Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About the American Red Cross
If you’re like most people, you’re aware of the American Red Cross. Maybe you’re familiar with the red cross on a white background that symbolizes this sizeable nonprofit organization. You may not know that the American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross. The Red Cross has blood drives and helps during disaster relief situations, such as hurricane recovery.
Yet, this nonprofit also helps families on a personal level with smaller disasters like house fires. There are chapters of the American Red Cross all over the country, and volunteers primarily staff most. The staff of the Red Cross provides money, education, and medical supplies to individuals who are affected by natural disasters.
This is an organization that is working every day of the year, no matter the time of day or night. Some of the items they give out include blood, food, blankets, and shelters. A real humanitarian aid group, their services, and gifts include shoes, medical treatment, clothing, and other necessities.
American Red Cross Blood Drives
One of the things the Red Cross is best known for is its blood drives. The group provides blood products to hospitals every day of the year, which includes red blood cells, platelets, plasma, and whole blood. These items are used to save lives and may be used in medical research to help the healthcare community as a whole.
The process of donating blood to the American Red Cross takes about an hour in total, but the actual donation only takes up around 10 minutes of that period. When giving blood, you’ll sign in and learn about eligibility before you show proper identification. Next, the Red Cross volunteer checks your health history and takes your temperature and blood pressure.
During the donation, you have your arm cleansed before a clean needle draws your blood. You can lie down or stay seated during the process. After the donation is made, someone will place a bandage to your arm. At that point, a snack and a beverage are provided, and then you can go on about your day.
If you’re interested in planning a blood drive, you need to find a place for it to be done. Next, you should get in touch with the closest Red Cross to you and find out any unique information. You’ll be in charge of setting up the area with tables, chairs, snacks, and other items. From there, you need to get some volunteers and start advertising.
Facts About the History of the Red Cross
The American Red Cross is not a government agency. But, in 1905, it was chartered by the U.S. Congress to offer “national and international relief in time of peace and apply the same in mitigating the suffering caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods and other great national calamities, and to devise and carry on measures for preventing the same.”
Having humanitarian status means that the nonprofit group can reach areas controlled by the National Guard to support local communities during evacuation. The group also helps after the crisis by supporting people relocating, rebuilding, and coping with losing their homes, jobs, or even lives.
Here are a few things to know about the Red Cross in the United States:
- Clara Barton initially founded this organization in 1881.
- It is a humanitarian group that provides nearly 45% of the United States’ blood supply.
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt initially declared the Red Cross be celebrated in 1943, something that still occurs each March.
- This nonprofit supports more than 1,000 other organizations in the country.
- Red Cross has a goal of each American household having one person trained in first aid and CPR.
Modern Moments with the American Red Cross
In recent history, the organization has played a part helping during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, assisting during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and raising over $7 million for people in West Africa affected by Ebola outbreaks.
The American Red Cross offers a smartphone app that helps people learn first aid, which has been downloaded millions of times. There is also an app by the nonprofit to help people stay safe during hurricanes, tornadoes, and other disasters. Most recently, the Pet First Aid app was released to offer pet owners information on basic emergency care for their furry loved ones.
If you’re looking for a cause to support, the Red Cross offers many of them. They accept donations and volunteers continuously. Even when a disaster is not occurring, the organization collects services, money, and goods to help people when they are in need.
The best way to work with the Red Cross is by finding out where your local chapter is. The volunteers there can offer information about needed volunteers and which donations are most appreciated.
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