Public Domain image of the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides shelter, gives food, supplies and about 40% of the nation’s blood, and they also teach skills that save lives and support military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that only uses volunteers and the American public to perform its mission. March is National Red Cross Month.
The president of the United States declares March Red Cross Month every year as a tradition that dates back to the first president who did it, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Feb. 29, President Donald Trump stated, “Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America and Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2020 as American Red Cross Month.”
The American Red Cross is currently in Tennessee helping people impacted by the tornados that hit the Nashville area on March 2 and 3. The storm damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings and houses, leaving thousands of people without power and schools and businesses closed in the area. The purpose of Disaster Cycle Services is to build resistance by meeting urgent human needs and facilitating recovery. The Red Cross does this through both direct action and by supporting the community’s engagement through three mission areas: Prepare, Respond and Recover.
The Red Cross is asking for blood donations for the victims of the tornadoes in Tennessee. Although they currently need blood, sometimes they can have too many donations and have to throw away valuable blood if it is not used within 42 days. In September and October 2001 following the attacks of Sept. 11, the Red Cross had to throw away 200,000 pints of unused blood after a wave of donations. Although the Red Cross does take and deliver blood to those in need, blood is not their main purpose. The Red Cross’s main goal is to simply help those in need, which could be blood or disaster relief, helping veterans and their families, CPR training to help prepare civilians to be able to help others and providing food and shelter to those in need.
An astounding 90% of the Red Cross’s members are volunteers and are helping others without pay. Approximately 32,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States and each pint can save up to three lives of the 96,000 people per day that the Red Cross saves. The Red Cross receives blood from 4 million donors per year which makes up about 40% of the nation’s blood. Other than blood, the Red Cross accepts monetary donations; for example, $150 million have been raised for the Australian bushfires, $142 million of which has been donated since Jan. 1.
An average of 90 cents of every dollar the American Red Cross spends is invested in delivering care and comfort to those in need. The American Red Cross is part of the world’s largest volunteer network that has 13 million volunteers and is found in 187 countries. Each year the Red Cross reaches an average of more than 100 million people. The American Red Cross helps military members and their families prepare for and to help cope with the challenges of military service. Emergency communications, training, support to wounded warriors and veterans, and access to community resources help an average of 150,000 military families and veterans annually.