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Service Drives Success

Red Cross members holding a thumbs up in-front of the wall

At Purdue, the persistent pursuit of bettering the community and world is at the forefront of many Boilermaker minds and spirits. Service is one of the natural pathways to the betterment of society. A prime example of a group of Boilermakers that have the spirit of service and the heart to drive forward to change the community is the American Red Cross Club of Purdue. 

 At Purdue, students are empowered to make an impact. Boilermakers are encouraged to go out into the world and make it a better place. Cahue has not shirked from this challenge and has made it her mission to not only improve the community, but to also create a space where motivated individuals can be pushed to serve and develop. 

“I try to center all that I do around creating opportunities for people to get involved on campus,” Cahue states. “It’s an amazing opportunity for people to get involved in life saving activities and it gives a different perspective on life. This club is really where I grew my passion for helping combat health disparities. We always strive to pay it forward to the community.” Red Cross club member all holding up their club shirts

On a personal and broader scope, Cahue works to advance health equity initiatives and continue partaking in research and program implementation to help Latino and racial minority groups.

“Last spring, we did period kits,” Cahue recalls. “The ARC brought a lot of menstrual products and we bagged them in goodie bags with body positivity stickers. We were educated on women’s menstrual cycles and reproductive systems. It was a great way for people who do not experience periods to learn more and combat the stigma periods often faced.” 

This spring, ARC continues their kit building with hygiene kits that will be delivered to ACE Campus Food Pantry. Packed in the kits will be razors, soap, hand-sanitizer and more. Each spring, ARC finds significance in building kits to distribute at various shelters in the Greater Lafayette area. Not only is the work fulfilling to members, but it also teaches many values that will aid in their professional pursuits. 

“I wanted to get experience within the health field,” Cahue says. “I realized that the ARC is such an amazing opportunity to develop your professional skills. You will grow, learn how to plan different events, utilize BOSO and SAO, you learn how to communicate and you even learn how to handle emergency situations. It prepares me for the life after college.” 

Red Cross club members playing a game that requires them to memorize what the person behind them is writing on their back

There are many opportunities to serve each semester with ARC. They host four blood drives every semester, three fundraisers, four community service events and several trainings per semester. Trainings range from CPR, which helps to save life during cardiac arrest, to NARCAN administration, which combats opioid overdoes, and more. After members pay their dues, they seek many benefits but one of the perks is free CPR certification through American Red Cross. The club emphasizes that you don’t necessarily need to professionally pursue healthcare to face an emergency in day-to-day life and it always helps to be prepared. 

“The first time I had my CPR training was eye opening,” Cahue reflects. “I realized how necessary having that certification is on a day-to-day life.”

One of the major events that American Red Cross is known for is their blood drives.

“I loved volunteering at the blood drives,” Cahue says. “That's when you really apply your skills. Members have the opportunity to practice patient confidentiality during blood drives amongst other important skills. It’s so inspiring seeing people that come to you so optimistic and passionate about giving blood. I want to partake in this life saving opportunity.” 

Red Cross club members outside of the WALC selling cookies

Cahue encourages anyone with a heart of service to get involved.

"I think being in a community of people who share the same purpose of helping and getting involved is so important,” Cahue says. “We have students of various backgrounds, and though we do have predominantly health majors, we are open to everyone. All different majors in this organization come together to make a big difference on our community, and all the skills you learn here are transferrable.” 

Potential members can submit a request on BoilerLink, follow on Instagram to keep up to date on service opportunities and keep an eye out for flyers. Also, for any potential members with questions, feel free to email president Emily Cahue.