American Red Cross Month


The American Red Cross responds to an estimated 70,000 disasters in the United States every year – both big and small.  The organization also provides 24-hour support to the military, veterans and their families in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around world. (1) They also collect and distribute nearly 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, as well as train millions of people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills. (1)

So, in recognition of Red Cross Month, let’s chat and chew about the history of Red Cross and CRBG’s efforts to help its cause.


Clara Barton and associates founded the American Red Cross on May 21, 1881.  After hearing about the Swiss-inspired global Red Cross network during a trip to Europe, Barton returned home with a new agenda.

Barton led the Red Cross for 23 years, during which the first domestic and overseas disaster relief efforts took place.  It also aided the United States military during the Spanish-American War.

The First World War

Before World War I, the Red Cross initiated its first aid, water safety and public health nursing programs. (2) Due to the war, the organization underwent a large growth.  From 1914 to 1918, the number of local chapters expanded from 107 to 3,864; membership grew from 17,000 to 20 million adult members and 11 million Junior Red Cross members. (2) Between money and materials, the Red Cross reached $400 million in donations, which supported American and Allied Forces, as well as civilian refugees.  During this time, the organization staffed hospitals and ambulance companies, as well as recruited 20,000 registered nurses to help serve the military. (2)

During the war’s aftermath, the Red Cross switched its focus to serving veterans, as well as enhanced programs in safety trainings, accident prevention, home care for the sick and nutrition education.

The Second World War

During World War II, the Red Cross was once again asked to provide services to the U.S. military, Allies and civilian war victims.

Per the military’s request, the national blood program was initiated, which collected 13.3 million pints of blood to be used by the armed forces.  To put that into perspective, one pint of blood can save up to three lives!

Present Day

Today, the Red Cross consists of everyday heroes who reach out to people in need.  While not limited to the following, their efforts include:

  • Helping disaster victims on the road to recovery
  • Giving blood to help hospital patients
  • Visiting injured service members who are hospitalized far from home
  • Taking lifesaving classes to assist someone experiencing a heart attack
  • Training to help save someone from drowning


Here at Compass Rose, we understand the importance of giving back and helping those in need.  Since 2011, CRBG has teamed up with the Red Cross to host blood drives.  Thanks to the generosity of our participants, we have successfully collected over 65 pints of blood—we have helped saved over 195 lives!

The American Red Cross’ volunteers demonstrate a great deal of selflessness at all levels.  We encourage you to help in any way you can too!  To learn more about how you can give the gift of life by donating blood, or to make a financial donation to the Red Cross, visit or call (800) 733-2767.

Stay up to date with CRBG’s outreach efforts, such as when our next blood drive will take place, by following us on Facebook!


  1. Red Cross Website 
  2. Red Cross / About Us page 

Operation Santa Paws


Operation Santa Paws Poster / Copyright © Mark Posch.

The holiday season is fast approaching, which means shopping lists are getting longer. If you’re like me, you always make room on your list for your pets—nothing beats a shiny new toy in their eyes—but for animals that call a shelter home, gifts are a rare treat.

In the spirit of giving, consider donating to a local animal shelter this holiday season. There are many ways to contribute, but one program I came across recently is Operation Santa Paws, which is part of the Haute Dog Organization. Since 2001, founder Justin Rudd has worked to provide shelters across the country with thousands of treats and supplies. In a 2012 interview with Long Beach newspaper, Gazettes, Rudd said, “It’s a bittersweet thing when you visit a shelter.” He continued, “You try to help a pet knowing some are on their last leg.”

In the United States, roughly 8-12 million companion animals wind up in shelters every year, where an estimated 5-9 million are euthanized. Animal shelters aren’t always equipped to keep up with the high demands placed on them because of issues like pet overpopulation. Shelters rely on donations to keep animals active—mentally and physically—especially younger ones that need constant attention.

Looking to donate? See this list of drop-off locations to find the one nearest you.

The WISH LIST includes item such as:

  • Durable puppy/dog toys
  • Dog treats
  • Dry puppy and canned kitten food
  • Water bowls
  • Flannel blankets for kittens
  • 6’ nylon dog leashes

Operation Santa Paws collects donations nationwide throughout December (1-19), so there’s plenty of time left to help! If you can’t adopt a shelter animal, you can still make them feel a little more at home this holiday season.