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American Red Cross
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    (May 21, 1881- )
    Principal founder was Clara Barton
    Aided American soldiers during the Spanish-American War
    Received a congressional charter (1905)
    Local chapters reached 3,864; membership reached 20 million (1918)
    Helped combat the 1918 influenza epidemic
    Sent more than 104,000 nurses and 300,000 tons of supplies to aid Allied forces during World War II
    Created the first civilian blood donation program
    Expanded into research and tissue banking
    Provided services for soldiers and their families during the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf wars
    Also helps victims of natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes
    Largely funded by donations
    Leadership consists of an unpaid 50-member Board of Governors
    The US President appoints eight members, including the chairman
    The President of the Red Cross is elected by the board
    Current president is Marsha Evans (2002- )
    Insignia is a large red cross, crescent (in Islamic countries), or Star of David (in Israel)
    The government has threatened heavy fines because of safety problems in its blood supply.
    Some have accused its leaders of mishandling 9/11 disaster funds.
    It doesn't accept donations of individual items.
    Its internal policies prevented the investigation of donated blood carrying Hepatitis B, triggering a government investigation.
    The above problem caused 134 hepatitis cases.
    Its reliance on donations causes it to shrink and grow with the economy.
    They have been known to charge disaster relief volunteers for refreshments.
    It is one of the most well-regarded aid organizations in the world.
    It does medical research.
    It gives advice to citizens about protecting themselves in case of terrorist attacks or disasters.
    It effectively uses technology.
    While being an independent, it works with the US government on disaster relief.
    Because it is a noncombatant organization, most foreign militaries have avoided attacking Red Cross employees (though this is not the case with guerilla forces).
    Its current president is a 30-year Navy veteran.
    Its blood donation program supplies 50% of all US blood products.
    One of its major functions is to give medical care and supplies to the American military.

Credit: Wang

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