About Us

damaged home

About the American Red Cross Greater St. Louis Region:

From blazes and blizzards to floods and fires, the Greater St. Louis Region fulfills the American Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. For 97 years, the St. Louis Red Cross has provided comfort, care and necessities to those affected by disaster. On the scene following tornadoes, floods and power outages, the Greater St. Louis Region also responds to an average of three house fires every day. We provide immediate assistance for food, shelter, clothing and emotional support.

In addition to disaster relief, the Red Cross educates the community in emergency preparedness, lifesaving First Aid/CPR/AED and water safety. Mandated by Congress to support communications between military members in the field and their families at home, the Red Cross also assists military families in times of financial crisis. Also, as most know, the St. Louis Red Cross supplies nearly half of the region’s blood. With our many partners, the Red Cross is committed to building resilient communities by helping neighbors prepare for and respond to emergencies.

The Red Cross depends on volunteers and donors to accomplish its noble mission. Some 2,000 volunteers help the Greater St. Louis Region serve St. Louis City and 66 surrounding counties in Missouri and Illinois. Although the Red Cross does not receive government funding, all disaster relief services are free thanks to the generosity of the American people. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities and how you can help, contact us at 314.516.2800.

History

  • 1884
    Red Cross Founder Clara Barton came to St. Louis to provide disaster relief following severe spring flooding. She ordered a boatload of supplies and headed down the treacherous Mississippi River floodwaters. Traveling from St. Louis to Cairo, IL, she provided badly needed provisions all along the way.
  • 1917
    With the escalation of World War I, the St. Louis Chapter officially chartered. The chapter produced relief materials for war victims and in 1919 executed a Red Cross War Fund Drive raising an astounding $3 million for war relief. When the war ended, the Chapter quickly expanded into public health nursing.
  • 1937
    The chapter provided more than $400,000 in flood relief along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
  • 1948
    The chapter created the blood services program. In the first 10 years, the chapter processed more than 800,000 pints of blood.
  • 1969
    As the Vietnam War raged, Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces helped military families cope with the war trauma. In 1969 alone, the St. Louis chapter helped more than 34,000 military families.
  • 1980
    In response to the deadly, global HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Red Cross brought AIDS education, testing and counseling to the region.
  • 1993
    The St. Louis chapter executed the largest flood relief effort in its history. Before the rivers receded, the Red Cross opened and operated 51 shelters, delivered nearly 2 million meals and provided more than $18.7 million in relief.
  • 1995
    The St. Louis chapter relocated to its current location in St. Louis County and established the Aquatic Examiner program to evaluate aquatic facilities and lifeguards’ skills. As the St. Louis Bosnian war refugee population grew, so did the demand for Red Cross international tracing and messaging services.
  • 2001
    Following the tragic events of September 11, area residents turned to the Red Cross for opportunities to contribute in their community. Before the end of the year, more than 14,000 people volunteered with the chapter, and St. Louis individuals and businesses donated more than $6 million to the Red Cross Liberty Fund.
  • 2009
    St. Louis became the national leader in preparedness, creating Ready Rating™, a free online program that helps businesses, organizations and schools prepare for emergencies. For more information on Ready Rating™ visit www.readyrating.org.
  • 2011
    Four area chapters merge to become the Greater St. Louis Region, serving the city of St. Louis and 72 surrounding counties in Missouri and Illinois.
  • Today
    The Greater St. Louis Region is building a resilient region through disaster preparedness and response, health and safety trainings and services to military families. The Greater St. Louis Region introduced the Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Academy, an annual event that helps area businesses, organizations, schools and faith-based communities prepare for emergencies. Thanks to the support of the American people, the Red Cross continues to respond to disasters, provide victims comfort and access to immediate needs: food, shelter, clothing, replacement medicines and medical supplies.