World Red Cross Day

Today is the birthday of Jean Henri Dunant. Were Dunant still alive, he would be celebrating his 187th year. Why is any of this important? Jean Henri Dunant, also known as Henry Dunant, founded the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and his birthday is used to celebrate World Red Cross Day and Red Crescent Day.

Not only was Dunant the founder of the ICRC, but the Geneva Conventions, the international guide to humane treatment of prisoners of war, the wounded, and civilians during wartime, were written based on his ideas, and he was the first person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Henry Dunant was a remarkable man.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was established in 1863, and to this day is focused on protecting human life and health. There are just under 100 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers worldwide.

The American Red Cross (ARC) is an affiliate of the ICRC. The main focus of the American Red Cross is to help with disaster relief, emergency assistance, and educating people on a national level. In addition to aid and education, the ARC is also the largest supplier of donated blood in the United States, supplying approximately two-thirds of donated blood.

Donated blood can potentially save a life. The American Red Cross has this to say about donations:

Whatever your reason, the need is constant and your contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply.  And  you’ll feel good knowing you’ve helped change a life.

You don’t need a specific reason to give blood, but today you’ve got one. Today is World Red Cross Day, and the ARC encourages everyone who is able to donate blood. Here are some statistics from the American Red Cross:

  • There is someone in need of blood every two seconds.
  • Type O is the most requested blood type.
  • A victim in a car accident can require as much as 100 pints of blood.
  • In a year, there are 15.7 blood donations made. There are 9.2 million donors.
  • The only source of blood is from donors.
  • Blood donations are a safe and simple process.