March is Red Cross Month, an opportunity to show our thanks for an organization that does so much to make the world a better place. There are very few organizations whose reach is as broad, whose mission is as generous and whose commitment is as complete as the Red Cross. When people throughout the world need help, the Red Cross is there.
History of the Red Cross
Today’s Red Cross is made up of a number of different institutions, some of which operate independently from one another. They can all trace their roots to the same place, though. Until the middle of the 19th century, there was no well-organized method for providing medical care to wounded soldiers and civilians who were affected by war.
That began to change in the 1860s. A group of well-connected businessmen from throughout Europe met to discuss the feasibility of an international aid organization. After much planning and logistical discussion, they established the “International Committee for Relief to the Wounded.” Just a few years later, this committee would draft the first Geneva Convention establishing humanitarian rules for war.
The organization grew in membership, resources and influence, and they first adopted the “Red Cross” title in 1876. Five years later, the first chapter of the American Red Cross was established by Clara Braton. Throughout both World Wars, and every major international conflict, the Red Cross has redoubled their commitment to provide care and support to those who need it most.
Current Red Cross Initiatives
- Disaster Relief – The Red Cross sends relief to around 70,000 disasters each year in the United States alone.
- Supporting Military Families – The Red Cross helps around 150,000 military families and veterans prepare for service and reintegrate into society when they return home.
- Blood Donations – More than 40% of America’s blood supply comes from the 4 million blood donations made through the Red Cross every year.
- Health and Safety Services – More than 9 million American annually participate in Red Cross programs, learning CRP, lifeguard training and occupational safety.
- International Services – Over 13 million volunteers work in 187 countries around the world responding to disasters, supporting communities and training future humanitarians.
How You Can Support the Red Cross this March
There are lots of ways you can support the Red Cross this month. Consider donating a portion of your proceeds to the organization. Encourage your customers to donate, or to purchase products that support the Red Cross’ humanitarian mission. You can even choose to partner with the Red Cross to organize a blood drive or collection.
No matter what you do, make sure that everyone knows about it. Use your neon or LED signage to point out that March is about the Red Cross, and, if possible, display the iconic logo. Advertise any events or special celebrations you have planned, and use your signs to draw in everyone that passes by your business. The Red Cross does not have an easy job, but with your support and the support of your customers, they can do more good for more people.
Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GF1997RedCross.jpg