Club Profile: The American Red Cross

Michelle Norsworthy

You’re walking down the Pedestrium, rushing to get to class…or to the free-food being handed out at the Rotunda, when something catches your eye. It’s a sign, emblazoned with a big, red cross and the words “Blood Drive” hover above it in bold, black letters. The person holding it shouts, “Donate and save a life!”

For years, the American Red Cross has worked alongside Georgia Southern University faculty and students to help raise awareness and combat the effects of disasters. Thanks to the determination of students like Ian Chapin and several others, one of the world’s largest humanitarian efforts can call GSU its home.

“Their outreach, their impact, is so much greater than any other organization,” Chapin, president of the GSU chapter, said. “It’s also a great opportunity for volunteers to get involved, learn on along the way, and have an impact on their community.”

While the club is best known for its blood drives, the American Red Cross also offers disaster relief services, training in a variety of health related areas and support services for military families. Most of these will be brought to campus, according to Chapin.

“[The American Red Cross] is a huge volunteer service, not just for certain things. There’s disasters, blood services – it’s a broad spectrum for what they do and the main goal is to help people,” Madison Phillips, who serves as the chapter’s fundraising officer, said. “And who doesn’t like to help people?”

The GSU chapter will provide a number of relief services, including emergency response vehicles (ERVs).

“Under disaster services, we’ll have trained emergency response vehicles,” Chapin said, “and these are outfitted with all kinds of relief items – water, food, blankets, tents, first-aid equipment, lights. It’s all packaged up in this [vehicle] with specially trained members.”

Members will be heading to Sylvania, Ga. for their training. Not only will they receive disaster service training but, according to Summer Hughes, vice president of the GSU chapter, will also be trained to run their own shelters.

“It’s important because just having someone there to help you, having a place to stay for the night, is just one less thing for you to have to worry about,” Hughes said.

Because the American Red Cross is nearly 90 percent volunteer-based, students, faculty, and members of the community are encouraged to get involved in any way they can.

“It’s a really great thing to be a part of,” Austin Hinkley, who serves as the publicity officer, said. “[The American Red Cross] doesn’t have to be just local, or state or national communities. It can be any country in the world. [We’re] just there to help.”

The GSU branch of the Red Cross will be at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, which will be happening from Oct. 20-25. Students’ Day will be Wednesday, Oct. 22 and admission is free with your Eagle ID.

Quick Info

President: Ian Chapin

Fees: Yes

Co-ed: Yes

Contact: Facebook, Twitter

Upcoming Event


Oct. 20-25 | Wednesday, Oct. 22 Students Get in Free