World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day is an international day of recognition by humanitarian organizations of their dedicated volunteers who take time out of their everyday lives to provide comfort and relief services to those who are stricken by disasters around the world.

At the Red Cross, volunteers carry out 90% of the humanitarian work we are known for. What started with Clara Barton for the war effort in 1881 has been molded by years and years of relief efforts. From war related efforts, crowd support, flooding, home fire response, and other natural disasters, the Red Cross continues to carry on its efforts by the same fundamental principles:

  • Humanity: to prevent and alleviate human suffering;
  • Impartiality: to relieve the suffering of individuals without discriminating as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions;
  • Neutrality: to enjoy the confidence of all by not taking sides in hostilities or engage in controversies of a political racial religions or ideological nature;
  • Independence: to maintain autonomy from the government;
  • Voluntary Service: to provide relief without being prompted in any manner by desire for gain;
  • Unity: to maintain only one Red Cross in any one country;
  • Universality: to ensure that the movement is worldwide and that all societies have equal status and responsibilities


Humanitarian Day

Locally, our volunteers continue to go above and beyond what is asked of them. From storm damage related calls to more than 1,200 home fire responses, the Western Region of North Carolina is booming with volunteers who are eager and willing to help others. Most recently our disaster action teams assisted families that were displaced in an apartment fire in east Charlotte. Families that were affected were offered resources at a shelter for two weeks. Our dedicated volunteers kept the show running and offered Humanitarian Day 3everything from comfort, food and translation services to the families.

On World Humanitarian Day, we would like to recognize not just one volunteer but all our volunteers across the region. The credit for what we do each and every day goes to those who help coordinate actions behind the scenes, to those who help with office tasks, who meet and greet blood donors, who assist with telling our Red Cross stories, to those who deploy and are on the front lines, to those delivering lifesaving blood products, and to all others who give of their time and treasures in whatever way they can. A big thank you to all of you who have just begun your Red Crosser journey and to those of you who are continuing the journey. Without you, there would be no Red Cross.

The Red Cross is always in need of volunteers who are the heart and soul of the Red Cross mission. Whether you have 2 hours a day or 2 hours a month, there’s a place for you at the Red Cross. To learn more about opportunities in your area, visit


Authored by McKenna Estes, intern with the Western North Carolina Region communications department.


Red Cross helping Burke County residents after severe weather

American Red Cross volunteers are canvassing neighborhoods in Burke County after severe weather last night rolled mobile homes and caused major damage.

 Early assessment numbers show 56 homes were affected by the weather, nine of those completely destroyed and five with major damage. Those numbers are subject to change as volunteers continue to move through the county.

 “The people who have been affected didn’t have much before the storms,” said Suzan Anderson, community chapter executive in Burke County. “These people truly need the help of our community and the Red Cross.”

Twenty-four residents – including a 1-month-old – sought refuge in the Red Cross shelter at First Baptist Church on U.S. Highway 70 in Icard, where volunteers provided a warm, safe place to stay, food and other emergency needs. The shelter will remain open as long as there is a need.

Numbers at a glance: 

The Red Cross has:  

  • Provided shelter for 24 residents
  • Served 200 meals to first responders and shelter residents
  • Served 90 snacks to first responders and shelter residents
  • 20 volunteers and staff working to support affected residents

 Those who want to help people affected by storms and other disasters can make a contribution to Red Cross Disaster Relief:

  • Visit
  • Call 1-800-REDCROSS
  • Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation