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The American branch of the International Red Cross organization. It was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, who successfully lobbied for the United States ratification of the Geneva Convention.

Mission statement from their website:

The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

Here are the services that they provide:

Some statistics (1996):
  • The Red Cross processes 4,000 emergency communications every day--one every 22 seconds.
  • The Red Cross collects nearly six million units of blood each year and provides about one half of the nation's blood supply, one quarter of tissue for transplantation, and 15 percent of plasma derivatives.
  • More than 1.3 million people volunteer with the American Red Cross nationwide.
  • Number of Red Cross chapters: more than 1,300
  • Paid staff: 29,850
  • An average of 92 cents of every dollar spent by the Red Cross went to programs and services to help those in need.

Their website is at

http://www.redcross.org/

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