Red Cross
Hamilton County

The International Red Cross (now known as the International Movement of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent) was formed in Switzerland in 1863.  The American Red Cross was organized by Clara Barton in 1881 and received it's federal charter in 1900.  The organization is supported by volunteer contributions and is dedicated to the alleviation of human suffering and promotion of public health.  Originally conceived to help alleviate the suffering of soldiers in the field of battle, over the years it's role has expanded to many other areas, the best known probably being it's disaster relief activities.

During WWII, American volunteers were organized by the Red Cross to help support the war effort both at home and abroad.  This support took many forms, including volunteer labor as well as money donations.  The two articles transcribed herein give some idea of the breadth of the activities that the Red Cross performed. - Lisa

Source:  Extracted from the "Hamilton County Record," through interlibrary loan of microfilm records from the NYS Public Library Newspaper Project [call # NY52 Wells 93-32419].

Nov 20, 1941

Red Cross Helps Solve Problems of Our Recruits

Through Its Directors in Camps Red Cross Links Men With Home

Washington, D. C. - On the home and military fronts the American Red Cross is turning its focus on the man in uniform.  In his behalf, more than 10,000 nurses are being recruited.  Volunteers are donating their blood for a huge plasma bank.  Red Cross women in chapters throughout the country are making 40,000,000 surgical dressings, and knitting sweaters for men in outlying posts and sailors on patrol.

But these are just fragments of the story.  in military and naval stations the Red Cross is concerning itself with the personal problems of the service man, helping him adjust himself to military life.  For the disabled, the Red Cross is on the job in service hospitals, helping to speed recovery of the sick through a morale building program.

In mobilizing a 2,000,000 man fighting force, the personal problems of the able-bodied man in uniform have in turn become problems of the morale divisions.  Red Cross field directors stationed in all camps and reservations have been entrusted with the task of helping to solve these problems.

Speaking in a nation-wide broadcast recently, Chief of Staff Marshall, of the Army, addressed the following words to Red Cross field directors:

"When you help straighten out any of the great variety of tangles that human beings seem unable to avoid, you are helping to maintain morale on the home front and on the military front; you are helping us in training for defense."

The disabled man in a service hospital also can look to the Red Cross for help in speeding recovery.  Medical social workers, trained for their specialized assignment, are on duty at Army general and Navy hospitals to aid service physicians, to act as a medium of communication with the families of hospitalized men and to conduct recreational programs for convalescents.

The Red Cross provides recreational service for patients in all Army and Navy hospitals.  Sixty-five new hospitals are under construction by the Army, and their recreation buildings are being equipped and staffed by the Red Cross as each one opens.

As part of the Army and Navy safety programs, members of the National Red Cross staff are qualifying instructors in First Aid and Water Safety among the ranks of the enlisted man.  Instructors taught by the Red Cross in turn conduct classes on the reservations.

The number of Army and Navy cases assisted by Red Cross field directors has increased in volume 140 percent  since Selective Service has been in operation.  During the past year 126,515 cases involving active service men have been handled in the camps.

The Red Cross recently made available $1,000,000 to meet an emergency need for athletic equipment for the Army and Navy.  This need arose when Government appropriations for the purpose became exhausted.

In addition to providing the Army and Navy with an official reservoir of nurses, the Red Cross is cataloging the nation's medical technologists.  Through this program, in which approximately 3,000 technicians have registered the Army and Navy will select such professional personnel as laboratory workers, dietitians, dental technicians, pharmacists and other categories of trained technologists.

Nov 27, 1941

Red Cross, OCD Look to Volunteers for Civil Defense

Washington, D. C. - To the question, "What can I do for America?" the Red Cross is providing an answer for hundreds of thousands of men and women who want to do their part on the civilian defense front.

For women, the Red Cross is providing an 80 hour training course to recruit a corps of 100,000 Nurse's Aides.  It is the Red Cross' newest project, undertaken at the request of the U. S. Office of Civilian Defense to relieve the current pressure on nursing facilities.

With thousands of nurses being taken into military service with our armed forces, civilian nursing has suffered a direct blow, the Red Cross points out.  Moreover, the defense program has created additional health problems which has heightened the need for civilian nursing.

Red Cross Nurse's Aides will serve as assistants to registered nurses, performing scores of important duties which will enable nurses to care for more cases.  The Red Cross stresses that Nurse's Aides will not take the place of the registered nurse, but will serve in an auxiliary capacity.

On the more dramatic side of civilian defense, the Red Cross is gearing its far-flung disaster fighting machine to handle mass feeding, housing and clothing of evacuees under wartime conditions.  In cooperation with the Office of Civilian Defense, chapters are strengthening disaster relief committees to cope with man made disaster much o n the same scale as relief operations following natural catastrophe.  Organization along these lines include preparedness measures for fires, explosions and epidemics which may be expected to result from accelerated industrial activity incident to national defense or sabotage.

Strictly as a precautionary measure, the Red Cross is devising means of confronting emergency relief in the event of sporadic air or sea attacks, considered conceivable hazards in some coastal and boundary areas.

The need for First Aid in civilian defense has not been neglected by the Red Cross.  Last year nearly 600,000 were trained in emergency treatment of the injured.  This year the figure is expected to go much higher with special emphasis being placed on the formation of detachments which would serve as units in factories, office buildings, schools and other places where persons are concentrated.

Red Cross courses in Home nursing and in Nutrition also are being expanded as a feature of the civilian defense program, it was pointed out.  Mounting health hazards and the shortage of civilian nurses may at any time obligate the housewife - to assist in caring for the sick.  Likewise, the Red cross is placing greater emphasis on Nutrition courses designed to teach house holders the art of purchasing and preparing well balanced meals within the range of the family pocketbook.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:36:07 PDT
Copyright © 2001:  Lisa Slaski