The American Red Cross organization was started by Clara Barton on May 21, 1881. You can read her biography at FamousHomeschoolers.net .
Since its founding, the American Red Cross has been the nation’s premier emergency response organization. As part of a worldwide movement that offers neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war, the American Red Cross distinguishes itself by also aiding victims of devastating natural disasters.
Although it is headquartered in Washington D.C., the American Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, and an average of 92 cents of every dollar the American Red Cross spends is invested in their humanitarian programs.
Over the years, the organization has expanded its services, always with the aim of preventing and relieving suffering. Today, in addition to domestic disaster relief, the American Red Cross offers compassionate services in five other areas: community services that help the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; the collection, processing and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs.
Visit the American Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org.
Check out the American Red Cross ratings at Charity Navigator.