Community Resource Assignment The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides significant help to those in need. The organization is a branch of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The organization’s initial goals were to provide humanitarian efforts and other relief during trying times. For example, many felt that the group was formed in response to the destruction caused by the American Civil War.
Founder and the group’s first President, Clara Barton, believed that America should be prepared for future catastrophes, but there was widespread doubt that the nation would ever again experience anything as disastrous as the Civil War.
Nonetheless, the organization was formed on the idea that it could also help out in crises other than war. The group was founded on May 21, 1881 and has contributed to the safe and healthy growth of our nation ever since. Today, the American Red Cross is involved in efforts that provide a variety of services in a number of areas.
The American Red Cross is led by a Board of Governors that has all the power of the direction the program is heading. The Board of Governors reviews official Red Cross documents every so often in order to continually be a successful organization. These documents consist of things like the Congressional Charter, Amended and Restated Bylaws of the American National Red Cross, American Red Cross Mission Statement, Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, and the Geneva Conventions & International Humanitarian Law.
During a meeting that is held every year by the American Red Cross, members of the board are selected by recommendation through the full board and with a final agreement by delegates of the chapters and blood services regions. Leadership is something that is obviously a huge issue when you have an organization of Red Cross’s magnitude. There are three leadership positions ran by two different people in the American Red Cross program. The Chairman position, which leads the Board of governors and has oversight of the organization, is held by a woman named Bonnie McElveen-Hunter.
The other person who runs this great organization has two positions with her name and she is Gail J. McGovern. She is named the President and CEO of the American Red Cross program. Gail McGovern executes Red Cross strategies and leads the operations and business activities of the Red Cross. One area that is aided by the Red Cross is community service. In other words, the group provides certain forms of aid to the needy. For instance, the Red Cross is known for taking donations of non-perishable food items and delivering them to homeless shelters in surrounding communities.
The organization has also been known to open up soup kitchens in certain cities and towns and serve food to those in need. Both of these actions aim to provide nourishment and prevent starvation for the less fortunate population in society. The American Red Cross provides homeless shelters too. This is obviously done to provide the needy with shelter from environmental elements. It is also done to help prevent sickness from spreading due to prolonged exposure to the previously stated elements. The group also helps provide communication services for military members and their families.
The probable motive behind this is to help maintain a balanced state of mental health and to prevent soldiers from growing depressed. Transportation to medical appointments is also a community service provided by the humanitarian organization. There are an expansive number of community services that the group provides, and the list seems to be ongoing. In fact, Red Cross chapter Community Services provided almost 22 million services to individuals last year. Another area of service that the Red Cross prides itself in is blood donation.
The American Red Cross supplies roughly 44 percent of the blood donated in the United States. It supplies medical facilities around nation with different types of blood and different parts of blood required for a variety of transfusions. For instance, as a leader in the plasma industry, the Red Cross provides more than one quarter of the nation’s plasma products. The American Red Cross has also shown extreme innovation in their evaluative processes. It became the first U. S. blood banking organization to implement a Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT).
This system of testing checks blood for the genetic material of HIV and Hepatitis C. Traditional testing would simply examine the bodily responses to the diseases. A number of guidelines and other stipulations have been put in place to ensure the safety of blood donations and transfusions. One must be at least 17 years of age, must not have the flu or a cold, must not have HIV or AIDS, must not have a bleeding disorder, must weigh at least 110 pounds, must wait 12 months after receiving a tattoo, must wait at least 12 months after receiving treatment for certain sexually transmitted diseases and the list goes on and on.
Due to constant testing and experimentation, the success rate of blood transfusions and donations continues to improve. All of the previously mentioned services are generous in their own right, but they all come a close second to what the American Red Cross is most known for. The organization provides massive help in tending to the immediate emergency needs of individuals during times of disaster. Each year, the American Red Cross responds immediately to more than 70,000 crises. For example, the Red Cross was actively involved in the aiding the Hurricane Katrina victims.
They helped provide shelter and contributed to the clean up. On the same note, the group provided relief when the 35-W bridge collapsed in Minnesota. It helped, this past year, to rebuild houses that fell victim to California wildfires too. Post disaster aid comes in many forms. Food relief, site clean up, site repair, blood donations, blood transfusions and other types of medical aid are some of the forms of relief. Although, disaster reliefs and blood donations are crucial in our society today; this is not the only type of service the Red Cross provides for us.
Red Cross has prepared people to save lives through health and safety education training for almost fifty years. Red Cross provides classes and guidelines for lifeguarding. Not only does lifeguarding save lives but it also helps financially by providing jobs for thousands around the country. Thanks to Red Cross, paramedics across the country are saving lives and also making a living. All of these paramedics and lifeguards with kids wouldn’t be able to go to work if it weren’t for the Red Cross’s babysitters training. The training prepares people to lead a safer and healthier life for young ones.
Nearly 11 million people enrolled in American Red Cross health and safety courses last year. The most beautiful facet of the Red Cross is found in the group’s target population. The most interesting aspect of The American Red Cross’s target population is that there is not necessarily a target population. In other words, it does not discriminate. It will help anybody in need. If any type of disaster occurs within a community, there will always be a group of organization workers ready and willing to lend a hand. They are never the first responders, but they will respond, nonetheless.
The stated disasters can range from a massive fire that destroys a whole neighborhood to the flood of a single house. Another baffling aspect of this organization exists. It is amazing, but this profound effort is largely fueled by volunteers. They make up 96 percent of the group’s workforce that carries out humanitarian work. More than 30,900 volunteers serve as chairs, members of boards of directors, or on advisory boards for local Red Cross units – chapters, Blood Services regions, and military stations. Funding for the organization is also an intriguing point of interest.
It comes from voluntary donations by national societies, governments, other organizations, corporations, and individuals. At first, this was astonishing, but when every individual in the United States has health and safety at the top of their priorities, there are minimal restraints on what can be accomplished. In terms of evaluating the performance of the relief efforts, there is not a designated system. This is because the majority of the organization’s members are volunteers. Volunteers are not going to put forth a half-hearted effort when they are devoting their valuable time for a cause that they believe in.
Thus, they do not necessarily have a performance evaluation for them. Nevertheless, when the Red Cross sets out to provide aid or relief, it does outline what it plans to accomplish in the effort. Having researched the American Red Cross, I have developed a better grasp for its goals and how it operates. It is a national humanitarian movement that places the well-being of America at its forefront. Metaphorically, it is similar to two siblings looking out for one another. This is because the organization is driven by a vast amount of volunteers.
For example, volunteers in New Orleans look out for the well being of the volunteers of a different state if that particular state suffers a catastrophe and vice versa. The same can be said about groups of volunteers that are in the same state but hail from different communities. I think the majority values the organization’s presence. It is a crucial component in the healthy functioning our society and our world. A great deal can be said about a stand up organization in a sit down world. References: 1. The American Red Cross. November 16, 2009 . 2. American Red Cross. Wikipedia. org. November 16, 2009 .
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