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The American Red Cross Essay

2054 words - 9 pages

American Red Cross has been viewed as the nation’s elite humanitarian organization, dedicating themselves to aiding people in need throughout the United States. The American affiliation has also held a joint association with the global Red Cross and Red Crescent networks throughout the world. They are highly dependent on the contributions of American public volunteers time, blood, and money to help support their lifesaving services and programs. All volunteers and employees, alongside the generous donors share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, not just in the United States but around the world. According to RedCross.org they do this through five key service areas:
Disaster Recovery
Support America’s Military families
Life Saving Blood
Health and Safety Services
International Services
On May 21st of 1881, Clara Barton and a group of her associates founded the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. Barton was first introduced to the idea from the Swiss-inspired global Red Cross network in Europe, following the Civil War. After returning home, she began to campaign for the American Red Cross and for the ratification of the Geneva Convention. This proposal, the Geneva Treaty, was signed shortly after by President James Garfield’s successor after his assassination, Chester Arthur. It was ratified by the Senate in 1882, to protect the people that have been injured in the war. Additionally, Barton was able to successfully campaign for the inclusion of peacetime relief work, as part of the global Red Cross network, considered the “American Amendment” (redcross.org). Red Cross received their first two congressional charters in 1900 and the second in 1905, a year after Barton had resigned from the organization. For 23 years Barton led the Red Cross, successfully piloting their first domestic and overseas disaster relief efforts and aiding in the Spanish-American War of 1898 to all branches of the United States military. Their partnership with the United States Armed Forces began during this war, Barton was able to recruit a group of nurses to provide nursing care, medical supplies, food and other necessities for soldiers on the battlefields of Cuba. The 1905 charter was to “provide volunteer aid in time of war to the sick and wounded of the armed forces, in accordance with the spirit and conditions of the conference of Geneva...[and] to act in matters of voluntary relief and in accordance with the military authorities as a medium of communication between the people of the United States and the armed forces of the United States.”(redcross.org) In May 2007, the most recent version of the charter was adopted. According to RedCross.org, the charter reiterates the traditional purposes of the organization which include:
Giving relief to and serving as, a medium of communication between members of the American armed forces and their families
Providing national and international disaster relief
Mitigation services
The Red Cross introduced its first...

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