This week many of us are looking forward to spending much needed time off work and time with loved ones at home. However, for those who were struck by the Tornado Outbreak of December 10th and 11th, the holiday season will be looking much different this year. That’s why for our fourth Village Invest Charity we have chosen the American Red Cross, with an emphasis on their Disaster Relief program. When a tornado devastates a city or a town like it did a few weeks ago, your donation helps the Red Cross provide shelter, food and comfort to families in need. Their relief services for these families also include distributing clean-up supplies like shovels, rakes and tarps, providing mental health support and counseling for families impacted by the storm and connecting loved ones that may have been separated after a storm.
The American Red Cross is a very special organization that was founded by a very special woman named Clara Barton. This week is a particularly special week for their organization because December 25, 2021 will mark the 200th anniversary of her birthday. It only makes sense that a woman who dedicated her entire life to the service of others was born on Christmas Day. A compassionate and tenacious trailblazer, she believed in serving others and built a legacy of service, innovation and hope when she founded the American Red Cross at age 59 and led the organization for more than 20 years.
Driven by a desire to be useful and help those in need, Clara sprang into action when the Civil War broke out, earning the nickname “Angel of the Battlefield” for her work to care for soldiers on the front lines. Exhausted after the war ended, she took a doctor’s medical advice to rest in Europe. This ended up being an experience that led her to establish the American Red Cross. Inspired by her experiences in Europe, Barton corresponded with Red Cross officials in Switzerland after her return to the United States. In May 1881, after leading a multi-year effort to gather support in the U.S. and establish the organization primarily with her own money, Clara founded the American Red Cross. The next year in 1882, the U.S. government signed the Treaty of Geneva — international humanitarian laws that, to this day, protect the sick and wounded during wartime and form national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies to deliver neutral aid voluntarily. Several years later in 1900, the American Red Cross received its first congressional charter. The most recent version of the charter, adopted in May 2007, restates the purpose of the organization, which includes giving relief to and serving as a medium of communication between members of the U.S. armed forces and their families, as well as providing national and international disaster relief and mitigation.
Clara’s vision of preventing and alleviating suffering continues today as ordinary people continue to advance her extraordinary legacy through the American Red Cross, touching millions of lives each year across the globe. For example, right now nearly 500 trained Red Cross disaster workers from all over the country remain on the ground in four states, providing shelter, meals, comfort and support after last week’s devastating tornadoes that left behind a heartbreaking trail of destruction. With such widespread damage and thousands of homes affected, families will need support for weeks to come and the Red Cross says they will be there for “as long as we are needed”. With the help of partners across four states, the Red Cross has served more than 28,000 meals and snacks, distributed more than 16,700 relief items, and provided more than 3,800 individual care contacts to help people with medical or disability needs as well as emotional and spiritual support during these challenging times. In Kentucky alone, they have served nearly 20,000 meals and snacks, distributed more than 8,000 relief items, and provided over 3,000 individual care contacts.
Join us in our mission to follow in the footsteps of Clara Barton and the American Red Cross whether it be through a financial donation for disaster relief, the gift of donating blood or volunteering your time. Every single contribution matters. Visit the American Red Cross today or Contact Us to see how you can help!
And from our family, to yours, Merry Christmas!
Thanks to the American Red Cross for the information