MAMARONECK, N.Y. ? The 28 members of the Mamaroneck High School Red Cross Club have earned the praise of local school and government officials and the regional and national branches of the American Red Cross for their relief work after Hurricane Sandy.
“It was a great experience just to be able to help our neighbors, but also to see kids I see every day in the hallways helping our community,” said Eli Russ, 18, president of the MHS Red Cross Club and an American Red Cross volunteer.
Teams of students helped out at the Mamaroneck-Larchmont Emergency Evacuation Shelter and at the Warming Shelter.
They helped set up and close both shelters, including assembling and disassembling approximately 100 cots and transporting boxes of supplies. Other club members served as greeters, and registered clients as they entered the shelter.
Russ said they also helped parents watch their children.
“We wanted to make the parents feel at ease in a fearful time,” he said. “We had a movie for the kids to watch, so they [parents] could get a break.”
Some of the students used their ability to speak Spanish to “provide a critical element of comfort to frightened family members,” according to the Red Cross press release.
Others distributed boxes of meals, snacks, and water to the patrons.
The Emergency Evacuation Shelter, which gave Mamaroneck and Larchmont residents a safe, dry place to stay during the storm, was located in the Mamaroneck High School Gym on the Post Road. Operated by the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), the shelter was open from Oct. 28 through Oct. 30 and lodged approximately 70 residents.
The MHS Red Cross club meets every two weeks to discuss initiatives related to community service, disaster preparedness, helping troops overseas and helping at Red Cross blood drives.
On Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 21) the club will hand out information on fire and disaster preparedness, according to Russ. As part of the town’s High School Organized Day of Service, school clubs and activity groups will offer various community service opportunities to students on the holiday.