The Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to supporting individuals and families in Calgary during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently we are:
– Providing mental health support, information, referrals, and friendly calls to people in self-isolation
– Assisting travelers arriving in Calgary
– Distributing emergency supplies such as cots, blankets and hygiene kits
The Red Cross continues to adapt to emerging needs to assist the city’s most vulnerable as this international crisis evolve.
Precursors: 1885 – 1896
Canadians first put the symbol and humanitarian ideals of the Red Cross to work in 1885, during the North-West Rebellion in present-day Saskatchewan. Although the Red Cross was not an official organization in Canada at the time, many individuals were familiar with the Red Cross movement that had taken root in Europe during the 1860s and 1870s. The symbol of the Red Cross appeared on at least three homemade red flags which were flown to claim neutrality for the humanitarian work of battlefield medics.
Getting Started: 1896-1913
Founded in 1896, the Canadian Red Cross was not yet fully engaged as Red Cross societies generally only deployed during wartime and Canada was currently at peace. However, in 1899, the British Empire went to war in South Africa, known as the Boer War (1899-1902), sending several contingents of Canadian soldiers to fight overseas. This conflict became the first deployment for the Canadian Red Cross, fulfulling its mandate to help the sick and wounded during wartime.
The First World War: 1914-1918
The First World War marked a major turning point for the Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS), establishing it as Canada’s leading wartime humanitarian aid organization. From the moment the war broke out on July 28, 1914, Canadian’s became proud supporters of Red Cross work and saw the opening of Red Cross branches (with official charters) and branch auxiliaries (church groups, clubs, etc.) explode across the country. Financial donations poured in supporting Red Cross efforts locally and overseas.
The Interwar Years: 1919-1939
The Canadian Red Cross Society had grown rapidly and accomplished during the First World War, and with the support of a new league of Red Cross Societies, the CRCS sought and obtained a revised mandate from the Federal government that was more reflective of their new work. In 1919, the CRCS was empowered to “in time of peace or war to carry on and assist in work for the improvement of health, the prevention of disease and the mitigation of suffering throughout the world.” The Society’s new, broader mandate led it to become involved in a wide array of peacetime public health and welfare work during the 1920s and 1930s.
World War II: 1939-1945
The outbreak of World War II on Sept. 1, 1939, saw the CRCS return to it roots as a wartime humanitarian organization. Although the Society continued to engage in various public health activities at home, for the duration of the war the Society focused on providing aid to the sick, wounded, and captured soldiers.
The Postwar Era: 1946-1989
At the end of WWII, the Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS) moved smoothly back into fulltime public health work. Older initiatives including the outpost hospitals, First Aid and home nursing training, the Junior Red Cross, disaster relief, and services to veterans in hospitals, carried-on into the new post-war era. The CRCS corps assisted with local and provincial Red Cross work, and the late 1940s saw the Red Cross move into two new areas which would define their post-war work – Water Safety and peacetime Blood Transfusion Services.
A Time of Change: 1990-1999
The 1990s were a momentous decade for the Canadian Red Cross Society, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 1996 and unofficially rebranded itself as simply “Canadian Red Cross” (CRC). Many of the CRC’s core programs and relief efforts continued unabated during the 1990s and also saw new avenues of service opening up.
Into a New Millenium: 2000-2010
As the 21st century dawned, the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) continued its important work in the areas of disaster relief, First Aid and water safety, community health, and reuniting family members (now known as Restoring Family Links). Building on it strengths as it moved forward into the future, the CRC was particularly active in disaster relief during this decade.
The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.
The Canadian Red Cross is the leading humanitarian organization through which people voluntarily demonstrate their caring for others in need.
Our humanitarian values are the foundation for our actions and decisions. We are committed to:
The Canadian Red Cross Socitey is part of the largest humanitarian network in the world, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. This network includes the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation), and 189 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies dedicated to improving the situation of the most vulnerable throughout the world.
Emergency and Disaster Services
When an emergency or disaster strikes, the Canadian Red Cross may work in partnership with first responders, public officials, emergency managers, and alongside other voluntary sector organizations to provide vital services to the public. This assistance may come in the form of emergency food and clothing, emergency lodging, reception and information, personal services and family reunification services.
First Aid and CPR
Canadian Red Cross First Aid and CPR courses are delivered in easy-to-follow steps and include practical hands-on components and varied training materials. Those looking to become babysitters can gain vital life-saving knowledge and the skills these courses develop are also essential for workplace courses, first responders, instructors and training partners.
Health Equipment Loans
The Canadian Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) provides Canadians with short-term loans of health equipment on a donation basis. The Short Term Health Equipment Loan Program allows people to return home from hospital earlier and gives independence and dignity to those in palliative care.
Migrant and Refugee Services
The Canadian Red Cross helps migrant and refugee claimants who have been impacted by armed conflict and other emergency situations. Emergency relief is provided for up to 72 hours along with guidance on finding affordable housing, submitting refugee claims and finding employment, legal aid or social assistance. Training in First Aid and disaster preparedness is also available.
Swimming and Water Safety
The Canadian Red Cross offers comprehensive learn-to-swim programs for all ages, national lifeguard training to certify professional lifeguards and courses for training partners.
Violence, Bullying and Abuse Prevention
With an emphasis on prevention education, the Canadian Red Cross provides educational programs for children, youth and adults on preventing violence and abuse, including bullying prevention, promoting healthy youth relationships, and preventing child maltreatment.
Where It Is Needed Most
Your donation gives us the flexibility to rapidly respond in the most effective way to emergencies or emerging humanitarian needs at home and anywhere in the world.Your donation will:
Alberta Fires Appeal
A massive wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., has devastated communities in the area since it started spreading on May 1. The Canadian Red Cross is responding to meet the needs of individuals, families and entire communities who have been impacted by these fast-moving wildfires.Your donation will:
Syrian Refugee Arrival Appeal
Donate today to support humanitarian relief efforts to ease the suffering of people forced from their homes and homelands.Your support will help the Canadian Red Cross assist in the arrival of 25,000 Syrian refugees over the coming months.Our work will help to bridge the gaps in social services and support refugee families as they transition to life in Canada. These services may include psychosocial support, case management for Canadian Red Cross programming and Restoring Family Links services to help refugees connect with their loved ones.
Refugee Crisis Appeal
The recent shift in migration movement over the past few months is a global emergency. At the Red Cross, our expert network is delivering aid in both the conflict affected country and the countries receiving refugees.Your donation will:
Your gift helps us to establish primary health care programs, water and sanitation programs, and makes families more resilient against future disaster or conflict situations.Your donation will:
International Disaster Relief Fund
Your donation allows us to respond within hours of a disaster. This flexibility is essential for saving lives and minimizing the impact of disasters on vulnerable communities.Your donation will: