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March is American Red Cross Month!
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"President Barack Obama has proclaimed “March is American Red Cross Month,” upholding a tradition that began 70 years ago. Started in 1943, each March, the U.S. President issues a proclamation calling upon the American public to support the Red Cross by giving blood, volunteering time or donating funds."

External link
► www.redcross.org
► Presidential Proclamation
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American Red Cross

The American Red Cross (ARC), also known as the American National Red Cross, is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States. It is the designated U.S. affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Today, in addition to domestic disaster relief, the American Red Cross offers services in five other areas: community services that help the needy; communications services and comfort for military members and their family members; the collection, processing and distribution of blood and blood products; educational programs on preparedness, health, and safety; and international relief and development programs.

Issued a corporate charter by the United States Congress under Title 36 of the United States Code, Section 3001, the American National Red Cross is governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, income from health and safety training and products, and income from blood products. The American Red Cross is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
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International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement

​The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering, without any discrimination based on nationality, race, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, religious beliefs, class, allegiance, or political opinions.

The movement consists of several distinct organizations that are legally independent from each other, but are united within the movement through common basic principles, objectives, symbols, statutes and governing organisations. The movement's parts are:

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a private humanitarian institution founded in 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland, by Henry Dunant and Gustave Moynier. Its 25-member committee has a unique authority under international humanitarian law to protect the life and dignity of the victims of international and internal armed conflicts. The ICRC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on three occasions (in 1917, 1944 and 1963).

  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) was founded in 1919 and today it coordinates activities between the 188 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies within the Movement. On an international level, the Federation leads and organizes, in close cooperation with the National Societies, relief assistance missions responding to large-scale emergencies. The International Federation Secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1963, the Federation (then known as the League of Red Cross Societies) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the ICRC.

  • National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies exist in nearly every country in the world. Currently 188 National Societies are recognized by the ICRC and admitted as full members of the Federation. Each entity works in its home country according to the principles of international humanitarian law and the statutes of the international Movement. Depending on their specific circumstances and capacities, National Societies can take on additional humanitarian tasks that are not directly defined by international humanitarian law or the mandates of the international Movement. In many countries, they are tightly linked to the respective national health care system by providing emergency medical services. http://www.redcross.int/​
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Founders of American Red Cross

The American Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. is a National Historic Landmark.
The American Red Cross was established in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 1881, by Clara Barton, who became the first president of the organization. Clara Barton first organized a meeting on May 12 of that year at the home of Sen. Omar D. Conger (R, MI). Fifteen people were present at this first meeting, including Barton, Conger, and Rep. William Lawrence (R, OH) (who became the first vice-president).

Jane Delano (1862–1919) founded the American Red Cross Nursing Service on January 20, 1910.​

Clara Barton (1821–1912) 
had a career as a teacher and federal bureaucrat when the American Civil War broke out. Barton liked teaching when she was younger. All of her older siblings became teachers. Her youngest sibling was 12 years of age, when Barton was born. Her brother David was always like a teacher to her. She taught her first class, at age 17. She also expanded her concept of soldier aid, traveling to Camp Parole, Maryland, to organize a program for locating men listed as missing in action. Through interviews with Federals returning from Southern prisons, she was often able to determine the status of some of the missing and notify families.

After performing humanitarian work during and after the conflict, on advice of her doctors, in 1869, she went to Europe for a restful vacation. There, she saw and became involved in the work of the International Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War, and determined to bring the organization home with her to America.

When Barton began the organizing work in the U.S. in 1873, no one thought the country would ever again face an experience like the Civil War. However, Barton was not one to lose hope in the face of the bureaucracy, and she finally succeeded during the administration of President Chester A. Arthur on the basis that the new American Red Cross organization could also be available to respond to other types of crisis.

As Barton expanded the original concept of the Red Cross to include assisting in any great national disaster, this service brought the United States the "Good Samaritan of Nations" label in the International Red Cross. Barton became President of the American branch of the society, known officially as the American National Red Cross. Soon after the initial May 1881 meeting in Washington, on August 22, 1881, the first local chapter of the Red Cross was formed in village of Dansville, New York, where Barton kept a part-time residence between 1876 and 1886. 

Barton led one of the group's first major relief efforts, a response to the Great Fire of 1881 (Thumb Fire) in the Thumb region of Michigan, which occurred on September 4–6, 1881. Clara Barton/wiki
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Organization

The American Red Cross is a nationwide network of more than 650 chapters and 36 blood services regions dedicated to saving lives and helping people prepare for and respond to medical emergencies. More than a million Red Cross volunteers and 30,000 employees annually mobilize relief to people affected by more than 67,000 disasters, train almost 12 million people in necessary medical skills and exchange more than a million emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel and their family members. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products to more than 3,000 hospitals nationally and also assists victims of international disasters and conflicts at locations worldwide. In 2006 the organization had over $6 billion in total revenues; revenue from blood and blood products alone were over $2 billion.
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References & Resources:
  • This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia / article / and other related pages. 

See also:
  • Observances in the United States
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External links
Official website
Clara Barton's House: Home of the American Red Cross
ARC history and WWII women's uniforms in color
Red Cross posters from World War I from the Elisabeth Ball Collection
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