definitely encourage other youth in the community to volunteer with the Red Cross because it is a way to help save lives even though you may not be old enough to give blood. It is a group effort, and by volunteering at blood drives or working in the office, you are helping to fulfill the mission of this worthwhile organization

-Jocelyn Porter