USA2017.com has partnered with the Red Cross to help people.
American Red Cross: together we can save a life.
Specialized relief and financial assistance
to Asian and African countries
suffering the devastation.
Hundreds of thousands have been killed... thousands more are missing and injured in the largest earthquake to strike the globe since 1964, causing devastating tsunami waves. The American Red Cross, in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is rushing to provide specialized relief and financial assistance to Asian and African countries suffering the devastation from December'2004's tsunami. We're providing immediate relief and long-term support through relief supplies, including tents, blankets, tarps, plastic sheeting, and hygiene kits.
First publication rights USA 2017 .com.
History of the Red Cross.
The Red Cross idea was born in 1859, when Henry Dunant, a young Swiss man, came upon the scene of a bloody battle in Solferino, Italy, between the armies of imperial Austria and the Franco-Sardinian alliance. Some 40,000 men lay dead or dying on the battlefield and the wounded were lacking medical attention. Dunant organized local people to bind the soldiers' wounds and to feed and comfort them. On his return, he called for the creation of national relief societies to assist those wounded in war, and pointed the way to the future Geneva Conventions.
In October 1863, The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was created in Geneva, Switzerland, to provide nonpartisan care to the wounded and sick in times of war. The Red Cross emblem was adopted at this first International Conference as a symbol of neutrality and was to be used by national relief societies. In August 1864, the representatives of 12 governments signed the Geneva Convention Treaty. The extraordinary efforts of Henry Dunant led to the eventual establishment of the International Red Cross. Today, the Red Cross Movement incorporates the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the International Federation), as well as National Societies in 175 countries, including the American Red Cross of the United States.
The American Red Cross functions independently of the government but works closely with government agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), during times of major crises. It is responsible for giving aid to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and to disaster victims at home and abroad. It does this through services that are consistent with its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement allowing the Red Cross to stay neutral and impartial.
The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.
Thousands of people on the Thai coast
have been left homeless by the disaster.
Photo courtesy of the Federation.
The Red Cross does not accept individual donations of material items (called "in-kind" donations) because receipt of such items can actually hamper relief efforts. The financial and personnel cost of receiving, sorting, transporting goods and ensuring the quality and cleanliness of items donated by individual households is very high. It does not allow for individuals and families to receive what they uniquely need in their own size and shape.
The traditional method of providing Red Cross assistance is with a voucher, redeemable at local stores and paid for with donation dollars, that enables victims to purchase what they need in the correct sizes and in accordance with their own taste. Making even these small decisions helps individuals begin to take control of their lives and their recovery. In addition, this process helps channel money into the local economy and thus aids the community in recovery from disaster. The Red Cross does accept large corporate donations of food, bottled water and other items needed by the disaster-affected communities.
Your Donation at Work.
When you give to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, your donation provides tsunami survivors with nutritious food, basic supplies such as tents and hygiene items, basic healthcare and the support that they'll need to cope with the unbelievable trauma they've experienced.
The American Red Cross promises to use each donation dollar in the most efficient and effective manner as possible. Reputable charity "watchdogs" such as charitynavigator.org and the American Institute of Philanthropy recognize the commitment of the Red Cross and responded with high marks for the organization in recent ratings.
One hundred percent of every donation made for this disaster goes to tsunami relief and recovery efforts. In order to provide this timely relief, the Red Cross incurs direct support costs, which range from 6 to 8 percent of the total relief costs. These are costs that the American Red Cross would not incur in an everyday working environment and include the coordination of mobilizing relief workers and relief supplies.
The American Red Cross works with its worldwide partners in coordinated effort.
Indonesian Red Cross staff in Jakarta
prepare supplies to be conveyed
to the tsunami-hit Aceh region.
Photo is courtesy of IFRC.
The enormity of this disaster coupled with the complexity of working across two continents, a 3,000-mile swath from Indonesia to Somalia, means that the American Red Cross will work alongside the other Red Cross societies from around the world, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and international relief organizations like the United Nations' World Food Program.
The American Red Cross role in responding to an international disaster is very different from our response to a disaster in the United States. We will work in a coordinated manner with many global partners, taking into consideration how the American Red Cross can provide unique, specialized assistance in the areas where we can best help.
The immediate American Red Cross focus is on getting lifesaving help to millions affected by the tsunamis. This includes distributing culturally appropriate food like rice, canned fish and lentils to millions of people. Safe water and sanitation is a priority, and the American Red Cross will be rehabilitating water and sanitation systems to ensure that people have clean water and waste disposal systems.
In the near future, the American Red Cross will partner with health organizations to work in the crucial area of disease prevention, vaccinating and protecting millions against diseases like measles and polio, while also helping provide mental health support for those suffering emotional trauma. The American Red Cross will also help affected countries with prevention measures to reduce the loss of life and property from future natural disasters.
There is a wide variety of volunteer opportunities at the Red Cross to support all of the organization's services. People who wish to volunteer should contact their local American Red Cross chapter because the vast majority of volunteer opportunities are typically found within an individual's local community. International disaster relief workers are drawn from a pool of paid and volunteer staff with extensive prior experience.
Individuals wishing to make a financial donation to the American Red Cross may send a check to their local Red Cross chapter or to
American Red Cross
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013.
Also, donors may call 1-800-HELP-NOW (1-800-435-7669) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-257-7575 to charge a financial contribution to their credit cards. Donations may also be made on our secure Internet site.
Donate to the American Red Cross International Relief Fund!
Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-HELP NOW
USA2017 has partnered with the
American Red Cross thru Commission Junction Network to offer you a way to make a difference in this tragedy. Please note that neither Commission Junction nor USA2017 as a publisher will be compensated for funds raised through this initiative. Our participation is completely voluntary and commission-free. USA2017's efforts will combine with other Commission Junction publishers, and many people worldwide to make a measurable and meaningful difference.
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