The first office of the American Red Cross in Connecticut was established in 1898. Throughout its history, the Red Cross in Connecticut has provided comfort, help and hope to local families affected by fires, hurricanes, winter storms, floods and other disasters.
During World War I, Red Cross work included production of clothing, comfort items and bandages for the armed forces. The Home Service program helped the families of servicemen communicate with their loved ones overseas and to provide other services.
The Red Cross entered into preparedness training in the 1920s, adding first aid, water safety and Junior Red Cross programs. Over the decades, our classes expanded as medical technology developed to include CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training. We also provide information to help individuals prepare for natural or other disasters.
During World War II, services to the armed forces again increased. Volunteers produced needed materials, visited wounded soldiers and supported home front relief work. During the war, the Red Cross began supplying the armed services with blood plasma.
In 1950, with blood transfusions becoming a more frequent medical practice, the Connecticut Red Cross Blood Program was established to serve the needs of the state’s civilian population.
Today, the American Red Cross helps Connecticut residents prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies with services provided by small paid staff and a corps of more than 3,000 volunteers.
The Connecticut Chapter responds to an average of 800 local disasters each year, most of them home fires. We help families with immediate, disaster caused needs for shelter, food, clothing and emotional support.
We train and prepare thousands of Connecticut residents each year, offering courses in First Aid, CPR and Lifeguarding, as well as Babysitter training and Community Disaster Education programs. Our Fire Safety program offers free smoke alarm installations and fire escape planning for all Connecticut families.
We provide emergency communications, counseling and other services to hundreds of Connecticut military families every year.
Our international services programs include family linking services for people seeking news and information about loved ones separated by war or disaster, as well as support of health initiatives that combat diseases like measles and rubella.
And, through the generosity of volunteer donors, we collect tens of thousands of units of blood at thousands of drives across Connecticut to provide lifesaving blood components and products to hospitals and acute care facilities throughout the state.