Clara Barton

Clara Barton

Clara Barton, born on December 25, 1821 in Massachusetts, was the founder of the American Red Cross. Before starting the American Red Cross, Clara worked with the International Red Cross in Europe. She created the American Red Cross in 1881. The Red Cross is an organization that cares for the sick and wounded in war, secures neutrality of nurses and hospitals, and helps relieve suffering caused by natural disasters.

She led it for the next 23 years.

During the civil war Clara used her medical skills to help the wounded. She identified over 22,000 missing men and answered over 63,000 letters. In the years to follow, the Red Cross created a tracing service which is one of the organization’s most valued activities today. Tracing services help families locate missing loved ones, exchange family messages, and make family welfare inquiries during and after disasters overseas. Barton also helped establish a national cemetery around the graves of Union men that died in the Andersonville Prison, in Georgia. She identified the graves of about 13,000 men and then helped raise the U.S flag over Andersonville.

Clara Barton was one of the leading women in medical history and the Red Cross continues to help millions to this day. The Red Cross hosts more than 200,000 blood drives each year. In 2012 during disaster relief, the Red Cross hosted 109,396 overnight stays, provided 9,940,325 meals and snacks, supplied 6,883,648 relief items, and coordinated 141,164 health and mental health contacts.

Clara Barton passed away on April 12, 1912, but her legacy continues.

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