This article was updated on May 8th, 2021.
Founded in 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has spent the last 154 years dedicated to providing international aid and relief to those in need around the world. In 1922, in a time still ripped apart by the effects of World War II, it was stated that “Our Red Cross wants to prevent disease so that it will not be obliged to give care; it also wants to encourage our society to prevent wars rather than having to bear the serious consequences involved. We all know the moral potential it brings into being and extends to all sections of the community. If its annual action could take hold in the whole world, this would certainly be a major contribution to peace.” It is this statement that encapsulates the spirit of Red Cross Day.
The Red Cross is world-renowned and is known for its stellar contributions to providing relief in disastrous situations. Most notably, the Red Cross is known for being on the front lines when it comes to recovery from natural disasters. According to their website, every 8 minutes the Red Cross respond to emergencies from small house fires to overwhelming natural disasters. The organization takes it upon itself to provide clean water, stable shelter, and hot meals when people need them the most. Another beautiful thing regarding the Red Cross is the dedication of those at work. Over 95% of disaster relief workers are actually volunteers—which goes to show the immense amount of passion and dedication those working for the Red Cross have.
The Red Cross also emphasizes the importance of helping military members, veterans, and military families in response to the challenges of military service and provides 24/7 global emergency communication services and support in military and veteran health care facilities.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Cross has continued supporting individuals and families in need. They have helped set up vaccination sites, collected information from people being vaccinated, and provided water and snacks for medical staff and people while waiting to be vaccinated.
These are only a few examples of the loyalty and passion the Red Cross has for the global community. From collecting blood donations for those in need, to save the lives of victims of natural disasters, to helping families of the military.
May 8th is a day to celebrate the incredible work that the Red Cross does. Here’re 3 things you can do to help the humanitarian organization.
- Donate: The Red Cross is determined to provide the highest amount of aid possible to those in need—but this cannot be done without the generous donations of people like you. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the American Red Cross receives is invested in humanitarian services that will be helping people rebuild their lives. In 2016, donations helped serve more than 4.1 million meals, distribute more than 2.1 relief items, provide more than 144,000 health consultations, and reach out to 778,906 youth. Donations of any amount can be made here: http://www.redcross.org/donations/ways-to-donate
- Volunteer: Seeing as how 90% of the humanitarian work of the Red Cross is carried out by volunteers, becoming a volunteer for the organization is truly one of the best ways to provide your services. You can follow this link to find Volunteer opportunities near you: http://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer#step1
- Give Blood: Any eligible blood donated to the Red Cross organization is made available to be shipped to hospitals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to provide healthy blood to those who need it at only a moment’s notice. Find a location to donate blood here: