Briar Woods’ Red Cross Club


Photo Courtesy of Anjali Chinnareddy

Anjali Chinnareddy, Reporter

It’s been over 140 years since the American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton, and it is still making a difference in the lives of those in need.


According to the official American Red Cross website, their mission is to “[prevent] and [alleviate] human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” The American Red Cross has also “developed the first nationwide civilian blood program” and “still [provides] more than 40% of the blood products in this country.”


Briar Woods has its own Red Cross Club that started 3 years ago. Teacher Diana Ramirez has been a sponsor for this club ever since it started.


“I make sure they have the space they need and the materials they need and the help that they need to get their activities,” said Ramirez. “It is a student-led club so I just supervise and help them with whatever but I don’t plan their activities.”


The most recent volunteer activity done was the “Vaccinate a Village”. It was a fundraiser done to help children in Kenya, Benin, and Ethiopia receive their vaccinations for measles and rubella. The Briar Woods’ Red Cross had a great outcome, raising about 400 dollars which meant about 200 kids could afford to get vaccinated. 


“Most of our volunteer events are directly from the Red Cross because these are National initiatives aiming to improve quality of life in 3rd world countries, so all of our activities come from there,” said junior Dianne Barahona Bonilla. Bonilla is the Youth Administrative Board representative, meaning she represents Briar Woods’ Red Cross club in the Shenandoah region.


“Starting January 20th, we are collecting donations for Comfort Kits for Kids. The purpose of these kits is for those who have suffered from a disaster to receive support,” says Bonilla. “We are aiming to reach kids ranging from ages 3-8. We accept the following items: Children’s 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and toys.” 


The Briar Woods’ Red Cross meets every third Friday of the month at 8:45 a.m. in the auditorium. Check out their Instagram page @bwhs_rc, for meeting days as well as volunteer opportunities!