About Us

  • Historic poster of a little boy proudly pointing to his Red Cross pin asking people to "Join!"

The American Red Cross has been serving the Rio Grande Valley since 1917. Each year, the American Red Cross touches and enhances tens of thousands of Valley residents' lives. These and other services and programs are made possible through the unique partnership between those who give their time - our valued volunteers, and those that give a financial gift - our valued donors.

With a paid staff of six, more than 600 trained volunteers, and a partnership of 3,000 active donors, we are able to provide services throughout the Rio Grande Valley. The South Texas Chapter serves 4 counties: Willacy, Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr County. Under the leadership of our board, we continue the proud tradition of helping Valley residents prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. We reach out into the community every day, touching people's lives.

A Brief History

The history of the South Texas Chapter parallels the calamities and disasters that have befallen the area. Hurricanes, floods, explosions, fires and the effects of war on local residents are backdrops to our story.
  • 2002
    In November 2002, the South Texas Chapter moved into a new building
  • 2001
    A couple of days after the September 11 attacks, the Queen Isabella Causeway bridge collapsed on September 15, 2001 at South Padre Island, Texas.
  • 1998
    In May 1998, the Board of Governors gave approval for West Cameron County and Harlingen, Texas, to merge within the Rio Grande Valley to form what is known as the South Texas Chapter.
  • 1992
    On July 1, 1992, The American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., merged four four Red Cross chapters from Hidalgo, Starr, Willacy and Southern Cameron counties to form one larger service delivery unit.
  • 1988
    The first disaster event was on July 7, 1988 – a building collapsed in Brownsville, Texas. It was a busy downtown department store. A total of 14 people were killed, 190 were injured and 12 were hospitalized. Customs agents allowed Mexican Nationals to come over, one by one, and identify people who died. The Red Cross opened a shelter and 7,000 people were fed by mass care.