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American Red Cross: A Student's Story

Meet college senior Ashton Swader, founding president of Red Cross Club at the University of Mississippi:

I started a chapter of the American Red Cross here on campus because I was passionate about bridging the gap in service that existed between our campus and our community. There was not an accessible Red Cross chapter for the Oxford-Lafayette community and the students at Ole Miss were really struggling to become involved on campus during the pandemic, so I wanted to find a way to change that. I felt powerless during the pandemic, and the American Red Cross helped me to see that I could have an impact on my community.

The American Red Cross is an organization that allows for all our students to feel more connected to the Oxford and Lafayette County area in a unique way. It allows students who had been sent home [the ability] to work with the American Red Cross in their [hometown] while still feeling connected to the Oxford campus. We have done events like Totes of Hope and the Measles and Rubella initiative. Our members have really enjoyed these interactive projects

Many of the activities that we do involve setting up stations where members and non-members can spend even a little time doing something to help the community. An example of this is when we hold our Veteran's card drive. We will set up stations in the library where students can come and write these cards, and it really allows us to connect with each other.

I love volunteering with the American Red Cross because of the amazing support system that it offers to every member, regardless of distance. They have helped me to coordinate events that were extremely rewarding, and for that I am grateful.

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