American Red Cross 1917

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

December 17, 1917. Bulletin No. 20-B.
Supplement No. 20-B
The American Red Cross
For use from December 17 to 23, 1917.

TO ALL FOUR MINUTE MEN: To carry the message of the Red Cross; to give to the people of the United States concrete facts about the results obtained "by this great organization since the declaration of war. This will be the Christmas task of every Pour Minute Man. December 17-23 has "been set as the final week of the Red Cross drive for 10,000,000 $1 members. A clear and forceful statement "by Pour Minute Men of facts concerning what this great organization has actually accomplished since the declaration of war should make it easy for the Red Cross workers who will make the actual solicitation for memberships. "Carrying the Message" continues to be our main topic, but with particular reference to the Red Cross. Attacks by our enemies upon the methods and motives of this great humanitarian organization which is so ably supplementing the work of the Army and Navy in giving help and comfort to our wounded have been persistent and widespread. There have been stories that women are making an oversupply of materials; that articles knitted for the Red Cross are being sold to soldiers and civilians. Incredible it seems that men could sink so low as to direct their poison against a cause that has for its purpose only the relief of suffering! But there is one sure antidote for such creatures; living in the dark, they can not endure the light. Let us be torch bearers for the Red Cross. Cordially yours,



The Red Cross was conceived by Henri Dunant, (Dunan), a Swiss philanthropist, who had seen how Florence Nightingale, a trained nurse, organized a corps of women in the Crimean war. His efforts resulted in an International Conference at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1864, which two years later resulted in the Treaty of Geneva, sometimes called the Red Cross Treaty. The American Red Cross Association was formed the same year (1866) and the United States Government signed the Geneva Treaty in 1882. The American Red Cross is a voluntary association of American people, authorized by act of Congress. Its task is to give relief to sufferers from disasters of any kind, the world over. In time of war, it supplies comfort to our armed forces, especially by supplementing the medical service. 27549°—17 The organization and management are in the hands of a Central Committee of 18. The President of the United States appoints six of these, including the Chairman of the Committee, who at present is Hon. William Howard Taft. President Wilson is now the President of the Red Cross. The Red Cross War Council was appointed by President Wilson for this war. This Council established national headquarters at Washington, with thirteen divisions throughout the country, each division taking charge of Local Chapters. Any man, woman, or child may become a member of the Red Cross by payment of the followig dues. Voluntary service is also welcome. Annual $ 1.00 Sustaining $10. 00 Annual with maga-Life 50.00 zine .. 2.00 Patron 100.00 Contributing 5. 00 Junior .25 2

Some of the Things the American Red Cross Has Done Since War Was Declared.

A. At Home. 1. It has placed the management of its affairs in the hands of some of the most able business men of the country, many of whom are serving without pay. 2. It has increased its number of chapters from 382 to 3,306 (eightfold). It has increased its membership from 275,000 to more than 5,000,000 (twentyfold). 3. It has shipped abroad over 13,000,000 surgical dressings and hospital articles since April 1, 1917. 4. It has established 13 divisions of civilian relief for the giving of help to families of soldiers and sailors, and our Army is far stronger and its morale is far better because the Red Cross has assumed responsibility for the families left at home.

B. Abroad.

1. It has dispatched commissions to France, Russia, Italy, Roumania, and Serbia. Appointed a commission for England and a special department for Belgium under the commission to France. 2. It is helping to care for the wounded in the great Avar, for our own boys in the American Army and their allies. It is doing this by maintaining in whole or part five hospitals in France and four in England; by supplying to 3,500 military hospitals in France surgical dressings, drugs, apparatus, and other needful supplies, gathered from all over the United States. 3. It has enlisted, organized, and equipped 49 hospital units made up of the finest doctors and nurses in the country, competent to care for 25,000 patients at one time; 10,000 Red Cross nurses are enrolled for service as needed. It has turned over to the Army Medical Corps more than 12 hospital units, which are now serving in France. One of these hospitals was bombed by a German aviator not long ago at 11 o'clock at night. Within one minute after the final explosion the doctors and nurses were at work gathering up the wounded and the surgeons operated all night to save the soldier patients twice wounded. 4. It has established rest stations, infirmaries, and canteens along the line of communication of the American Army in France, to care for those who drop out on account of sickness. 5. It has distributed nearly half a million sweaters and other knitted garments for soldiers' use. It has sent thousands of Christmas gifts to the men in service abroad and to hundreds of thousands of those in training at home. 6. It has opened canteens at important French railway stations where 18,000 French soldiers, as they go home on leave from the trenches, can bathe, disinfect their clothing, buy a simple hot meal for a few cents, and sleep in comfort while they wait for trains. 7. It is helping in the tremendous task of restoring a million and a half French refugees to normal life. Four warehouses in the devastated zones are filled with food, clothing, furniture, tools, and household goods of many sorts which are distributed to needy families. Ruined villages are being rebuilt, farms are being tilled again, families are being reunited, because the Red Cross is there to help. 8. It has opened refuges and hospitals for French war orphans and other sick and neglected children in France and Belgium and has sent doctors to care for mothers and babies so as to save the next generation. 9. It is helping to care for half a million tuberculosis victims in France, maintaining its own sanitariums, looking out for children who have been exposed to infection, relieving the families of those who are ill. 10. It has gone speedily to the relief of Italy with three-quarters of a million dollars for relief and nearly 50 car loads of needful supplies. It has carried aid to Russia and Belgium and is helping to feed and clothe the miserable remnants of Serbia. It is sending more than a million dollars' worth of necessary supplies to Roumania where soldiers' wounds have been treated with sawdust for lack of just such help.

An Open Book.

"The Red Cross is being run as an open book. It has no secrets, it is making a sincere effort to serve mankind, and is doing it as carefully and economically as it knows how." The history of the Red Cross is a record of patient, thoughtful, efficient volunteer service, and should be a matter of pride to every American. Everybody should join! Only a "Heart and a Dollar" required. Now, if never before, all should join. Ten million new members? There should be one hundred and ten million new members. Never has the cause or need been greater. The world's cry is one of utter distress. All America should respond, every man, woman, and child should become a partner in this the greatest humanitarian organization of all time. There will come a day when our boys will be carried back by the hundreds to hospitals in France. We heard of the sufferings, the agonies, of those boys of England and of France for whom there were no anesthetics, no medicines to lull them in to unconsciousne ss while their flesh was being cut and their bones sawed in agony. Are the beseeching eyes of our boys to be turned America-ward in vain? No! One hundred and ten million "Noes," for we in America are partners of the Red Cross.

President Wilson heads it. Congress authorizes it. The War Department audits its accounts. Pershing in France approves it. It is working for our Army. It is working for our Navy. It is working for our Allies. It is working for us. Fall in.



This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.

The author died in {{{1}}}, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.