Celebrating Founding of American Red Cross
American Red Cross Founding
On May 21, 1881, Clara founded the American Red Cross, and by 1882, the U.S. ratified the Geneva Conventions — laws that, to this day, protect the war-wounded and civilians in conflict zones. This later resulted in a U.S. congressional charter, officially recognizing Red Cross services.
Clara Barton served as Red Cross president for 23 years, retiring in 1904. After a lifetime of service, Clara died at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, on April 12, 1912.
To this day Clara’s legacy lives on, reflected in the spirit of Red Cross volunteers and employees. Because of one woman, Clara Barton, the American Red Cross brings help and hope across the nation and around the world.
To learn more about the history of the Red Cross, click the button below.
About the American Red Cross
Each day, thousands of people – people just like you – provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world.
We roll up our sleeves and donate time, money and blood. We learn or teach life-saving skills so our communities can be better prepared when the need arises. We do this every day because the Red Cross is needed - every day.
So, how can you utilize the abundant resources offered by the Red Cross? How can you participate or contribute to this impactful organization? Here's a small sampling of ideas.
Training & Certification
- Get CPR training and certification right in your community. Click here to find a CPR training location near you.
- Complete first aid training so you are prepared for the unexpected. Click here to find a first aid training location near you.
- Learn how to use a lifesaving AED machine. Click here to find an AED certification class near you.
- Become a certified lifeguard so you can help keep swimming activities fun and safe. Click here to find a lifeguarding class near you.
- Get babysitting/childcare certification so you are prepared to provide safe, nurturing care to a child. Perfect for teenagers looking to offer babysitting services! Click here to find babysitting/childcare training classes near you.
Ways to Give
- Donate financial gifts to American Red Cross by text, mail, phone and more. Click here to give.
- Volunteer your time for a variety of important needs. Current most-needed positions include blood donor ambassador, blood transportation specialist, disaster action team, shelter services, and disaster health services team. Click here to volunteer your time, talents and skills for the many needs the American Red Cross works to meet.
- Give blood. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation. Click here to learn about how and where you can donate.
Purchase Supplies and Products
- Buy first aid kits, 72-hour emergency kits, and much more. Purchase a large first aid auto kit for the new driver or college-bound student in your life, or a three-day emergency preparedness kit for your family as we look ahead to the peak of hurricane season in September. Click here to purchase supplies or products on the Red Cross website.
- Purchase lifeguarding and aquatics manuals, instructor kits and more. With the right resources, you can enrich your training and continued education to be ready for the unexpected. Click here to purchase supplies or products on the Red Cross website.
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