World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day 2016
More than 30 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies from around the world provided relief in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes in Nepal in 2015. Teams joined together to deliver food, water, medical care, cash, and other vital supplies and services.
Seven times a day in the United States, someone dies in a home fire. American Red Cross volunteers install smoke alarms and provide help to families who have lost their homes to devastating fires.
More than 27,000 people have traveled from the Libyan coast to Italy so far this year. Many die at sea. Libyan Red Crescent volunteers have the difficult task of retrieving the bodies of people who have died attempting to make the crossing, in an effort to provide some dignity to the deceased.
When news of an earthquake in Haiti reached America's shores, people donated generously to help save lives. Children took up collections, customers gave at the cash register, corporations made contributions, and people donated by text message. Pictured, Magdiana Jean and her son visit one of the 22 hospitals and clinics funded by the American Red Cross in Haiti.
Teams from Israel, Turkey, and the International Committee of the Red Cross work together to provide help to people in need. Pictured, teams plan the transfer of 18 Palestinian patients from Erez crossing to Ben Gurion International Airport. From there, patients were brought by plane to Turkey for treatment.
In 2014, Western Africa faced the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in recorded history. The global Red Cross Red Crescent network mobilized more than 6,000 volunteers to track the virus, deliver relief supplies, provide safe & dignified burials, and mitigate the spread of the virus.
In Syria, the neutrality and impartiality of Red Cross and Red Crescent teams allow them to work in areas that are off-limits to other organizations—granting them access to men, women, and children who need help the most.
These days, it seems we’re surrounded by bad news: devastating natural disasters, wars, violence, more extreme weather patterns, and a historic number of people displaced from their homes. But as the globe keeps on turning, it’s important to remember that there are endless positive stories to be told, too.
One of these is the story of a universal movement that transcends politics, borders, and taking sides: the global Red Cross Red Crescent network. Together, volunteers and staff in 190 countries provide help and comfort to people in need. Teams all over the world are guided by the same seven fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.
May 8 is World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day—a time to celebrate not only the good work of volunteers, but also the fact that a network like this exists: one that serves humanity regardless of race, color, sex, legal status, income level, or religion.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.