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Who Founded the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross provides disaster relief, emergency assistance and education within the United States. But who founded the American Red Cross? This post will answer that question and then tell you a few interesting facts about the American Red Cross.

Who Founded the American Red Cross?

The American Red Cross was founded on May 21, 1881 by Clarissa Barton (shortened to ‘Clara Barton’). During the American Civil War, Clara Barton started an agency to distribute supplies to wounded soldiers. She also organized a program to help locate men that were listed as ‘missing in action’. After her great work during the War, Clara Barton traveled to Europe for a holiday in 1869 (on the advise of her doctor). After seeing the work of the International Red Cross, she decided that she had to start a branch of the Red Cross in America. After years of organizing and planning, Barton finally founded the American Red Cross in 1881.

Interesting Facts About the American Red Cross

  • Close to half of all blood donated in America is supplied by the Red Cross. The rest is collected at community-based blood centers or directly at the hospital.
  • The American Red Cross responds to over 70,000 disasters a year. Most of these are house or apartment fires.
  • Important messages (such as a birth or death in the family) can be sent via the American Red Cross to people serving in the United States military.
  • The American Red Cross gets money from community donations and selling blood products. You can donate to the Red Cross by clicking here.

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