Red Cross Infographic

Why Support the Red Cross?

Have you ever received a life-saving blood transfusion? Have you been sheltered in a life threatening emergency? Do you know someone who has? If so, then you already know that you have the American Red Cross to thank. The truth is, most of us don’t realize just how important the Red Cross is until an emergency does occur. When a crisis situation arises, the Red Cross is there to provide vital blood transfusions and disaster relief that save lives. Let’s look at the facts.

What is the Red Cross?

The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that seeks to reduce human suffering in the face of emergencies and disasters through connecting volunteers and donors to the victims who need their help.

  • The American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton on May 21st.
  • The first disaster relief effort organized by the American Red Cross occurred on September 4th, in response to forest fires in Michigan.
  • On April 14th, the Red Cross organized to assist the survivors of the Titanic.
  • The Red Cross provided 13.3million pints of blood during WWII for our armed forces.
  • On December 7th, Red Cross volunteers helped the victims of Pearl Harbor immediately following the attack.
  • On April 19th, victims of the Oklahoma City bombing received aide from the American Red Cross.
  • The Red Cross responds to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Less than a month later, they established the Liberty Fund to help the victims and their families.
  • The Red Cross initiates its largest relief effort in response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina that ravished New Orleans on August 25th-29th.

How does the Red Cross help?

The Red Cross is most well-known for collecting and supplying blood to those who need it. More than 200,000 Red Cross blood drives are held in the U.S. each year.

  • 44,000 The number of people who need blood everyday.
  • 16 million The number of blood donations collected in the U.S. in a year.
  • 2 The number of seconds that will go by before another person needs a blood transfusion.
  • 5 million patients receive blood in the U.S. each year.
  • 100 The number of pints of blood that one car accident victim can require.

What Else Does the Red Cross Do?

Many people mistakenly think that the Red Cross only handles blood donations and transfusions. In reality, they do a whole lot more!

  • Connects U.S. military personnel with their families
  • Actively assists 2,000,000 servicemen and women each year.
  • Provides disaster and emergency assistance services. The Red Cross responds to over 70,000 disasters each year including floods, fires, hurricanes, and even toxic spills
  • Teaches emergency skills to over 10 million people
  • Helped 229 million people in 76 countries in 2011

Red Cross contributions during Hurricane Katrina

  • 74,000 volunteers provided shelter and more than 7.5 million hot meals to 160,000 evacuees
  • The American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund collected donations from the public for the relief effort. By September 28, they had raised about $1,000,000,000 in cash and pledges

Response to Recent Disasters Hurricane Isaac

When the large, looming storm hit the Gulf area on the grim 7-year anniversary of Katrina, the Red Cross was there to assist the thousands of people displaced by the disaster.

  • 2,700 Red Cross volunteers travelled to the Gulf area
  • 311,000 ready-to-eat meals and 187 emergency response vehicles were provided as part of the organization’s initial response to the disaster

The Red Cross: An International Organization

The Red Cross doesn’t just provide relief efforts in the United States; their impact reaches across the world.
The American Red Cross donated almost $245 million to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.

What the Red Cross Accomplished Last Year

  • Taught 8.2 million people how to save a life
  • Educated 3.6 million people on how to survive a disaster
  • Provided over 386,000 emergency assistance services to military personnel and their families
  • Helped 8.6 million people recover from disaster

How Can I Help?

Donate Blood

If the thought of donating blood to the Red Cross sends a chill up your spine, there are some things you should know:

  • 6.3 million—the units of blood collected by the Red Cross each year
  • 3,000—the number of hospitals in the U.S. that depend on the Red Cross for blood
  • 40—the percentage of the country’s blood supply supplied by the Red Cross
  • O- the blood type that is in the highest demand
  • 3- the number of lives a single blood donation can save

Donate money

  • The Red Cross receives zero government funding, so they depend on the generosity of people like you.
  • The local chapter of the Red Cross in Tallahassee, Florida just announced that they expect their donations to be cut in half this year and is facing the possibility of having to cut back on their services.
  • The Dayton, Ohio Red Cross Chapter announced a loss of about half a million dollars in 2012, due in part to a cut in funding from the United Way.
  • Where Does the Money Go? 91 cents out of every dollar donated goes toward humanitarian efforts
  • How Can I Give?
  • Online at
  • Via telephone at 1-800-RED CROSS
  • By text message (Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate)


Volunteers and volunteer blood donors comprise 99 percent of the Red Cross workforce.
One out of every 43 Americans is a Red Cross volunteer giving blood, time or monetary donations

  • Help host a blood drive.
  • Be one of the thousands of disaster relief volunteers
  • Provide volunteer nursing services
  • Become a disaster preparedness presenter and help your neighbors prepare for an emergency
  • Use social media to become an advocate for the Red Cross


There are many ways that you can raise funds for the Red Cross including:

  • Through your school, church, or community organization
  • By donating a percentage of your sales of goods and services
  • By starting an employer donation matching program

By helping the American Red Cross, you may just be making an investment in your own health and safety as well as the wellbeing of your loved ones. After all, who will you count on when disaster strikes?

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