The American Red Cross Club (ARCC) at UTSA has been re-established for students wanting to get more involved in community volunteer activities. Paolo Martinez, an undeclared freshman, has reinstated this student organization after it was dismantled in 2016. The organization was discontinued due to a lack of student involvement, and Martinez’ goal is to remedy this issue.

“I’m actually trying to work with the region to develop a more youth-heavy program. As of right now this region doesn’t have the same amount of youth involvement as other regions do,” Martinez said. “I founded my [Red Cross] club back in high school, so I have a pretty good idea of how to run this club to get it started up and pass on the torch.”

The ARCC has five branches that cover: biomedical (blood services), services to the armed forces, disaster response, training services and international services. One training service opportunity that students will have is to volunteer on the “Home Fire Campaign” which is a program designed to install smoke alarms free of charge to high-risk and low-income areas of San Antonio. This is an entry-level opportunity for students to see an immediate impact in local communities.

“Also, if you’re above the age of 18 and you have the proper qualifications, you can deploy to different disaster [zones]. For example, I helped with Hurricane Harvey in 2017,” Martinez added.

25 Live, an event planning and scheduling system at UTSA, has authorized the ARCC to schedule biweekly meetings for students interested in volunteering. Their inaugural meeting was held on April 1 at 4 p.m. in a large study room in the John Peace Library.

“This club doesn’t need too much time commitment during the week, but the biggest time commitment you’ll have is on the weekends when we do installations, for example. Those generally take four to six hours to complete but you’ll get service hours for that and there is a way to actually print out your hours sheet and get a verification form for those that need it,” Martinez said.

The ARCC works directly with the Red Cross and will provide numerous opportunities for students seeking volunteer hours. The ARCC invites anyone who is interested to attend one of the biweekly meetings. For more information on the ARCC students can email utsaamredcross@gmail.com, paolo.martinez@redcross.org or call (281) 904-5173.

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