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World Red Cross Red Crescent Day In Action


American Red Cross honors founderís legacy by supporting Myanmar Red Cross
WASHINGTON, Thursday, May 2008 ó Today, as the American Red Cross joins other Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies around the world in responding to the cyclone in Myanmar, it also marks the birth of Henry Dunant, the founder of what is today known as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Moved by the atrocities he witnessed during the Battle of Solferino in 1859, Dunant began advocating for the humane treatment of the sick and wounded during wartime. After hearing of the International Red Cross Movement while visiting Europe, Clara Barton established the American Red Cross following the Civil War.

Today Dunantís vision of a worldwide humanitarian network is being put into action as the American Red Cross prepares to come to the aid of the Myanmar Red Cross. This week, following the devastating Cyclone Nargis, the American Red Cross committed $1.25 million in assistance and supplies to help survivors of the storm.

In partnership with 185 other national societies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and International Committee of the Red Cross, the American Red Cross helps to alleviate the suffering of victims of war, disaster and other international crises as well as improve chronic, life-threatening conditions in developing nations.

Between July 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007, the American Red Cross responded to 21 international crises; contributed more than $8.4 million in financial aid; deployed 13 disaster relief workers overseas; and provided more than 65,000 relief items.

During the same time period, American Red Cross chapters assisted 5,911 people separated by wars or international disasters in reconnecting with loved ones; educated 79,608 in International Humanitarian Law through presentations and workshops; and collected thousands from generous donors to reduce deaths caused by measles and malaria.

With the ongoing support of the International Response Fund and other programs from generous corporate donors Ė including The Kraft Foods Inc., GE Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, FedEx Corporation, HP, State Street, Exxon and Wal-Mart Ė the American Red Cross is able to quickly mobilize relief supplies and trained personnel in times of crisis.

In recognition of Dunantís humanitarian contributions and those of Red Cross and Red Crescent employees and volunteers who work at home and around the world, the American Red Cross encourages everyone to continue his legacy and help people in need, wherever they are.

You can observe World Red Cross Red Crescent Day and help make an impact at home and overseas by:

* volunteering your time with your local Red Cross chapter to restore family links;
* donating money or hosting a fundraiser for the International Disaster Relief Fund;
* giving blood regularly; and
* taking steps to prepare for future disasters and Be Red Cross Ready.

For more information about American Red Cross International Services and the Cyclone Nargis response, visit

You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Call 1-800-RED CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, such as the Myanmar Cyclone, please do so at the time of your donation.


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