Here to Help

American Red Cross Volunteer
An American Red Cross Volunteer packs up supplies.

Whenever you see images of a disaster or war, you’ve probably seen another image too — a red cross. The image of a red cross means that people are there to help.

The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 by a nurse named Clara Barton. After the Civil War, she traveled to Europe. She learned about the International Red Cross and how it helped people in need. She wanted to help people in the United States, too. She brought the idea of the Red Cross back home. Today, the Red Cross helps people in many different ways.

The Red Cross provides help after natural disasters like hurricanes and floods. They provide food, water, shelter, medicine, and other supplies to victims. Their counselors also give emotional support to people during these trying times.

The Red Cross also works in dangerous war zones and supports military families. They provide medicine, supplies, and emergency medical care to soldiers and civilians in war-torn countries. The Red Cross also provides programs for military members and their families stationed in the United States and abroad.

Finally, the Red Cross has many programs to promote health and safety. They offer classes to teach first aid and CPR. They instruct people on water safety and do lifeguard training. The Red Cross also sponsors blood drives across the country and provides a national resource for blood supplies.

Throughout the world, the Red Cross (also known as the Red Crescent in Muslim countries) is dedicated to helping people in need.

What Do You Think? What are ways you can help the Red Cross carry out its mission?

Photo Credit: Marilee Caliendo/FEMA/NARA