Red Cross Teen Volunteer Receives National Recognition

GREENVILLE, NC – When Taylor Waters began volunteering for the American Red Cross in 2010, she never dreamed she would be receiving national recognition for her efforts. But in November 2012, the 19-year-old resident of Sanford, NC was awarded Nickelodeon’s Helping and Leading Others (HALO) Award for her ongoing efforts with the American Red Cross.

Waters was compelled to volunteer for the Red Cross when her grandmother’s house burned down. She watched as the disaster service volunteers tended to her grandmother’s needs. She said, “I saw the assistance they gave her and I wanted to be that for somebody else.”

Through her volunteer work, Waters soon found herself on the National Youth Council for the Red Cross. This council consists of 13 members across the United States. “We work to further the youth initiatives and have a voice for the youth,” Waters said. As a council, they engage in two phone calls per week and quarterly meetings throughout the year. Waters serves as the Committee Chair for Field Relations.

Associate Producers for Nickelodeon’s HALO Awards were in search of a teen performing disaster-oriented services, so they contacted the Red Cross. Among those whose information was given to producers, Waters stood out because of her work with the National Youth Council.

Waters has been paired, through HALO, with actor Josh Duhamel as he is an active supporter of the disaster services of the Red Cross.

Aside from her volunteer and council member efforts, Waters is also creating a Red Cross club at East Carolina University where she is currently a sophomore. She began the club because she hopes to see college students more involved with the American Red Cross on campus. The club is still in its interest-meeting stages, but Waters is already planning. She intends to have a fundraising event on campus to provide relief for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Overall, Water said, “Volunteering has affected me immensely. You don’t realize it until after. It’s amazing to see how much you can grow when you’re helping others.” She says she is thankful for the opportunities given to her by the Red Cross and Nickelodeon. Very humbled, Waters said, “This has been a really great opportunity for not only me, but the Red Cross as well.”

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