How We Help
The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas:
The Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year, ranging from home fires that affect a single family to hurricanes that affect tens of thousands, to earthquakes that impact millions. In these events, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. Although the Red Cross is not a government agency, it is an essential part of the response when disaster strikes. We work in partnership with other agencies and organizations that provide services to disaster victims.
Supporting America’s Military Families
The Red Cross helps military members, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to the challenges of military service. Emergency communications, training, support to wounded warriors and veterans, and access to community resources help an average of 150,000 military families and veterans annually.
Your donations of blood are what make the American Red Cross the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the U.S. Each year, nearly 4 million people donate blood through the Red Cross, helping to provide more than 40% of America’s blood supply.
Health and Safety Services
The Red Cross is the nation’s leading provider of health and safety courses, such as CPR, First Aid and Lifeguard training. Each year, more than 9 million Americans participate in our training programs, including first responders, educators, babysitters, and people who want to be prepared to help others in an emergency.
The American Red Cross is part of the world’s largest humanitarian network with 13 million volunteers in 187 countries. Working together, we help respond to disasters, build safer communities, and educate future humanitarians. Each year, we reach an average of more than 100 million people across the globe.
Mission, Vision, and Fundamental Principles
The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that...
...all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope;
...our communities are ready and prepared for disasters;
...everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products;
...all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and
...in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.
Fundamental Principles of the Global Red Cross Network
The Red Cross, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors—in its international and national capacity—to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.
It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavors to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Red Cross may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
The Red Cross is independent. The national societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with Red Cross principles.
The Red Cross is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
There can be only one Red Cross society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
The Red Cross is a worldwide institution in which all societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other.