I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does? Until I started to research the American Red Cross, I knew some, but not all of the facts associated with this all-encompassing group of dedicated volunteers who step in any time disaster strikes. I have even donated a time or two, but other than that gave little thought to the power behind the group.
You probably already know about the blood drives that are conducted in your community, and you may have donated your own blood to the cause. But did you know that over 4 million people line up each year to donate? And that these donations account for over 40% of the blood supply in America alone? Imagine that! I must say that these facts really surprised me. I knew the figures were high, but 40%? That’s a lot of blood being given, isn’t it? Of course, since I am curious by nature, I decided to delve a little further into gathering information about the Red Cross.
Great Response Rate to All Disasters
I found that this group responds to all disasters, not just the really big ones that warrant television news coverage. If there is a fire in a local community, the Red Cross steps up to offer their assistance in any way they can. Providing meals, helping to relocate victims who have lost their homes, making sure families stay together and have food, clothing, and shelter until they can get back on their feet. I did not know it was the Red Cross that made all this possible! So, maybe you are thinking that this is not such a “big deal.” Or that there are lots of groups that step in to assist these people. In actuality, no group is as large as this one or has as many volunteers, or has such a long history of helping those who have been affected by disasters.
For instance, I did not know the Red Cross has been in existence since 1881. Or that it had been founded in Washington by someone named Clara Barton. Oh, I had heard the name, but quite obviously missed the connection. She led the organization for 23 years, and successfully campaigned for ratification of the Geneva Convention that protected the servicemen who were injured during wartime. She achieved that goal in 1882. Under her guidance the US conducted their first overseas disaster relief efforts. Amazing woman, yes?
Now, please don’t think that I am preaching about the Red Cross organization – that is not the purpose of this blog! I just want to bring some of the lesser known facts to the attention of those who may not fully understand what this wonderful group does. I know that I learned quite a bit that I didn’t know, even though I thought I knew all about the group. I guess I always assumed that the only time they stepped in was after a huge natural disaster-like a flood, hurricane, or tornado. Wrong on all counts, and I admit it. So, I think I am going to try to learn a little more about this organization that so willingly provides disaster relief to help so many people in light of any tragedy that could possibly happen. So, yes, you can look forward to reading more about the Red Cross in America in my upcoming blogs. Hope you enjoy it!