The American Red Cross, founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement—humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. The Red Cross saves lives and eases suffering by providing relief to those affected by disasters and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.
Its Northern Mariana Chapter while carrying out its mission will also strive to be a role model not only within the American Red Cross family, but also in terms of public accountability, diversity, respect for the rule of law or otherwise the practice of democracy, for other civic organizations in its jurisdiction.
The Northern Mariana Islands Chapter was chartered on October 8, 1978. The first Chairman was Gilbert C. Ada, who served for six years. During these early years the Guam Chapter assisted the NMI Chapter in development of its services. In 1986, after a reorganization plan was implemented, a new 6 member Board of Directors was appointed led by then Senator Juan "Pan" Guerrero. Under new leadership, a Chapter headquarters was set-up in a war damaged Japanese power plant near the Saipan International Airport. Currently the Chapter has 4 paid staff members and a Board of Directors of 19 members.
The Chapter is responsible for services on the islands of Rota, Tinian and Saipan as well as the Northern Islands.
The Chapter office site occupies a former 200 KW Japanese bombproof power plant built around 1940. It is equipped with 12 steel 1-ton hinged window coverings which are still utilized during Typhoons. The adjacent emergency shelter was a diesel oil storage facility and the lower level of the Disaster Services supply warehouse was formerly a water cooling tank. The power plant supplied electricity for the nearby Japanese As Lito Airfield complex before World War II.
The Chapter office is located on Airport Road just North of the Saipan International Airport terminal.
The American Red Cross is not a government agency and depends on the generosity of all the people and businesses of the Commonwealth for support.