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The American Red Cross Story Essay

1673 words - 7 pages

Did you know that every 2 seconds someone in the United States needs blood? Where does that blood come from? The American Red Cross, is a nonprofit humanitarian organization. It assists with disaster relief and provides emergency services to those in need. The American Red Cross has been around for aver 100 years and has come a long way in the process.
The American Red Cross was founded on May 21, 1881 by Clara Barton. In the late 1850’s she moved to Washington, D.C. to work in the United States Patent office. Clara Barton was one of the women to ever gain employment from the federal government. Clara wanted to help the soldiers of the Civil War so she gathered supplies for the Union Army. In 1862, Clara Barton was on the battlefield in Fredericksburg, Virgina, there she was helping wounded soldiers. She also helped soldiers who were hurt and involved in Antietam. During the early 1870s, Clara Barton was helping with a relief organization called the International Red Cross. When she returned home she decided to start an American branch.
The American Red cross was established to provide humanitarian relief and disaster relief to wars, American Soldiers, and victims affected by natural disaster. Some of the first relief efforts the American Red Cross coordinated were the 1889 Johnstown Flood and the Galveston Flood of 1900. During the first World War a Home Service program was established to give assistance to families of military personnel. Approximately 22,800 (18,000 were general field nurses 4,800 were ambulance drivers) American Red Cross nurses provided medical assistance for American soldiers during World War 1. Many nurses lost their lives during the war, 296 nurses and 127 ambulance drivers to be exact.
During the second World War over 104,000 American volunteers helped both at home and overseas. Approximately twenty-seven Red Cross care packages were given to American soldiers and nurses who were stationed over seas. The American Red Cross added a new branch to their organization during World War 2, collecting blood. Over 13.3 million units of blood were collected for American soldiers.
Why is it good to donate blood? When you give blood you’re ensuring somebody else a chance at continuing life. Although giving blood is a generous thing to do, not everyone is eligible. In order to be allowed to give blood, you must be at least sixteen years old, you must be healthy and you must weigh at least 110 lbs. Eligibility requirements for men and women differ. Men who wish to give blood must weigh at least 130 lbs. and must have a height of 5’1”. Women who wish to give blood must weigh at least 150 lbs. and must have a height of 5’5”. These requirements are set in place to ensure the health safety of donors. If too much blood is taken from a donor who does not meet the requirements, they could suffer from brain damage, they could lose consciousness, and death is even a possibility.
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