Clara Barton and the American Red Cross
Clara Barton Clara Harlow Barton was born on December 25, 1821 in Oxford, Massachusetts. She was the youngest of five children. Clara was taught at home and started teaching school when she was only fifteen years old. Her only nursing background was having the experience of nursing her injured brother back to health. Clara Barton is known for founding the American Red Cross. She is also known for establishing the free pubic school in Bordentown, New Jersey. Clara started her career by enrolling at the Clinton Liberal Institute for females in 1850. From this institute she received her teaching certificate.
The most influential people in her life were her parents. Clara had two brothers, and two sisters. Her brother’s names were David and Stephan, and her sisters were Sally and Dorothy. Her father was once a captain in the war, therefore earning him the title Captain Stephen Barton. Because of his war background, Captain Barton taught Clara about geography and the battlefield. Clara’s mother also taught her how to cook and sew. Her brother’s taught her math and anything that had to do with riding animals, balancing, and also nursing and caring for animals.
Clara’s sisters Dorothy and Sally taught her how to read by the time that she was four years old. Although Clara was a very smart girl, she was very shy. When she turned four, her parents enrolled her in Colonel Richard Stone’s school. Clara was a great student in her work, but due to her shyness, did not make nay friends. Clara made no friends in school for the next four years. Her parents then decided that enrolling Clara in a boarding school would help with her shyness. They soon found out that this would not work.
Being so overwhelmed caused Clara to be even more shy and to herself. Her parents then withdrew Clara form school all together. When Clara was eleven her oldest brother, David, fell form a barn roof while trying to repair it. They did not believe that David would live. Clara came to the rescue. She took care of him for three years, and helped him recover. In 1861, Barton lived in Washington, D. C. Here she worked at the U. S. patent office. After the Baltimore Riots, the 6th Massachusetts Regiment arrived in the city. Clara then organized a relief program for the soldiers.
Upon learning that the wounded soldiers from First Bull Run suffered due to the need for medical supplies, Clara set up an independent organization in order to distribute goods. This organization deemed successful. The next year, the U. S. Surgeon General, William A. Hammond, granted her a pass that allowed her to travel with army ambulances “for the purpose of distributing comforts for the sick and wounded, and nursing them. ” She did this for the next three years. Her work done in Fredericksburg, Virginia hospitals.
She cared for the casualties from the Battle of the Wilderness and also did work at Bermuda Hundred which attracted national notice. Clara then formed a formal Civil War connection when she served as a superintendent of nurses. Traveling to Camp Parole in Maryland, Barton expanded her concept of soldier aid. She organized a program to locate men listed as Missing In Action. By conducting interviews with federals who were returning from federal prison, she was able to determine the status of some of the missing and was able to notify their families.
By the time the war ended, Clara had performed most of the services that would later be associated with the American Red Cross. She founded the American Red Cross in 1881. The American Red Cross is an emergency response organization. The Red Cross helps people who are the victims of war and natural disasters. They also contribute to the needy in some communities. Also provided support and comfort for military family members. The collecting of life saving blood and blood products is also done by the American Red Cross. Educational programs that also promote health and safety are conducted by the Red Cross.
My community in South Whitley has also been helped out by the American Red Cross. During the winter half of the town lost power. People ere cold and could not cook because of having no electricity. The Red Cross came and set up cots and had warm food at the fire station so people could eat, sleep, and be warm. In another instance, my son lost a large amount of blood during a routine procedure that should have turned out perfectly normal. After spending three days in the hospital, my five week old son had to have a blood transfusion in order to keep his organs and body working properly.
There was an American Red Cross blood bank right there in the hospital. They ordered the blood and within one hour, the blood was delivered. The moral of this story I, I am extremely thankful for Clara Barton and her willingness to start the American Red Cross. Without their services, I would not have my beautiful son today. The American Red Cross has grown to more than half a million volunteers and 35,000 employees. The Red Cross has helped victims of at least 70,000 disasters. Approximately four million people give blood. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products.
The Red Cross still helps United States service members who have been separated because of military service. The American Red Cross is not a government run organization. They survive completely on donations of time, money, and blood to stay up and running and helping people in need. Clara Barton was head of the Red Cross for twenty-three years. During this time, it conducted the first overseas relief effort, aided the United States military during the Spanish-American war, and campaigned for the inclusion of peacetime relief work.
In 1900 the Red Cross received it’s first charter to be allowed to keep on doing what they were doing. The Red Cross provided staffing and recruited 20,000 registered nurses to serve in the military. Also, in 1918, additional Red Cross nurses stepped forward to help combat the influenza epidemic that went worldwide. After the war, the Red Cross also worked on enhancing its accident prevention, training, safety, and also home and nutrition care for the sick. Some of the extra services that the American Red Cross provides are civil defense, CPR training, AED training, and HIV and AIDS education.
The Red Cross also helps in the emotional care and support for the victims of disasters. They also aided in the development of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA is also the supplier of mass care in federally declared disasters. It also gave aid to the Mississippi River Flood in 1927. They also helped with the drought and Depression in the 1930’s. WWII also used the aid of the Red Cross for United States military, allies, and war victims. They made up 27 million packages for American and Allied prisoners of war.
They shipped 300,000 tons of supplies overseas. The United States also asked the Red Cross to collect 13. 3 million pints of blood for those in the armed forces who were injured and had lost large amounts of blood. The American Red Cross supplies over half of the blood and blood products in the United States. They also became part of the banking and donating of human tissue. In the 1990’s they also developed a program that improved the safety of it’s blood products. They also expanded the role of biomedical research.
The Red Cross also provided their services during the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars. It was after WWII that the Red Cross then introduced the very first civilian blood donation that went nationwide In the year 1904 she resigned as head of this organization. She then retired to her home in Glen Echo, just outside Washington, D. C. Here she died on April 12, 1912, from complications of pneumonia. The United States has been greatly and forever changed by the actions and ideas of Miss Clara Barton.