The American Red Cross provides national and international emergency services to victims of disasters. According to the American National Red Cross (2011) Website, the charity responds to more than 70,000 disasters per year, the majority of which tend ot be house or apartment fires, in addition to larger-scale disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, vehicle accidents, explosions, and others. Wherever a disaster strikes that could impact the quality of human life, the Red Cross is immediately on the scene with assistance such as medical help, along with services such as emergency food and water supplies.
The charity's authority to provide disaster relief was formalized in 1905, when Congress chartered the Red Cross to provide national and international relief systems in times of peace. The focus of the disaster relief effort is to me the immediately emergency needs of people victimized by disaster. These include shelter, food, health, and mental health services for meeting basic needs. When these basic needs have been met, the Red Cross also provides assistance to individuals and families to resume their normal daily lives.
Other disaster-related activities include sustenance for emergency workers, inquiry assistance for concerned family members and friends outside the emergency areas, and providing blood and blood products for disaster victims.
Internationally, the American Red Cross International Services are involved in assistance to vulnerable people and communities when they need to prepare for, respond to, or recover from natural disasters, humanitarian crises, and health emergencies. To enable this service, the American Red Cross works with a worldwide network of partnerships to reach those in need. Across the world, 186 Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies are assisted by more than 97 million volunteers. These entities are unified by the seven fundamental principles of their work: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.
The service is therefore impartially available to all victims of disaster and devastation events across the world. The most recent example of this is the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, where the Red Cross is actively involved in providing essential services as well as a valuable connection between disaster victims and their loved ones across the world. The American Red Cross is also involved in Disease Prevention, such as the Measles Initiative, malaria prevention and HIV / AIDS programs.
In order to accomplish its goals, the American Red Cross works with its partner around the globe, as well as with collaborative corporate partners in the form of both public and private organizations.
Working with our partners around the globe, the American Red Cross helps to build the local capacities of our sister Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, collaborates with those to train and organize volunteers and educate communities, and establishes partnerships with other public and private organizations to strengthen and complement our core international services and initiatives.
Being a charity, the American Red Cross is entirely funded by members of the public as well as collective corporations. Funding occurs in the form of monetary donations, as well as blood donations, and volunteer services.
According to the American National Red Cross (2011), the social media play a very important part in helping the charity accomplish its tasks. The Red Cross has several online platforms by means of which it connects with its public, while also allowing members of the public to connect with each other. This is particularly effective in creating a sense of community by means of providing help and encouraging extraordinary action in difficult times.
As an organization, the American Red Cross functions under the management of a Board of Governors. The powers of governing and directing lies with the Board, by mandate of a series of documents that contain the organization's corporate governance principles. These are regularly reviewed for their ability to meet the needs of the organization and adhere to best practice in the industry.
Specifically, the Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer are in the leadership positions of the Board of Governors. The Chairman conducts governance and oversight of the organization, while the CEO ensures that strategies, operations, and business activities are carried out effectively.
II. Alternative Program Characteristics
The American Red Cross can be seen from the perspective of socioeconomic asset development. This means that social welfare is harmonized with economic development efforts. For the Red Cross particularly, these aspects function in an integrated way by subsisting on volunteer donations in terms of goods such as time and blood, as well as financial donations. In addition, the Red Cross functions on the basis of the assumption that society is complex network of not only needs arising from particular disasters, but also from the effects of unforeseen elements such as political upheaval and epidemic outbreaks.
As such, the Red Cross is a Universal entity, which is unequivocally open for use or contribution to all members of society in a particular country and indeed the world. This can be seen in recent natural disaster cases such as Japan and the less recent Haiti earthquake. Thousands were devastated, but the Red Cross was immediately on the scene to provide assistance to all who were affected. The Universality of the organization can then be said to function on the basis of two perspectives: that of the victim and that of the contributor. All who are victims of disasters can claim assistance from the Red Cross, while all with the assets to contribute are allowed to donate. Employment opportunities are also open to all who are interested in applying, without regard for differentiating factors such as race, creed, gender or any other traits.
The most important benefit of the Red Cross is the service it provides in terms of disaster relief, as well as the funding required to help victims rebuild their lives. Being governed by a board of directors, and operating in large part by means of volunteers and donations, the Red Cross can be said to operate within the private Nonprofit sector. The American Red Cross operates on both the national and international level. Hence, it is governed on a much wider basis than many other American charities.
The charity also functions on both a lay and professional basis, with professional employees assisted by a team of volunteers. Assistance during times of disaster occurs on many different levels, necessitating not only professional services such as medical assistance, but also lay services such as verbal comfort and physical proximity, as well as communication services among victims and their families around the world.
III. Evaluating the Program
Because of the scope of its operations and the time span of its existence, the Red Cross is set up in such a way to be highly effective to meet the needs of those it serves. It provides both a horizontal and vertical scope of service that provides to meet the needs of all affective during times of disaster.
As mentioned above, the Red Cross is equitably financed in terms of applying funding equally according to the needs of individual and group recipients. The only differentiating factor is therefore need. Priority is therefore given to areas where the immediate need is greatest. At the same time, regular aid programs remain funded according to their original plans. Costs and benefits are therefore also efficiently applied. Costs are incurred by means of training and employment, as well as the assistance the charity provides to disaster areas and other, more regular programs. These costs are covered by volunteer donations in terms of funding and goods such as blood. Because of its state mandated existence and its presence across the globe, these costs are effectively applied to all Red Cross initiatives.
As mentioned above, the Red Cross includes chapters across the globe. These partnerships are long established and enables the charity to provide…