Origin of Red Cross Volunteering
"Would it not be possible, in time of peace and quiet, to form relief societies for the purpose of having care given to the wounded in wartime by zealous, devoted, and thoroughly qualified volunteers?"
The Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement grew, spreading from country to country as local people came together, founded a society, elected a volunteer governance board and started to recruit volunteers. Today, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is a world-wide organization, with close to 100 million volunteers. The Movement is active in times of war and peace, working for the benefit of mankind under the Seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity, and Universalism.
In Canada, Dr. George Sterling Ryerson founded the national Red Cross Society. A regimental surgeon of the 10th Royal Grenadiers of Toronto in the North West Campaign of 1885, he wanted to distinguish his medical supply wagon from other wagons of the Militia. He fabricated a flag with a Red Cross emblem and flew it on his wagon in the battles of Fish Creek and Batoche. In 1909, the Canadian Government passed the Canadian Red Cross Society Act which established it as the corporate body responsible for providing volunteer aid in Canada.
Since that time, thousands of Canadians Red Cross volunteers have served communities, across the world and across the street. Today, the volunteer network is as active as ever before delivering a range of services to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and contributing to a strong civil society in Canada.
Contact your local Red Cross office for information on volunteering with the Red Cross.
You Make the Difference – Support Our Volunteers
The Canadian Red Cross is ready to respond anytime, anywhere, thanks to our vast network of over 30,000 dedicated volunteers. Help our volunteers continue their vital work, please donate to the Canadian Red Cross Fund today.