Exchange Students from International Student Exchange Give Charity

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International Student Exchange’s Project HELP Brings Students to the Red Cross

Exchange Students from International Student Exchange's Smokey Mountain Region (Tennessee and Kentucky) met on a warm spring day in April to show their appreciation for one of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the American Red Cross. By washing vehicles, planting flowers, and landscaping the grounds of the Red Cross facility in Tennessee, students aimed to give back to the Red Cross organization, which works during times of international crises to bring care to injured soldiers, feed the hungry, and coordinate one of the largest blood banks in the world.

It was a moment of international solidarity for both organizations, and though the two groups share a somewhat different approach to volunteerism, both groups firmly believe in service and outreach, ideals that serve not only the locality, but also the public at large, setting an example for the global community.

The international students and the members of the Red Cross share a kinship in that they are both dedicated to service. The American Red Cross, formed in 1881, has been at the forefront of volunteerism and service to those in need for over 100 years, bringing medicine, food, and care to people around the world, while the students from ISE have taken the initiative to participate in Project H.E.L.P., a volunteer group associated with their visa sponsor that works with local and international organizations to coordinate service projects around the country.

In addition to offering a simple "sprucing up" to the Red Cross facility in Tennessee, ISE's Project H.E.L.P. has worked with the victims of hurricane Katrina, aided in cleanups from national disasters, and volunteered to assist children at St. Jude's Hospital, just to name a few of the more expansive projects.

“We have fun and help people at the same time,” said German student Katrin Schweitzer. “And it was great spending time with all the other kids. It is great to meet people from so many different places.”

Projects that took place at the Red Cross facility in April included a wash and wax for the fleet of service vehicles, a few landscaping projects, including a fresh trim for the lawn and removal of fall debris, and the planting of a flowerbed, with flowers arranged as a red cross in white background. The students were happy to see their work bring smiles to the faces of the Red Cross volunteers.

International Student Exchange, founded in 1982, is a non-profit organization that brings together people from all different cultures and creeds. Located in Babylon, NY, ISE is helping to educate tomorrow’s leaders one student at a time.

If you would like more information about his topic, please contact Stephen Sobierajski at 1-800-766-4540.

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