On June 14, 1917, what was then called the “Clark County Red Cross” was granted its charter to become a chapter of the American Red Cross.
Today, we turn 95 years old. Whew! 95 years. That’s a long time. Our volunteers have been delivering care and comfort to people living in and visiting Southern Nevada for the lion’s share of a century. Started by a small group of nurses and their families during the first World War, our chapter has grown through the hard work of so many that have come before us, as well as those who continue to give their time and their talent to the American Red Cross today.
Our Red Cross chapter began prior to many events for which Southern Nevada is known. Not the least of which was the construction of the Hoover (then called ‘Boulder”) Dam. When the dam was being built, people flocked from all over the country to find work. Many of those folks spent their last dime getting here in hopes that they’d be hired and would be able to provide for their families.
Many of those families got here after the Hoover Dam team was assembled. Penniless, they arrived to find that they had to regroup and form another plan. The Red Cross stepped in and provided shelter, food and clothing for those folks so they could get on their feet and get on their way.
Later, during World War II, the local Red Cross chapter did the same for families that came to Southern Nevada supporting the war effort. Our chapter members helped those people find missing servicemen.
Today, the Red Cross of Southern Nevada continues to grow and expand the ways in which we support our community. Our Service to Armed Forces branch continues to help service men and women with pre and post deployment, supporting our local VA clinics, and will ramp up volunteer rosters to supply the new VA hospital with hundreds of volunteers this summer. And every 11 hours, our volunteers help a military family in crisis by providing communication and comfort. We’ve also begun holding our “Reconnection Workshops Presented by Walmart” that help returning veterans to reintegrate into family life after deployment.
Our Preparedness Health and Safety branch continues to train Southern Nevada residents in life saving skills. Last year, over 24,000 people in Southern Nevada learned Red Cross curriculums. From CPR/AED training, Life-guarding, First Aid to Babysitting, students continue to build their confidence on being able to assist in an emergency.
And our local volunteers respond to a home fire every 30 hours. Since January of this year, our volunteers have provided some combination of shelter, food and clothing to over 500 people in nearly 200 devastating fires. We continue to train our volunteers to respond to all manner of large scale disasters so that, if the time comes, they will be able to spring into action saving precious time and resources, and perhaps lives.
With our volunteer numbers climbing to near 750, we will continue to look for ways in which to harness this massive power to continue to deliver help and care in our neighbors’ times of need.
So much history rich in caring for our community. Over the course of this anniversary year, we hope to shine a light on our history in our community, and to illustrate how somewhere in Southern Nevada, someone’s life is touched by the American Red Cross every single day.
And to our volunteers, past and present, without your generous giving of your time and resources, calls would have gone unanswered. People would have been left on the street after losing everything they own in a fire. Some would not have known what to do when a loved one suffered a medical emergency. Folks wouldn’t have been able to reach their deployed military family member. Your generosity humbles us, and with a grateful citizenry, we salute and applaud your membership in this most noble group – Volunteers for 95 Years. You truly are the greatest volunteers on the planet.
So, who wants to help us celebrate 95 years of Red Cross in Southern Nevada? Share your ideas with us on how you and your groups and your companies can help us celebrate.
We can hear you singing “Happy Birthday” to us… And thank you.
To learn more about the topics above, or how to get involved in supporting your Southern Nevada Red Cross, go to our website at redcrosslasvegas.org