American Red Cross Brought to Life at SMHS


By Kasi Khathuria 

The price for fighting in war is extremely high. Soldiers’ lives are constantly at risk, especially the hundreds who are already wounded from battle infections. Luckily, nurses on the front lines provide the best care possible for the wounded until they can reach a medical facility. Clara Barton, an American nurse, helped wounded soldiers during the Civil War. She brought essential supplies and resources which saved countless lives during the chaos. On May 1st, 1881, the American Red Cross organization was created by Barton herself. The idea of supporting and caring for war victims ultimately started here, with one simple nurse who changed the lives of every soldier in America. 

After the American Red Cross was established, ARC for short, the organization focused on expanding its goals. Training for swimming and CPR was created during the early 1900s. Later, ARC created the first nationwide blood program which still provides the U.S. with 40% of blood products, according to American Red Cross Resources. Ever since Civil War time’s, ARC’s purpose has stayed the same, to provide volunteers who aid the American people during emergencies. This includes disaster relief and blood donations, which  keep communities safe and healthy. 

The American Red Cross has stayed active through its members and events. Even here at SMHS, ARC lives on. The American Red Cross club meets on Tuesdays at 11:30am via Zoom until further notice. President Perla Gomez (12) says “In the club, we go over announcements and events that are coming up” which is still happening even in a virtual setting. Gomez explains a few of the many events concerning ARC, such as the “Mapathons” in which they help map areas that need restoration and help from ARC volunteers. Blood drives are also back open and the ARC club continues to volunteer at some of these drives, while socially distancing with masks at all times. Other events include Service Saturdays, leadership camps, CPR training, disaster preparedness presentations, and much more. 

Part of ARC club consists of attending events and helping with service activities, but Gomez also describes the club as an opportunity for students to experience leadership skills. “The club is not only a great way to earn hours for community service, but it’s also an opportunity to build your experience in leadership, communication, public speaking, and engaging with others not only in our community, but in the whole Southern California region,” Gomez explains. She talks about her passion and drive for the ARC cause and her experience becoming president of the club after only one year. Gomez suggests that every freshman and sophomore should look into the American Red Cross, because it sets her up for success and she believes this club can better every student who joins the cause. 

The legacy of ARC continues on through this influential club at SMHS. Students who are interested in learning more about the history of ARC or want to get involved in service events whether for interest or for service hours, can join the club remind by texting @smhsarc to 81010. The club presidents will post details for meetings and events! March is American Red Cross Month, so remember to either check out the club, or the organization on and acknowledge the everlasting support and help this program has offered to so many who desperately needed it.