Our History

  • image

1917 – Local Red Cross Chapters created in Athens and Gainesville.

1920s – 1930s – Red Cross work during these decades centered around public welfare administration and public health. This assistance included over a thousand families being given financial assistance and thousands of lunches were provided to school children. Welfare programs continued until 1937 when the State of Georgia began to supervise welfare departments in each county.

1936 – the second deadliest tornado streak ever to hit the United States devastated many towns across the Southeast. In total, approximately 455 people were killed by these tornadoes. The most devastation was in Tupelo, MS and Gainesville GA. Flash floods associated with the storms also produced damage across the region. Reconstruction efforts in Gainesville would later be praised by President Franklin Roosevelt, who saw the devastation first hand during a visit after the storm.

1940s – World War II brought much activity to Georgia Chapters including emergency messages being sent between service members and their families. Volunteers also prepared kits containing goods for servicemen to be shipped overseas.

1943 – in one month alone the Hall County Chapter gathered 340 local volunteers who made 39,289 surgical dressings and sewed 304 garments to contribute to war efforts. These types of efforts continued throughout the course of the war.

1948 – the nationwide civilian blood program began. Georgia communities participate.

1950s – additional programs become fundamental in serving the community, including first aid, water safety, and additional health programs.

1960s - Red Cross continues to actively support service members during the Vietnam War.

1970s – Military service support efforts stay high until the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam. Congress enacts the Occupational Safety and Health Act, enabling First Aid programs to grow.

1980s – The Athens Chapter merges with sever other county Chapters to form the East Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross. As the AIDS epidemic increases, the Red Cross responds with education programs.

1994 –nearby Albany was devastated by a flood. The Northeast Georgia Chapter donated $55,000 to help our neighbors in addition to sending volunteers to support relief efforts.

2001 – Red Cross volunteers from around the country, including Northeast Georgia, deploy to assist in what would later be known as “September 11th.”

2005 – Northeast Georgia relief efforts in response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma included housing over 1,100 hurricane evacuees, collecting over 14,000 pints of blood, and sending volunteers to assist in impacted communities.

2014 – The University of Georgia Red Cross Clubs gains national recognition for their impact in Georgia communities, including blood unit collections, fundraising, and the hosting of disaster and health promotion education programs.

2015 – The Northeast Georgia Chapter headquartered in Gainesville and the East Georgia Chapter headquartered in Athens merge into the American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia, serving 23 counties and with office locations in Athens, Gainesville, and Cumming.