MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- In an effort to increase community awareness amongst the youth of Onslow County, the Red Cross office on base started a youth club for high school students.
The Red Cross Youth Club holds meetings once a month and will have one outing per month that will provide a community service, said Grace Ohlhaut, the youth club coordinator and assistant station manager for the base's Red Cross office.
"I just wanted to get the youth more involved with activities that benefit the community and servicemembers," said Ohlhaut.
The club was originally a summertime program the Red Cross ran for 17 and 18 year-olds. However, when the school year began, Ohlhaut realized that the kids still wanted to get together and make a difference in the community.
"When school started, a lot of the kids wanted to keep doing projects, so we held a meeting in September and planned a pumpkin carving outing for October," said Ohlhaut.
October's project is to pick pumpkins at a local pumpkin patch and carve them for the children's wing at the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital and dental ward.
"This project was really the kids' idea. I wanted to make sure it was fun, but the kids really took charge of this month," said Ohlhaut.
The club meets once a month to decide on a project and once again to take part in the project. For November, the club is scheduled to read Thanksgiving stories to the children at the base's children development centers.
"We hope that the word will get out after these first couple events and more people will want to get involved," said Ohlhaut.
Currently, the group has 12 members, but all the children are bringing friends to the meetings. The hope is that the more teens that are exposed to the program, the more that will want to participate every month.
"This program is really about doing fun stuff. But, at the same time it's about doing positive things in the community," said Ohlhaut.
To contact Ohlhaut about joining the Red Cross Youth Club call 451-2173 or stop by the Red Cross office in Bldg. 1108 on Birch Street.