American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is an organization that is quite interesting. It is very popular and highly recognized in the country. This is as a result of the work that the organization has done during times of disasters in various parts of the country, when the Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. The American Red Cross has been on the center stage when it comes to raising funds for the recent humanitarian crisis in the Philippines. Its humanitarian work is what really interests me. Thus, I will do a study on the organization with a view of becoming one of its volunteers.
The American Red Cross was founded by Clara Burton in 1881 DC in Washington (Liudzius 1). Burton was touched by the global Red Cross movement that was inspired by the Swiss while visiting Europe. On her return to America, she campaigned for the formation of the organization. On her time of resignation, Clara Burton has headed the American Red Cross for 23 years. The organization attained its congressional charter in 1900 with the second one received five year later. After the onset of World War I, the membership of the organization grew exponentially (A brief History of the American Red Cross 1).
The American Red Cross is a charitable organization, which mainly relies on volunteers to carry out its activities. It undertakes crucial functions in the community. The organization has the objective of sheltering, feeding and counseling the victims of disasters across the nation. It also helps in the collection and provision of almost half of America’s blood supply. Besides, it also teaches life saving skills- first aid skills to members of the public who are interested. The organization is also mandated with supporting the members of the military and their families. On the other hand, it also goes a notch higher in offering material and emotional support to people who are victims of disasters.
The Red Cross operates on an open door policy. This is conducted by helping those who are undergoing trauma after disasters. It offers them emotional; support through the provision of counseling services and urgent material needs. The body also helps patients who are hospitalized by collecting blood across the country. It also assists military personnel by integrating them into the local community after completion of their duties. It also offers support to families of those who are in the military by giving them the support that they need.
The American Red Cross serves various purposes (What are the goals of the American Red Cross? 1). One of the goals of the organization is making sure that community services are availed to the needy locally. It also aims at providing international relief to people in need. It endeavors to prepare the populations for emergencies.
The organization provides relief services during national disasters by getting volunteers to offer help through building temporary shelters and distribution of food stuffs. It also aims at raising funds for the procurement of supplies for victims of disasters. The American Red Cross offers support to the locals who are poverty stricken. It undertakes this role by starting and running homeless centers where the poor are able to acquire places of sleep and food. The organization also offers mental health services and financial services to those who are in need.
With regards to the military, the organization supports them by making sure that separated families are able to stay in touch. It offers a means of communication between the officers who are in service and their families (Matza). The American Red Cross is among the main providers of blood in health facilities. It also collects blood through organizing blood donations across the country. In fact, statistics indicate that about four million Americans donate blood through the organization each year.
The American Red Cross is mainly focused on international relief (American Red Cross donates initial $6 million to typhoon Haiyan relief in the Philippines 1). In case there are disasters on any part of the world, the organization sensitizes the American population about the occurrences. It passes information to the public about the needs of those affected, and the extent of the disaster. It then organizes fund raising events. The organization further opens centers in the local community where people are able to give their donations of foodstuffs, clothing and anything else that they can give towards disaster relief. It then collects the donations and puts them in one place. The staffs who are mainly volunteers of the organization then create an inventory of all the donations that have been collected. It then gets in touch with the Red Cross chapter in the areas affected by disasters to make arrangements for the collection and transfer of the donations which are then sent to the affected areas to help in saving lives.
The Red Cross plays a significant role in the prevention and management of disasters. It has quite a number of training programs. The organization teaches people about the strategies of disaster management, and how to offer first aid to those affected. The training also involves aspects on the mode of behavior in times of crises. The training is of importance since it helps in preventing panic in the event of disasters. In such events, many people lose their lives as a result of panicking which results from stampedes. Lives can be saved if people stay calm in situations of pressure.
The activities that are conducted by members of the American Red Cross are many and vary based on the conditions. Members organize for blood donations by distributing flyers showing the venues and times for the blood drives. The organization sends its members to handle the blood collection in the various centers. These representatives help in the welcoming ad registration of donors. Those with some medical training expertise undertake the blood collection process. The members of the organization are facilitators and offer training to the public on matters of public safety and disaster management. Besides, they also run local shelters, and assist in the collection and transportation of donations to the final collection points.
Members of the Red Cross are immediate counselors to victims of disasters. They also offer first aid services to those who are injured during crises. Members can volunteer to help in the distribution of relief across the world. This occurs in cases whereby the disasters are of a large magnitude that the local agencies are unable to contain on their own. Members carry out advocacy campaigns to inform the general population about the activities of the American Red Cross and recruitment.
Members of the organization also assist in conveying information from the army personnel to their families back at home. They can get in contact with the Red Cross chapters in various countries with which American forces are in conflict in order to provide information from the prisoners of war. Since the Red Cross is not politically motivated, its members are able to go into war zones without being molested. Combatants offer safe conduct for the members of Red Cross. This is important in making sure that prisoners of war get the care that they need. The members of the organization are also instrumental in organizing community initiatives like the enhancement of safety and health conditions.
