With a cloudy sky and a chill in the air, the plungers took off full speed into the freezing cold water of Lake Chapman. Lifeguards from our very own Students for the American Red Cross (SARC) at the University of Georgia stood by as participants took the full plunge. After raising over $10,000 to benefit the American Red Cross East Georgia Chapter, Shelterbox and the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, plungers and spectators celebrated and cheered for all of the hard work that led up to this moment.
As soaked plungers made their way back to dry land, everyone clapped for the success of the event and began to walk up to the pavilion for a delicious lunch provided by Shane’s Rib Shack, a warm fireplace and good company. With music coming though the speakers, hot dogs cooking on the grill and hot chocolate waiting on the table, the pavilion was filled with the excitement of the first successful PlungeFest.
Among the brave plungers was Board Member Courtney Gale who says, “It was a great event that encouraged the socialization and interaction of several different hard working non-profits in the Athens area. The American Red Cross stood in unity with its director in order to fulfill its commitment and mission of providing services to citizens of East Georgia.”
With everyone gathered in the warmth of the pavilion, the event concluded with an awards ceremony in recognition of the great contributions that have been made to PlungeFest 2012.
- Jessica Wu
Travis Barnes, Senior at the University of Georgia
and Intern at the Red Cross East Georgia Chapter
My experience volunteering at the Red Cross has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done while at the University of Georgia. After only three months with the Red Cross, I have learned more things about the Athens-Clarke county community than my previous five years living in Athens. I, like most students at UGA, spent the majority of my free time downtown or at Sanford Stadium before I started volunteering. Surprisingly, there’s much more to Athens than just parties and football. The things I have done while with the Red Cross have exposed me to places and people around the area I never would have met before. While volunteering, I actually was able to meet one of, if not the, best all time quarterbacks at UGA, David Green. It was amazing to meet him and have a conversation about the rewards of helping others and giving back to the community.
Volunteering here actually makes me realize all of the things the Red Cross does to make this community a better place. Whether its delivering school supplies to underprivileged children or sending volunteers to help out with the devastation caused by natural disasters, the Red Cross is always there to lend a hand. It’s amazing how much more fulfilling I feel when I volunteer for a couple hours of my free time to help out rather than sit on the couch and watch TV or play video games.
Whether you feel like giving back to the community, need something to boost your resume, or are just bored and looking for something to do, I strongly suggest volunteering at the Red Cross. The atmosphere is extremely friendly and I actually enjoy coming in to the office because of the laid back atmosphere and smiling faces. If you knew me personally, you would know that this would be one of the last things I would choose to do with my free time, but the feeling of satisfaction I get is overwhelming and has completely changed my outlook on things.