5 Amazing Facts About the American Red Cross


The American Red Cross is a national humanitarian organization that has been helping people recover from disasters for over a century, and running their Blood Services program for over half a century! We decided to dig up some other impressive facts about this incredible organization that has helped so many Americans and people around the world. Read on to learn some amazing facts about the American Red Cross.

5 Amazing American Red Cross Facts:

    1. The American Red Cross was established by Clara Barton in 1881. (source) Clara Barton was inspired by the Red Cross movement in Europe during a trip to Switzerland. After volunteering with the International Committee of the Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War, she decided to bring the Red Cross movement to the United States and founded the American Red Cross in 1881.
    1. The Johnstown Flood was the American Red Cross’ first major disaster relief effort. (source) In 1889, when the South Fork Dam failed after days of heavy rain it caused a massive flood wave that hit the town of Johnstown, PA and killed 2,209 people. Clara Barton later arrived with Red Cross members to provide assistance, thus making it the first major disaster relief effort of the American Red Cross.
    1. The number of American Red Cross members grew tremendously once World War I began. (source) In 1914 there were 107 local chapters and 17,000 members of the American Red Cross, once WWI broke out the number of local chapters grew to 3,864 with over 20 million adult members and 11 million Junior Red Cross members in 1918.
    1. The American Red Cross developed the first national civilian blood program for the U.S. in 1947. (source) American Red Cross Blood Services began during WWII when the military tasked the organization with creating a national blood donor program for the service members and civilians. At the time few hospitals had blood banks so the Red Cross introduced the first national civilian blood program a few years later in 1947.
    1. The American Red Cross assists with more than 70,000 disasters in the U.S. each year. (source) A majority of these national disasters are home fires where the Red Cross supports the individuals that have been affected in the disaster, they also provide immediate support to the first responders.


Featured image photo credit: Tony Webster, 2019. Originally found on Flickr.com. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.

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