By Ifat Gazia, American Red Cross volunteer
Did you know the World Red Cross has 11.7 million volunteers? These volunteers help millions of people experiencing crises and disasters around the globe. The American Red Cross is part of the world’s largest volunteer network, extending across 187 countries.
Part of this dynamic volunteer network are the Red Cross Red Crescent teams that provide relief and hope in nearly every corner of the globe. On May 8 every year, we celebrate World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day to appreciate these dedicated organizations and the powerful changes they bring to the communities they serve.
They respond to not only earthquakes, conflict and war emergencies, droughts, floods, hurricanes or health epidemics, but they provide necessary guidance, help and training to the communities, preparing them for the future. All the work done by the staff and volunteers of Red Cross and Red Crescent is done without discrimination. Their work is not just to ensure children receive necessary vaccinations but also to elevate communities from problems that arise due to conditions of prolonged poverty.
With a strong principle of promoting International Humanitarian Law, the national societies that work under the umbrella of the global Red Cross assist some 284 million people every year. The tasks they carry out depend upon the rules and regulations of that particular country. Therefore, their work is driven by local needs. For example, the American Red Cross provides nearly half of the nation’s blood supply. The Palestine Red Crescent Society and Mexican Red Cross operate hospitals and ambulances. The Norwegian and Italian Red Cross conduct search and rescue operations. The Kenyan, Russian and Vietnam Red Cross provide care and support to people living with HIV/AIDS.
Beyond providing relief and rehabilitation, they even help reconnect families separated by disasters and conflict with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
To harness the power of emotion felt toward this humanitarian movement, we are asking: What do you #love about Red Cross and Red Crescent? To help celebrate and continue the important work of World Red Cross organizations like the Red Cross and Red Crescent, contribute in whichever manner you can. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the American Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. Everything the organization does is to help meet the needs of the people that it serves. To donate, click here.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer