The agency under consideration is American Red Cross. It is a charitable organization, which is mainly managed by volunteers. It offers humanitarian services in the form of disaster relief and other services to community members the United States of America. Madam Clara Barton and a few of her acquaintances founded the association in 1881 in Washington DC. The idea of the American Red Cross was gotten from the International Red cross, which was led by the Swiss. One of the purposes of the American Red Cross is provision of services; it acts as an intermediate of communication between members of the armed forces in America and their families. National and international disaster mitigation and relief are also a significant focus of the American Red Cross. The organization grew quite rapidly with the outbreak of the First World War increasing the number its local chapters (American Red Cross, 2011 a).
The American Red Cross is a non-government organisation that is not profit oriented. It does undertake commercial activities such as safety and health training as well as other related products and sale of blood products. These commercial activities and the generous donations from volunteers enable the American Red Cross to conduct its varied services to the American public in distress. Resources from volunteers in terms of time, work force, and financial assistance are the core support for the Red Cross. Corporation and other foundations interested in disaster relief also provide useful services and support for the Red Cross.
The volunteers that work with the American Red Cross enable the organisation provide help to communities and individuals in events of natural and manmade disasters (American Red Cross, 2011 b). The volunteers help individuals in preparation, response, and recovery from disasters affecting them. It also provides life saving skills, such as administration of first aid, which are vital for all communities. It also has a large fleet of well equipped ambulances, which enables it provide transportation services for people who are critically ill, accident victims, or the elderly (American Red Cross, 2011 c). Different chapters of the American Red Cross provide support for members of the Armed forces in America and their families.
The Red Cross also offers blood services such as nucleic acid testing, leukoreduction, blood, donation, tissue services, plasma service, and research in blood related issues at the Jerome Holland blood laboratory. Health services delivered by the Red Cross include water safety, lifeguarding, baby-sitting, home safety training, and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The Red Cross offers disaster services through disaster action teams that are staffed by volunteers. In response to disasters, the Red Cross provides mental health and other health services to the victims as well as food and shelter. Communication and correspondence between the family members outside the disaster area is coordinated to provide them with information on the state of the victims by the Red Cross. The Red Cross offers international services by keeping a national responders database through the disaster services human resources (American Red Cross, 2011 d). It also works hand in hand with the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) in providing relief to disaster victims.