About Us

  • Lake Charles, Louisiana Red Cross office

About the Southwest Louisiana Chapter

As a partner of a network of 186 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide, the American Red Cross of Southwest Louisiana was founded in 1918 as a chartered unit of the American National Red Cross. The chapter serves the 290,000 residents of Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, Cameron, Beauregard and Allen parishes.

In the years since its founding, the chapter has evolved with the needs of our community, but our core mission remains focused on alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

Disaster Action Team members are volunteers – people like you – who respond to the call day or night to help local people affected by disasters.

The Southwest Louisiana Chapter responds on average to a disaster every 65 hours.

The most-common disaster is the single-family home fire. On an average of once every 65 hours, Red Cross DAT members are on the scene in Southwest Louisiana to help a family whose home has been damaged or destroyed by fire. They assess the situation, provide for emergency needs and coordinate with other agencies to help the family on the road to recovery.

Our communities are vulnerable to hurricane wind and storm surge damage and our volunteers may be called upon to work in evacuation, pre-landfall sheltering, damage assessment, bulk distribution and casework, not only here at home, but across South Louisiana and in other coastal locations.

The American Red Cross is chartered by Congress to provide assistance to disaster victims, but we do not receive government funding to do this. We rely on you. Your financial contributions and volunteer efforts make it possible to offer our disaster assistance at no charge to our clients. All volunteer training is free. To learn how you can get involved, check out the Volunteer section of this site.

The Southwest Louisiana Chapter is a United Way of Southwest Louisiana member agency


History of the Southwest Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross
  • 2005
    Supported Hurricane Katrina relief efforts as thousands of evacuees from the New Orleans area came to the region. Hurricane Rita came right on the heels of Katrina and destroyed 90 percent of Cameron Parish. Lake Charles and other areas were evacuated for two weeks.
  • 1957
    Responded to Hurricane Audrey, a Category 4 storm that devastated eastern Texas and western Louisiana.
  • 1927
    Responded to the Great Mississippi River Floods.
  • 1918
    Supported Military through World War I. Responded to the world-wide influenza epidemic.
  • 1917
    Chapter chartered in the Lake Charles area.