Essay on American Red Cross

Published: 2021/11/04
Number of words: 1311

American Red Cross is a non-governmental organization that has been operating in the United States for over 125 years. The agency is part of the International Federation of Red Cross Society (IFRC), which has branches in 192 countries across the world. The mandate of the American Red Cross is to assist individuals and families in the prevention, preparation, and response to natural and man-made disasters, such as fires, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes among others (American Red Cross, 2009). The agency has approximately 30,000 employees with over half a million volunteers who mobilize and help communities through the provision of lifesaving services. Although the primary role of the federal government is to ensure public health, non-governmental agency, such as the American Red Cross supplements its efforts. Thus, the organization amplifies the country’s public health services via education and delivery of services (Kent State University, 2021). The agency organizes, distributes, and directs the administration of medical and relieve services, such as first aid, public health nursing, home nursing, nutrition, and water safety to the affected population.

Contribution of American Red Cross’ Mission and Vision to Public Health and Safety Improvements

Red Cross provides community based services in support of federal and local government efforts. The humanitarian organization’s mission entails providing relief to disaster victims and facilitating individual’s efforts on the prevention, preparedness, and response to emergencies. Guided by the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the congressional charter, the agency achieves its mission through the following ways. First, the agency provides disaster services to nearly 70,000 disasters that are recorded annually within the United States (American Red Cross, 2009). Examples of these disasters include floods, home and wild fires, hurricanes, and other natural or human-made disasters. The American Red Cross provides immediate emergency needs, such as food, shelter, and medical services including blood transfusion to the affected persons. Furthermore, the agency promotes disaster readiness through providing educational materials that facilitates population’s preparedness (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 2011). They also facilitate educational and awareness campaign and partner with governmental organizations, such as federal emergency management agency (FEMA) and homeland security for direct mitigation and advocacy on disaster preparedness and response (American Red Cross, 2020). Thus, the agency offers efficient services that relieve the impact of disaster in the population.

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Second, American Red Cross runs a service to the armed forces (SAF) program, which targets armed forces, service member, and their families around the globe. The program provides emergency communication services between community based and active duty armed forces. Moreover, they educate them with their families, especially during deployment. For instance, the agency developed a special program known as ‘Coping with deployments: psychological first aid for military families’. Hence, SAF provides counseling, financial aid, and medical and referral services for wounded soldiers (American Red Cross, 2009). Third, American Red Cross provides training and education to the population on lifesaving skills. For instance, approximately 15 million Americans annually enroll for training on first aid, use of defibrillators, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Last, the organization collects, tests, and supplies blood across the United States. Over 4 million Americans volunteer annually by donating blood, which enables American Red Cross to treat persons who have an illness or have been injured.

The realization of American Red Cross corresponds with the agency’s vision to show compassion to others in partnership with volunteers and donors working with the organization. The agency has been able to turn their compassion into action by helping those that have been affected by disaster by providing emergency disaster services and needs. It has also promoted communities’ disaster preparedness provided access to safe blood products for utilization in hospitals and other emergency centers.

Promoting Equal Opportunities and Improving the Quality of Life in the Community

American Red Cross operates under the values of diversity, inclusion, and equity. The society has preserved these values in the selection of their employees and while working with different partners and suppliers. The organization provides equal opportunities to persons with different background experiences, culture, gender orientation, and sexual identities. In addition, women, the disabled, and veterans are included in the supplier diversity program (SDP) to enable the agency to offer lifesaving services locally and across the country. These minority groups are the representation of the whole population. Therefore, Red Cross provides emergency services to the whole population through implementing actions that would relief the victims of a disaster.

The organization promotes the quality of life for a community through the provision of various emergency services when disaster strikes. For instance, they provide emergency medical services, counseling, and financial support to disaster victims to alleviate their suffering and begin to rebuild their lives (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 2011). They also partner with other organizations for advocacy and direct mitigation of disaster. These efforts are complemented by education and training, which offered to the public to promote their disaster preparedness and acquisition of basic life support skills. Examples of these skills include first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and use of a defibrillator. Thus, the acquisition of these skills will enable the population to respond effectively to emergency situation and ensure a better outcome.

Impact of Funding Sources, Policy, and Legislation on Provision of Services

The American Red Cross majorly relies on donor funding in form of financial resources, time, and blood. Volunteers and donor funding enables the organization to deliver key emergency services to the population, such as supply of blood, and medical services for disaster victims (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 2011). The impact of these funding sources entails improved efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of emergency medical services and quality lifesaving resources, such as blood.

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The organization operates under a Congressional Charter that grants it the mandate to provide relief during a disaster facilitate communications between armed forces and their families. Similarly, the agency partners with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for quality assurance and safety of blood services (American Red Cross, 2009). The effect of these policies and legislation includes U.S compliance with Geneva conventions and the delivery of quality and service emergency relief services to Americans.

How American Red Cross Works Impact on Health and Safety Needs

American Red Cross provides disaster relief services that include food, shelter, and emergency medical attention. The organization supports the efforts of the local and federal government through their educational and delivery of medical services that local communities may not access. For instance, during a disaster such as an earthquake or flooding, the health systems can be strained where the facilities could be destroyed, filled, or medical supplies decline. Red Cross temporarily provides these services alongside supporting reconstruction of damaged amenities and rehabilitation of the affected population. Moreover, Red Cross promotes disaster preparedness and training on lifesaving skills in partnership with other government agencies, such as FEMA (American Red Cross, 2020). Nurses can volunteer or seek employment at the American Red Cross. Therefore, these efforts promote the health and safety needs of the local communities.


American Red Cross. (2009). American Red Cross Guide to Services.

American Red Cross. (2020, January). Closing the Gaps: Advancing Disaster Preparedness …

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). (2011, January). The value of volunteers – International Federation.

Kent State University. (2021, March 4). The Red Cross and Health Policy. Kent.

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