Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Celebrating Women’s History Month: The Red Cross for the Every Woman

by Lilly Watson, Communications Manager, American Red Cross

During WWI & II, the Red Cross featured
women in their iconic advertising posters.
During Women’s History Month, it is typical to think about famous women who will go down in history, and we certainly have no shortage of them here at the Red Cross. Our founder, Clara Barton, was a feminist far ahead of her time. Jane Delano was the founder of the American Red Cross Nursing Service and pioneered the modern nursing profession. Here in Texas, activist and First Lady of the United States, Lady Bird Johnson, chaired the Senate Wives Red Cross Unit and wrapped bandages and sewed items for hospitalized veterans. She earned the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the American Red Cross Central Texas Chapter in 2007. 

Women have served for the
Red Cross long before society
deemed it appropriate. 
The true testament to the Red Cross’ place in women’s history, though, is how it allows every woman to find a place to serve and find personal purpose and fulfillment, and has done so long before society deemed it appropriate. Before women had the right to vote, Clara Barton brought them on the battlefield during the Civil War. 

When American men went off to fight in World War I and II, the American Red Cross recognized the women behind the effort by making them the forefront of its advertising campaigns. These iconic posters are still used today to show the Red Cross’ history of inclusion and support to those in crisis. Without them, we might easily forget the great contributions of women to the war effort during a time that they were not able to deploy to battle themselves. 
Women serving food and drinks
to the troops from the Red Cross
Clubmobile during WWII.

During World War II, women served through the Red Cross at home and abroad through the Red Cross Club, working in hospitals and traveling in trucks to serve cookies and donuts to those fighting in battle. 

Today, the Red Cross continues to be a place where people of all backgrounds can come together to serve those facing disaster, in our country and abroad. We’re proud to commemorate the women who have proudly served others through the American Red Cross for more than a century during Women’s History Month!

To start your story as a Red Cross volunteer, visit redcross.org.

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