Arts & Entertainment

New Jersey Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross Holds Halloween Open House

Summit High School volunteers Grace Totman and Megan Shaw
Karen Winlund, left, youth services cooridnator, with her co-workers Credits: Jason Cohen

SUMMIT, NJ - Unlike years past, when the New Jersey Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross had haunted houses at night, Sunday afternoon they held a Halloween Open House which  was much more kid friendly.

There were fun educational games for kids including Toss for the Red Cross, face painting with Clara Barton, wrap the mummy, color with Scrubby Bear, limbo for fire safety, and a "be a good witch" hat cookie. All children who attended al so received a hurricane and Halloween safety checklist.

In addition to the staff at the event, about 10 Summit High School students volunteered and assisted the kids with the activities. However, the turnout wasn’t a bit low because of the inclement weather.

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Karen Winlund, the youth services coordinator, who has been there for six years, said she loves working for the Red Cross. She started as a volunteer coordinator because of her daughter’s involvement, but wanted to do more she said.

“I didn’t want to see the program fall apart, so I stepped into the youth role and I’ve been doing that ever since,” Winlund said.

While very few children attended the event, she wanted people to know that the students are really a big help. The teens were willing to teach little kids and year round they help veterans and other worthy causes, which is commendable, she said.

Two of those students are sophomores Grace Totman and Megan Shaw. They are members of the Key Club in school and serve as the liaisons for the group. They both got involved last year and said they have really enjoyed their time.

“There was an opportunity in the Key Club and we ended up really loving it,” Totman said.  “It’s been really fun.”

Shaw said she enjoys teaching the children about safety and health, while having fun as well.

“A lot of the Red Cross events try to do fun things, but also incorporate the Red Cross aspect,” Shaw said.

They both plan to continue volunteering in the future.

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