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The American Red Cross

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As victims attempt to recover from the massive storm that hit the southeastern United States, the American Red Cross has rushed to the hardest-hit areas of Hurricane Katrina's destruction. Find out what this organization is all about.

American Red Cross - The History

In 1862, a Swiss businessman named Henri Dunant wrote "A Memory of Solferino" after witnessing a bloody battle in Italy in 1859. His idea was to form a neutral organization that would protect sick and wounded soldiers during combat. His efforts led to the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863, as well as an international conference in Geneva, Switzerland. There, they chose the symbol of a red cross on a white background (the reverse of the Swiss flag) to represent the organization.

American Red Cross - In Times of War

The American Red Cross is dedicated to humanitarian interests and reducing human suffering. During the Geneva Convention of 1864, the organization adopted rules to care for those wounded in battle and to protect civilians, victims of warfare and prisoners of war. Although the organization has been a source of service during times of war, it also operates charitable programs that run during times of both war and peace.

American Red Cross - Emergency Response Services

Each year, the American Red Cross responds to more than 70,000 disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. On December 26, 2004, a massive tsunami hit several Asian countries, killing close to 200,000 people. Emergency workers and volunteers rushed to provide food, shelter and clothing to the survivors. They are now helping victims of Hurricane Katrina, which has flooded cities, polluted water sources, destroyed buildings and roads, killed almost 600 people and displaced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

American Red Cross - How You Can Help

Did you know that for every one Red Cross employee, there are 37 volunteers? And, 40% of all volunteers are under the age of 24. The American Red Cross hosts tons of cool programs for kids and teens to get involved with, from CPR classes to babysitting workshops. You'll also learn how to organize charity drives at your school or in your community to help those who have been affected by a disaster. For more information on how you can get involved with the American Red Cross, head to www.redcross.org.

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