by Serena Jenkins, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross North Texas Region
World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, held on May 8th, is an annual celebration of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. This year we want to celebrate our staff, volunteers and partners who make a positive impact in their communities, across the country and around the world. Over 11.7 million active volunteers respond to various crises every day in different parts of the world to help their friends and neighbors recover from crises and live safer lives.
The American Red Cross aims to be everywhere for everyone during times of emergency. Through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, the American Red Cross seeks to help all people affected by disasters across the country and around the world to ensure each receives care, shelter and hope.
Additionally, the American Red Cross aspires to ensure communities are ready and prepared for disasters; hospitals have access to lifesaving blood and blood products; military communities find support and comfort wherever needed, and there are always trained individuals nearby and ready to use their Red Cross trained skills to save lives!
However, no Red Cross or Red Crescent society would be able to fulfill its promise and commitment to humanity if not for the hardworking volunteers who deliver aid to those in need. Globally, one in 25 people receive aid from the Red Cross or Red Crescent each year. As part of their global commitment, all Red Cross and Red Crescent societies stay committed to seven fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.
There are currently 190 National Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies in the world, helping make it possible for an active network of volunteers and partners to take charge and help their fellow neighbors wherever there is an emergency.
Disaster can strike at a moment’s notice, and Red Cross volunteers stand ready to help those in need. While each Red Cross and Red Crescent Society operates slightly different, our humanitarian mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering stays the same. Additionally, our commitment to neutrality and impartiality allow teams to work in areas of the world that otherwise would be off-limits and give access to men, women, and children who need help the most.
May 8th is also significant because it would have been Henry Dunant’s 191st birthday. The father of modern humanitarianism, Henry Dunant founded the Red Cross and was the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for what was described as the supreme humanitarian achievement of the 20th century.
For World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, we celebrate the strength and reach of our global network through the theme of #Love. We mobilize a network of volunteers who provide diverse assistance to 160 million people every year. Our mission is only possible through the generosity of our donors and devotion of our volunteers who pour their heart and soul into helping others each and every day!
To celebrate, share your Red Cross or Red Crescent ❤️ story. How have we helped you or someone you love? #RedCrossDay #RedCrescentDay