Monday, March 18, 2013

A Brief History

March is Red Cross Month and this week we are gearing up for our 1940's themed Real Heroes dinner and silent auction. This has inspired me to write a little about the history of the American Red Cross. 

Washington, DC, June 1942—These volunteer production workers of the American Red Cross prepared over 300,000 kits containing small articles for the comfort of the men sailing to foreign ports. The kits contained soap, writing materials, shoe laces, playing cards, a polishing cloth, and a paperback novel. Photo by F. Fusco

This picture is of volunteer production workers of the American Red Cross in Washington, DC, June 1942. These female volunteers put together comfort kits to send with our troops going overseas. The kits contained soap, writing materials, shoe laces, playing cards, a polishing cloth, and a paperback novel. Today we still provide this service among a growing number of other ones.

As the years have passed, a lot has changed as we learn and grow as an organization. At the heart of every change is the mission of the Red Cross - to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. Change is inevitable and necessary within an organization that has been around since 1881. Since its founding, America has seen the first airplane evolve into jets and space ships, the invention of the light bulb to the invention of Google Glass, from Fredrich Nietzche to Lil Wayne. America has gained 12 new states, gone through 7 wars, and 27 presidents. The American Red Cross has endured all this change by being able to change with the times.

Changing for the Red Cross has meant rapid growth.  In 1947 the American Red Cross responded to 150 disasters. In 2012 we responded to 88,0000. We still provide a shoulder to lean on during times of crisis, but now we also provide free training to help prevent and prepare people for disasters. With all this growth we are always looking for more help. If you are interested in volunteering with us check out our website and sign up! 

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