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I Pledge Allegiance to Knowledge

Did you know that October is National Book Month? I didn’t, until yesterday, that is, when I was shopping online for a Star Wars cookbook for my son and stumbled upon a link to the National Book Foundation’s website.

I followed the link, and when I read the clever theme for National Book Month 2012 – “I Pledge Allegiance to Knowledge” – I started to consider how so much of what we’re about as an organization has to do with sharing and growing knowledge.

Are our communities ready and prepared for disasters? They will be, if the American Red Cross continues helping community members “Get a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed”.

Does everyone in our country have access to safe, life-saving blood and blood products? They will, if the American Red Cross continues educating eligible donors about why blood donation is so important.

In an emergency, are there always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives? There will be, if the American Red Cross continues providing CPR, First Aid, and disaster preparedness classes to members of the community and American Red Cross volunteers.

So in the name of growing your health, safety, and preparedness knowledge base, pledge to learn something new about your local or national American Red Cross, or even the international Red Cross. Here are a few great books to get you started! (Click on the pictures of the books to read more about them and/or download them – some are FREE or cost only a few cents to download on a Nook or Kindle.)


The story begins in 1859, when Henri Dunant – the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross – witnessed the devastation and lack of care for injured soldiers during the Battle of Solferino. Spurred by a desire to improve these horrific conditions, Henri Dunant began a crusade that eventually led to the foundation of our incredible international organization.


“Known during the Civil War as the “Angel of the Battlefield,” remarkable Clara Barton risked everything to save countless lives on the front lines of battle. Clara also fought for U.S. approval of the Geneva treaty for the care of war wounded, organized the American Red Cross, and tirelessly dedicated her life to its service. Her courage and compassion impacted thousands of people around the globe.”


“This is the story of how two unknown young men, who loathed each other, founded the Red Cross. Why did the crowned heads of sixteen states meet in Geneva in 1864, on the invitation of these virtual nobodies, to sign a world-changing convention? Drawing on confidential papers and private documents, and including a ‘day in the life’ piece on the Head of Operations, Near East, for the International Committee of the Red Cross, the author shares the full story of the Convention. She reveals the frustrations and complications that nearly destroyed it in the early years and the bitter antagonism between the brilliant administrator Moynier and the flamboyant Dunant.”


“Like many American women during World War II, Dorothy F. Trebilcox wanted to be a part of the war effort. She found her opportunity by serving the Red Cross in England. This book contains her numerous letters home, exactly as she wrote them, describing her life and adventures from 1944 to 1946. Leaving Sacramento by train, she describes the journey eastward, crossing the Atlantic under threat of U-boats, and daily life in the Red Cross in England during these tumultuous times.”


“The first moments after an injury occurs are the most critical. This authoritative guidebook, based on course materials used by Red Cross chapters across the United States, shows you how to handle every type of first aid emergency.”

You can find official American Red Cross course manuals in the American Red Cross online store.

Time for a trip to my local library!

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