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Highlighting the incredible work of the American Red Cross: Part I

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Although the ARC is a well-respected name around the world, you may be surprised at just how much impactful they have been throughout the years. Here's a little bit more about the organization and what it does.

The American Red Cross
As one of the nation's oldest and most reputable humanitarian groups, the ARC partners with other Red Cross organizations around the globe to provide care and support to the people that need it most.

The ARC was founded by the famous Civil War nurse Clara Barton in Washington D.C. in 1881. Barton not only created and led the organization for two decades, but lobbied for the U.S. to sign the Geneva Convention to protect war-veterans. Following the first World War and Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918, thousands of ARC chapters opened across the U.S. By World War II, blood donations and wartime support had become an integral part of the ARC's mission.

The ARC has continued to serve military veterans and their families. Through their Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program, enlisted men and women qualify for family support and emergency services. The organization also helps with veterans hospitals around the country as well as supporting those on the front lines.

Disaster relief
Clara Barton helped initiate the first Red Cross peacetime efforts, and today the ARC is one of the most important organizations for supporting individuals and families affected by natural disasters.

In the U.S. alone, they provided help to the victims of 176 disasters in 2015. These is in addition to the day to day disasters, such as single family home fires, of which the Red Cross responds every 8 minutes to. This  includes providing food and essential supplies, as well as a safe place to sleep.

During the Nepal Earthquake in the spring of 2015, the Red Cross distributed 4.6 million liters of water and helped hundreds of thousands of those in need.

Essential services
The ARC also accepts blood donations, which are helpful beyond wartime or natural disaster relief efforts. The American Red Cross provides 40 percent of the nation's blood supply each year. This can be a crucial resource in treating cancer and other serious conditions, as well as during emergency services and childbirth.

The ARC also provides educational training and household items like smoke detectors to support healthy living and minimize the possibility of dangerous accidents. CPR, first aid and lifeguard certification courses are also offered by the ARC, which empower individuals to provide support and care during critical emergencies.

*The American Red Cross name, Emblems and copyrighted materials are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The American Red Cross logo is a registered trademark owned by the American Red Cross. For more information about the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org.

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