Red Cross Club Epitomizes Volunteerism

Sitting left to right: Red Cross Club Treasurer, Abigail Daniels; Club President Matt Campanella; and Club Secretary, Nicole Cardiscia. Standing l-r: Club Advisors Eileen Berkowita, Danielle Rogers, Whitman Principal Kathie Acker, Barbara Haik, and Whitman Blood Drive Coordinator Diane Zamow
Sitting left to right: Red Cross Club Treasurer, Abigail Daniels; Club President Matt Campanella; and Club Secretary, Nicole Cardiscia. Standing l-r: Club Advisors Eileen Berkowita, Danielle Rogers, Whitman Principal Kathie Acker, Barbara Haik, and Whitman Blood Drive Coordinator Diane Zamow

One of Walt Whitman’s newest clubs is an all-volunteer organization that began after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. Recently the club received the only award of excellence bestowed on a Long Island High School by the Red Cross.

Club Advisors: Eileen Berkowitz, Barbara Haik, and Danielle Rodrigues explained how the club was formed: The former member and student who started the club is Daniel Hoshkehpazi, who is an international Red Cross club member from Macedonia.  Daniel spent 5 months at Whitman in the 2012-2013 school year and is now at his third high school on Long Island and has started his third club. Daniel was recently awarded the Most Outstanding Student award by the Red Cross.

“I like the international aspect of the club,” said club president Matt Campanella. “When I’m a little older I want to travel and be able to help people around the world, and the Red Cross provides excellent training for different aspects of volunteering. It also provides an excellent tracking system of your volunteer projects and hours, which can be important as you progress through school and into the professional world.”

“I always enjoyed helping others,” said club secretary Nicole Cardascia. “It was no coinsidence that we started right after Superstorm Sandy.” Abigail Daniels, the club treasurer, agrees. “I love how the Red Cross keeps a local presence and at the same times is such a multinational organization,” said the Whitman junior. “We like helping people, but we like to do it as a team, and the Red Cross provides that wonderful umbrella.”

“The club has grown to almost 35 members and is involved in both local and foreign humanitarian efforts,” said Barbara Haik, one of the club’s three advisors. “The students have done fundraising and created an awareness campaign for breast cancer awareness here on Long Island,” said co-advisor Eileen Berkowitz. The club is also involved in an ongoing project to provide vaccinations in developing countries for measles, mumps, and rubella.”

“I like the local help because it’s easy to see. It’s right here in the community or on Long Island,” said Abigail Daniels. “I think it’s great that we got this award in our first full year as a club. This gives us so much to look forward to—helping people and working together for a common goal.” 

Congratulations go to the Walt Whitman Red Cross Club advisors and members on their outstanding award.

Advisors: Eileen Berkowitz, Barbara Haik, Danielle Rodrigues

Officers:  Matt Campanella, president

Abigail Daniels, treasurer

Nicole Cardascia, secretary

Liaison/mentor: Gabrielle Ramirez

Members: Alexandria Alpy, Alysia Jones, Gaby Ramirez, Eve Adamo, Derek Zadrozny, Amy Chen, Chris Consolo, Jocelyn Creeron, Sarin Grey, Kristen Cardascia, Kimberly Colombo, Michael Barrotta, Julianna Pasquarello, Deja Tejada, Elizabeth Auguste, Kiran Usmani, Umaimah Saleemi, Thao Williams, Elizabeth Fernandez, Anastasia Alpy, Samantha Arabi, Epiphany Ramirez, and Milly LeClaire.