May 21, 2021, Celebrate American Red Cross Founder’s Day

Clarissa Harlowe Barton (December 25, 1821 – April 12, 1912), known simply as Clara Barton, was an American nurse during the Civil War. She founded the American Red Cross 140 years ago after visiting Geneva, Switzerland, and being introduced to the International Red Cross. Barton became president of the American branch of the Red Cross Society. She convinced the U.S. Government to recognize the International Committee of the Red Cross and the American Red Cross authorizing their response to wars and crises as well as earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. During the Spanish-American War, the Red Cross added care of prisoners of war and refugees to their portfolio.

Honoring American Red Cross Founder’s Day

The National Red Cross Founder’s Day is celebrated May 21. You can honor and celebrate the amazing work of the American Red Cross by

  • Becoming a volunteer. The ARC volunteers respond to local and national disasters with food, water, and other assistance. Find out how to become a Red Cross volunteer.
  • Taking a class. The American Red Cross teaches classes in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) use, lifeguarding skills, babysitter training, and First Aid. To find out how to take a class near you, go online and register for a class.
  • Give blood. One of the missions of the American Red Cross is to help maintain the blood supply for hospitals and during disasters. You can give blood at an American Red Cross blood drive. Often, these are hosted at local churches, businesses, and community centers. You can find a location near you here.
  • Donate. Finally, you can donate to the ongoing mission of the American Red Cross. You can specify which area your gift should support: Where it is needed most, disaster relief, spring tornadoes and floods, your local Red Cross, or blood services.

Your Local American Red Cross Office

West Virginia is part of the Central Appalachia Region and local offices are here:

Allegheny Highlands
1299 Pineview Drive, Suite 300
Morgantown, WV 26505

Pennsylvania is part of the Greater Pennsylvania Region and local offices are here:

American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region
2801 Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh, PA, 15222
Phone: (888) 217-9599

Find out what’s happening at the American Red Cross news and press releases.

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