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Students give of themselves through Red Cross

Michele Jokinen, mjokinen@postbulletin.com Austin High School students and volunteers, from left, Kelly Paredes, 14, Nyakuck Dhul, 14, and Ketorra Greene, 15, help pack-up first aid mannequins after cleaning them Thursday, at the Mower County Chapter of the American Red Cross in Austin.

A group of students from Austin High School shares a common bond outside of school — they volunteer with the Mower County Chapter of the American Red Cross .

The students have a goal of helping to improve the lives of community members through their work at the Red Cross.

Elaine Hansen, executive director of the local chapter, said she is impressed by the enthusiasm of these dedicated student volunteers from Austin High School .

"These students have worked on a variety of projects at the Red Cross including, serving on our board of directors, working on mailings, organizing the personal care shelf items, helping with fundraising events and a variety of other tasks that need to be completed," Hansen said.

On Monday and Thursday afternoons, Kelly Paredes, Catalina Posada, Jazmin Wara Chavez and Kathryn Alan often volunteer at the local chapter after school.


Posada, who is a foreign exchange student from Colombia, said volunteering at the Red Cross has been fun and has given her a chance to meet people in the community.

Alan, a junior at AHS said, "I would like to be a nurse someday, so I thought this would be a good place for me to volunteer."

Wara Chavez and Paredes said they both enjoy organizing the personal care shelf items that are donated to the Red Cross. Wara Chavez said, "My parents and my grandparents have always taught me how important it is to help people, so I enjoy volunteering here."

Red Cross volunteer, Matthew Lunning, 18, a senior at AHS, will soon be donating more items for the personal care shelf.

Lunning, who is the head of the Student Union, a service group at AHS, organized a drive at AHS for items to be donated to the Red Cross personal care shelf.

"Members of the Student Union know that the personal care shelf is a definite need for our community, so we wanted to do something to help," said Lunning.

Other AHS students volunteer on the chapter’s board of directors. Board members Rachel Wahlert, 15, Jaclyn Bird, 17, and Nathan Schwab, 17, are working to get ready for the Red Cross Holiday Tour of Homes fundraiser.

"This is our second largest fundraiser of the year," said Schwab.

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