The main mission of the Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human sufferings in times of emergencies. The extent of the human suffering is however, varied. Due to this, the organization requires volunteers from various fields. It needs mental health professionals to provide counseling to victims of disaster. The Red Cross collects a considerable amount of money from volunteers. Therefore, it requires volunteers with expertise on finances to assist in accounting of the collected funds. The organization offers first line care services for victims of disasters, and therefore requires doctors to handle this mandate.
The donations that are collected from fund drives are to be transported. This means that the organization requires volunteers with experience in hauling. The blood drives also require health professionals who are also willing to donate blood. There are just but some of the examples of the volunteers that are required by the organization. On conclusion, it should be noted that the American Red Cross requires any healthy adult with a passion for helping. The professional background is not considered in this drive. Instead it enriches the organization since varied talents can always find an area to fit in within the organization.
More than 95% of the American Red Cross’ workforce is made up of volunteers. As a result of this, the kinds of people who work for the organization are derived from various backgrounds and with different competencies. The organization has got a small core of permanent employees. These are people who are passionate about the humanitarian cause. The volunteers also have different qualifications to help them serve in areas where they are well conversant with. The American Red Cross is a national body with a presence in all the states. In fact, its presence is also felt in the counties and local communities where it offers the required care.
I have a background in accounting and office management. I believe that if I get the chance of joining the American Red Cross, I am able to make contributions to the organization in a way that will be beneficial. I can help in blood drives by setting up the tents in a friendly and inviting manner so as to attract more people to donate blood. Besides, I can also assist in the local Red Cross office by offering my accounting expertise to help in balancing the accounting books. Based on my office management experience, I can also volunteer to run the front office in the local Red Cross office.
I can also volunteer in raining awareness about the organization’s activities. This can help in increasing the awareness about the work of the organization in my city. Through this advocacy, I believe that I can persuade quite a number of people to also volunteer to work for the American Red Cross. It is my belief that the organization requires more local offices for easy accessibility to the people. If I get the opportunity, I would first propose the setting up of a local office for the organization. I am confident that I can set up and run a new office for the American Red Cross.
I believe that working for the organization would positively impact my life. Working together with people who are in dire need is a step towards developing a sense of direction. I have spent my entire life in similar environments, surrounded with friends. Working for the American Red Cross will be an opportunity for learning a lot. It will enable me to meet new people in new environments and also make new acquaintances. Volunteering with the organization will accord me the opportunity of travelling around the country. If I am lucky, I may even get the chance of travelling abroad for humanitarian mission. Such are great life-enriching experiences.
My terms of working with the American Red Cross would be on the basis of a volunteer. However, there is a chance of practicing my professional skills as an accountant while also volunteering with the organization. This can be a great opportunity for growing my professional competence by gaining experience from the field. Besides, it will also help me in becoming a better accountant and office manager. The work of a volunteer provides an opportunity for me to enhance my job prospects as a result of the experience that I am likely to acquire, that could be included in my Curriculum Vitae.
I have a passion in helping others. I am open-minded and also very kind. I have the ability of empathizing with people who are in trouble. Thus, I believe that if given the opportunity to interact with people who are faced with problems, I can be able to inspire their lives in a positive way. People who go through difficult times require understanding and empathy. Those are attributes that I believe I have the ability of conveying. Based on the background that I have in accounting, I can assist people who are experiencing hard economic circumstances to make better economic choices in the times to come.
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“A brief history of the American Red Cross.” 12 Oct. 2012. Web 29 Nov. 2013 <www.wbmac.amedd.army.mil/Departments/OtherServices/AmericanRedCross/history.a spx>
“American Red Cross donates initial $ 6 million to typhoon Haiyan relief in the Philippines.” 2013. Web 29 Nov. 2013 <www.kbzk.com/news/american-red-cross-donates-initial-6- million-to-typhoon-haiyan-relief-in-the-philippines/
“What are the goals of the American Red Cross?” eHow.2013. Web 29 Nov. 2013 <www.ehow.com/facts_4867451_what-goals-american-red-cross.html>
Liudzius, R. “The woman who founded the Red Cross: Clara Barton.” Masslive. 6 Nov. 2013. Web 29 Nov. 2013 <www.masslive.com/red-cross- connection/index.ssf/2013/22/the_woman_who_started_it_all_c.html>
Matza, M. “One man’s story shows Red Cross work reconnecting families.” The Inquirer. 28 Nov. 2013. Web 29 Nov. 2013 <www.philly.com.news/nation_world/?wss=/philly/news//nation_world&id=233686671 &>