By Linda White
During the first term of 2014, two senior students who had previously been members of the BHS Red Cross Club approached Trent Bordok, a BHS Academic Support teacher, with a request: The Red Cross Club needed a new adviser.
They approached Bordok who was new to BHS but who had quickly gained a reputation for his easy manner and approachability. The students requested he consider being their adviser to help them bring the Red Cross Club back on line. It was an easy decision for Bordok who had previously enjoyed the experience and role of functioning as a club adviser in other school systems.
It took a bit of time for the re-start to gain momentum as the two initial seniors became busier with senior year. Bordok recalled, “My main objective last year was to get some members who believed in the club to be able to assist in successfully running the club for the remainder of the year and to be part of the 2015-2016 club as well. Several students who were at every meeting and stayed longer than others seemed like they would be great leaders. I asked three people, Melanie Albrecht, Sparsh Joshi and Gillian Russell to be part of the leadership team. They in turn recruited two of their friends, Amy Laferriere and Alison Young. With the help of this team, we’ve come a long way in less than a year. This school year, we have a solid foundation of club members and have been very active.”
Following the January Blood Drive, Red Cross Club members Melanie Albrecht, Class of 2017 and Amy Laferriere, Class of 2016 were available to sit down and talk about some of the club’s on-going and future activities and events.
They appreciated all the assistance they received from Caroline Fedele; the promotional materials made available by the Red Cross; the support from Adviser Bordok, fellow Club members and BHS students; and most importantly the blood donors who made the event successful.
Melanie explained, “We took a grass roots approach using BHS Live, Facebook, texts, Twitter, posters, an information table during lunch periods, and word-of-mouth to promote the Blood Drive as well as the Canned Food Drive for the Bedford Food Pantry; meal packaging for those serving in the military; and sending seasonal cards to veterans and/active military.”
Proceeds from monthly BHS bake sales continue to be a major source of funding for the Club. Monetary and in-kind donations will also help to provide art and craft supplies for the Horizons for Homeless Children, a non-profit organization that serves more than 2,000 homeless children in Massachusetts each week. Amy continued, “The Relay for Life is one of our most important and largest activities. Like the Blood Drive, it is something we can actually see happening and know that we are genuinely making a difference individually and as part of a group. It is a very rewarding feeling!
“The next Bedford Blood Drive is Wednesday, April 6 at BHS and the Relay for Life takes place on May 21. Our goal is to increase participation for both events.”
Bordok concluded, “I am easily inspired to work with this group of young people because they inspire me first. I am amazed at how willing they are to want to help those who are less fortunate. I can already see they have the hearts for service even at this young age. It is my privilege to work with them.”