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American Red Cross

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Essay title: American Red Cross

The American Association of the Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton in 1881—125 years ago. Barton wasn’t a nurse but she helped wounded soldiers at the front. The more battle worsened, the more soldiers got wounded and it resulted in shortage of emergency and medical supplies which convinced Barton to think about an organization for emergency relief. Barton’s mission was to gather volunteers to help not only nationally but also disaster victims internationally. In 1900, first charter of the American Red Cross was granted by the U.S Congress, which made it responsible for providing services to armed forces and relief to disaster victims, at home and abroad.

The fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary service, Unity, Universality. Today American Red Cross has 804 locally supported chapters across the U.S., 35 Blood Services Regions providing half the nation’s blood supply, 822,602 volunteers, 35,000 paid staff, 91 cents of every dollar spent invested in humanitarian services and programs. The American Red Cross trains more than 170,000 lifeguards each year.

American Red Cross operating funds come from three main funding sources: contributions, revenues from products and services, investment income and other sources. Total Red Cross operating revenues and gains for fiscal year 2006 were $6,008.6 million. Net assets were $3,186 million.

The Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund is the structure through which the American people support victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year. This resource assists the Red Cross in meeting the immediate needs—such as shelter, food and critical mental health counseling—of individuals and families affected by catastrophic disasters like the hurricanes of 2005 and other disasters like house fires, floods, tornadoes and winter storms.

The American Red Cross

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