Red Cross Memories: Edwin Tan

My undergraduate experience was rather unique compared to my peers. I was a blood donation officer of Red Cross Youth – NTU Chapter in 2003. I have spent a fulfilling, enriching and exciting 3 years of my time meeting people, helping people and creating events beyond my wildest expectations. The sense of achievement was immense.

It all started with Vibrant Blood, a public blood donation drive in June 2003. Vibrant Blood was a school project initiated by a few like-minded people, aiming to increase the awareness of blood donation among the youths from the age of 16-25 years old. Other than the time spent on my studies, I spent the remaining time on conceptualising the project, writing a proposition, setting up the committee to run the project and finding a sponsor. And not forgetting to mention the pressure that I had to face as the leader of the pack. Steering the teams through waves of challenges was overwhelming. These hardships became my valuable first "working" experiences, which hugely influenced the choices I made later in life.

After months of hard work, having to work with the right people and having Starhub as our sponsor, Vibrant Blood was staged at Cathay Cineleisure at Orchard Road on 5 Jun 2004. Our tagline "Donate Blood, Start Young", a message on the importance of blood to the youths, was disseminated throughout the 8 days. While increasing the awareness of blood donation, a blood drive was held at Mandarin Meritus Hotel. The response was overwhelming with close to 1,000 donors signed up for the blood donation and 489 units of blood collected.

Vibrant Blood's effort was also recognised by winning the Red Challenge Award organised by Singapore Press Holding. Vibrant Blood has since then become an annual blood donation drive spearheaded by young volunteers 

My journey with Red Cross didn’t end there, in fact it was just the beginning. In 2005, shortly after returning from a 6 month study trip in China, the idea of setting up a club, setting out to achieve more than what Vibrant Blood could do was pitched to me. With that in mind, my team and I created Youth Donor Club (YDC).

The purpose of the club is to provide a platform for the youths to leverage on to promote blood donation. We hope the youth will take on the role of educating others and shouldering some form of responsibility, hence gaining valuable lessons in the process of doing so and discovering their strengths and weaknesses.

Needless to say I am very grateful for the opportunities presented to me by Red Cross. I would like to wish Red Cross a Happy 65th Birthday and thank you for taking the lead in providing humanitarian help for people suffering under compromised life circumstances.

I will also like take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped me along the way to achieve the above and special thanks to the 60 Red Cross Humanitarian NTU members, Anson Wang and Cecilia Tan for their unyielding support.