Inside Mason’s Red Cross Club

Hedda Jagerskog, Staff Reporter

supplies for fundraiser
Members of the Red Cross club prepare for a day of goody-bag packing prior to Valentine’s Day. (Photo courtesy of Dylan Petrillo)

Measles and rubella are two similar illnesses that plague underdeveloped countries around the world. These viruses can cause congenital rubella syndrome, which results in birth defects such as brain damage, heart disease, and visual or auditory impairment. The global elimination of measles and rubella is an ongoing battle, and one that was brought to the attention of a club here at George Mason. Through their Valentine’s Day fundraiser, the Red Cross Club was able to donate over $2,000 to a measles and rubella vaccine initiative.

At the high school level, the Red Cross Club focuses on five lines of service, which include blood services, international services, training services, disaster services, and service to the armed forces.

When asked to summarize their recent fundraiser, club president Dylan Petrillo said, “The Valentine’s Day fundraiser was an idea that we had to help kids in need. It was based on the principle that one dollar equals one vaccine, which is one life saved. People within the community could buy their friends, family, or really anyone, a goody bag that would be delivered, Covid friendly, to their door on February 14th.”

The club delivered about 250 goody bags in and around Falls Church City. They had an easy online website where people could place their orders the week prior to Valentine’s Day so the members of the club could have enough time to bake, pack, and deliver the goody bags.

the goody bags
The goody bags were a smash hit this Valentine’s Day. (Photo courtesy of Dylan Petrillo)

  “2,000 dollars was actually the most that has ever been raised by a high school club in the National Capital and Greater Chesapeake region, so it was exciting to set our record as a first year club,” Petrillo said.

“My experience with the Red Cross club has been extremely rewarding because we’ve worked on several projects that I know will help make a difference in the world,” club member Natalie Burke said. 

After hitting it out of the park with this fundraiser, the club is now diverting their focus to other service opportunities.

“Right now we want to focus our time and energy on environmental initiatives, so we’re looking to do a cleanup at one of our local parks sometime this spring,” Petrillo said. “We are also eager to sponsor a blood drive using our brand new facilities as soon as the logistics are worked out.”

The club meets via Schoology conferences every other Friday during Learning Support. If you’re interested in joining, email [email protected]