Sunday, March 9, 2014

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

       Since the first proclamation in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, March has been designated Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is part of the largest volunteer network found in over 187 countries. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent network is the largest humanitarian force on the globe with a presence and assistance in almost every country. The network is made up of all the national and international organizations around the world which are allowed to use the Red Cross or Red Crescent emblem. It also represents all the activities they undertake to relieve human suffering throughout the world.

     The global network is unified and guided by seven Fundamental Principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. All Red Cross and Red Crescent activities have one essential central goal: to help alleviate suffering.  Without discrimination, whether during conflict, in response to natural or man-made disasters, or due to conditions of chronic poverty their purpose is assist those in times of greatest need. The International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red CrossRed Crescent Societies and the national societies are independent. Each body has its own individual status and does not exercise authority over the others. The highest decision-making body of the global network is the International Conference which meets every four years to ensure unity in the work of the international network. Together, they discuss and act upon humanitarian issues of common interest. Delegates to the International Conference are members of the ICRC the IFRC, national societies and representatives from signatories to the Geneva Convention. For more in-depth information regarding the Red Cross including how to become a volunteer or donate go to their website at .

         Founded by Clara Barton in 1881, the  American Red Cross is one of the most important, trusted and immediately recognized humanitarian organizations in the USA.  The American Red Cross is not a government agency and depends entirely upon charitable public donations to continue its mission of service including disaster relief, blood donation supplies, supporting military families and providing health education and safety training to millions of our citizens.