This paper seeks to establish information regarding Michigan Branches of the Red Cross that includes the Big Rapids regions. In understanding the subject further, the paper will explore the objectives of the organization, its funding, and the composition of the organization, its location, and the organization’s costs. The paper will also inform the residents of Michigan and other people outside Michigan area the contacts of the organization plus any other additional information. American Red Cross- Michigan has been in place for the last 102 years serving people of the entire southern region. In 1863, five Swiss citizens formed the International Committee of the Red Cross. Later on, Henri Dunant, one of the founders wrote a book – Un Souvenir de Solferino that caused a Red Cross Movement.

The earlier organization ICRC was later to be instrumental in the Geneva conventions that were to be adopted by 181 nations. The organization drew humanitarian guidelines during the war and armed conflict guarding the rights of people held or directly impacted by the war. In 1881, May 21 Clara Barton who was among the five Swiss citizens helped found American Red Cross together with her supporters. During the summer of that year, there were forest fires in Michigan forests, and the American Red Cross came to the rescue of people in Michigan. The Michigan forest fires had left thousands of Michigan residents homeless and 1905 saw the opening of the first office in the area. The first location for the American Red Cross-Michigan branch was in Detroit in a home on Jefferson Avenue. Currently, the Southeastern Michigan branch helps almost 250,000 lives yearly through the provision of disaster relief in times of crisis. In addition, the chapter helps people to prevent, prepare and respond for emergencies in Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties (Batten 29).

The American Red Cross Southeastern Michigan Chapter acknowledges that multiplicity is the key to their success and for this reason; the organization permits connection with the community. Connecting with the community helps the organization to engage and serve them better hence successfully fulfilling the mission of the organization- to save lives. The American Red Cross-Michigan comprises of a team of volunteers, donors, and employees who all work towards attaining the vision of the organization. For effective delivery of the organization’s goals, the organization keeps on empowering their volunteers and staff with tools and knowledge necessary for their work. To empower the staff and volunteers more, the organization holds events that people take part and more so the events endow the participants with easily pertinent techniques to overcome common barriers like cultural customs, language, and common misconceptions. For instance during 2008 the organization organized events which addressed subjects such as gender at workplace, overcoming language barriers etc. through such events organization American Red Cross- Michigan has managed to work in partnership with several organizations including Accent Reduction Institute, Wayne State University, Metro Detroit Youth, La Sed, and many others (Barton 67).

Currently, the location of American Red Cross is 100 Mack Avenue, at Woodward Detroit.  The Southeastern Michigan Region Mission is a humanitarian organization headed by volunteers and steered by its congressional charter. In addition, the organization follows the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement that was its initial organization. The major aim of the group is to offer relief to victims of disaster. More so the organization helps people to prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies and in this case, emergencies include fire, floods, accidents, and other natural disasters. The fundamental principles that guide the American Red Cross- Michigan are seven in number and include Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. Neutrality for the organizations means it does not take sides in hostilities or connect at any time in debates of politics, racial, ideological, or religious nature. American Red Cross- Michigan is impartial, as it does not discriminate victims with regard to nationality, political opinions, race, class, and religious beliefs. The Red Cross Movement is an independent one and irrespective of their location, the organization must always maintain their independence. Major of all the principles is the aspect of voluntary service, as their relief works are not prompted in any manner by desire for gain (Sodders and Don 56).

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The American Red Cross in Michigan is a voluntary organization, hence, functions under the support of the public. The Main sources of funding for the organization is from the community and is through cash gifts/memorial gifts, matching gifts, planned offerings, stock gifts, and third party fundraisers. Third party fundraisers means a group or other organization supporting Red Cross humanitarian services through financial support, teaching life- saving skills, providing emergency relief following home fires, and conveying emergency preparedness programs to the communities in Michigan. It is easy, for any person around Michigan or even outside to work with The American Red Cross- Michigan organization and these are through the various voluntary programs that are within the organization (Nurse assistant training 12).

Voluntary aspect is the key basis of any Red Cross branch and Michigan calls for more and more volunteers on a daily basis. The categories of the voluntary services that one can offer include emergency services, which call for disaster relief and speakers bureau volunteers. There is also the section of service to the armed forces, community outreach, which comprises of community event coordinators and instructors or trainers. One can also support the American Red Cross- Michigan branch through blood services, and it includes blood collection volunteer and transportation volunteers. The organization also offers leadership opportunities under different categories for instance planning volunteer, interviewing, training new volunteers and staff, orienting new people on the programs, and coordinating blood drives. The positions for leadership opportunities are available at the headquarter offices of Michigan Red Cross branch (Shockley 43).

Lastly, Red Cross-Michigan offers varied services, which include emergency services in cases of crisis by providing a network of emergency response services. From records, this organization responds to averagely five homes in response to fire disasters and other calamities. The emergency reliefs offered by the organization include emergency clothing, food, personal care items, and temporary shelter, referrals to our resources for long-term needs, and it makes possible inquiries from concerned family members outside the disaster region. Apart from the emergency services, Red Cross-Michigan also offers military services, which were the initial reason for its foundation (Barton 72).

Health care and safety are part of the organization’s responsibility with Red Cross-Michigan offering health care training, first aid, aquatics, and baby sitter training. All these health care services gear towards helping the Michigan community in being prepared for any disasters whether manmade or natural calamities. Most of information about the red cross- Michigan is accessible through the internet and any person interested in any of their services or voluntary work can get in touch with them through any means- telephone, internet, physical address etc. since its initiation the American Red Cross- Michigan has been a necessary organization for the Michigan community and other neighboring areas. This is evident from its expansion in services and areas they cover in terms of offering services. The number of volunteers, donors, and employees keep increasing on a daily basis which shows that it is a worthwhile organization.

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