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Carlos HofmeisterJanuary 10, 2005Ms. Rivera/ Health Education Class The American Red CrossIt is important to know how the Red Cross began. It was in June 1859 when Henry Dunant went to Solferino, north of Italy. He was a spectator of a small but bloody war. French and Italians had a battle against Austrians.
There were more or less 40,000 victims. He was completely horrified with the scene. He interrupted his trip to help the hurt and organized volunteers to save lives. When Henry Dunant went back to his home town Switzerland in 1862, he decided to talk and write about his horrible experience. He didn't want something similar to happen again.
In February 1863, he made a commission with 5 people to help. In August 1964 it would become the International Red Cross.Some years later, Clara Barton established a Red Cross society in America. She organized an association in Washington, D. C. on May 1881.
The creation of this unionwas made to help people in different difficult situations. Barton's group also began helping people from disasters. She was the president from the association until 1904.The Red Cross has always been handled by volunteers and charities. It doesn't work as a business but as a humanitarian organization. It is impartial, neutral, independent, voluntary, united and universal.The American Red Cross is always present at different situations, as a medium of communication and humanitarian services; they give comfort to soldiers and their families.
The symbol of the Red Cross is a worldwide known. The Red Cross is a tribute to Switzerland for being the country where the idea was born. It is the symbol of the colors and sign of Switzerland's flag but inverted. The Turkey government began touse the symbol with a half moon now used with the Islamic countries and in Israel with the Star of David.It was before the world war one when the American Red Cross started new programs such as first aids, water safety and public health nursing. After the war they helped the veterans.
The association also helped during World War II. Later on they made a blood program and grew in researching all through their experiences in wars.Little by little they introduced interpreters and translators to help the needed from different parts of the world. As well educative courses to teach about sicknesses such as Hiv/Aids have been given. The American Red Cross has helped in different situations such as wars, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc..At this moment the Red Cross is helping those in need after the tragedy in Asia, the earthquake-triggered tsunami. Donations are received throughout the whole world.
The Red Cross also has a blood donation bank. It can rescue many lives. Due that it is responsible for a great amount of blood supplies. It provides emergency and social services, disaster, biomedical, military, health and safety, international, volunteers, youth and nursing services.The Red Cross prefers not to receive donations of individual items because it is very expensive to ensure the quality and distribution. It is usually done through vouchers, money donations or company donations.Anyone can volunteer and help either as a paramedic or with donations.
It teaches people how to respond in case of a disaster or a personal emergency. You can be trained to give CPR, life saving, first aids, etc. As more volunteers join the association it can become faster and easier to help in any difficult situations.Resources: www.redcross.org, http://www.seattleredcross.org, http://www.bostonredcross.org.
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