American Red Cross of WNY Marks 140th Anniversary

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From the American Red Cross of Western New York:

DANSVILLE, N.Y.  — On Friday, the American Red Cross of Western New York marked 140 years of providing help and hope to those in need with a proclamation presentation in front of Clara Barton Chapter #1 in Dansville to honor the occasion.

The Dansville chapter holds a special significance in the history of the American Red Cross as it is the first chapter founded in the United States in 1881. Within one month of its creation, Clara Barton and the 50 volunteers who made up what is now known as the Clara Barton Chapter #1 set to work providing assistance to thousands displaced by disastrous floods in Michigan.

“While much has changed since those early days in Dansville, our mission to alleviate human suffering has not,” said Alan H. Turner II, Regional CEO, American Red Cross of Western New York. “Today, volunteers within our 27-county footprint continue to provide help and hope during life’s emergencies. Even in the face of a global pandemic, 140 years on this commitment remains at the heart of what we do and the people we are proud to serve.”

Throughout its history and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 2,000 Red Cross volunteers within the Western New York region have continued to step up and adapt in the face of change – laying the groundwork for future generations.

Today, the Red Cross supplies 40 percent of the nation’s blood for patients with life-threatening conditions. And in the wake of a global pandemic, our work has not stopped. Upon the emergence of COVID-19 last year, the Red Cross supported a new program to provide convalescent plasma to treat the most seriously ill COVID-19 patients, as well as programming to test for COVID-19 antibodies so blood donors could learn if they may have been exposed.

From sewing to distributing face masks for military and medical frontline workers, to supporting those in need during a billion-dollar disaster season across the country, volunteers continue to step up, meeting the demand for Red Cross services as more and more families deal with the impacts of storms, home fires and floods.

The Red Cross can’t stop emergencies from happening, but we can help to ensure that families never have to face them alone. As we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, join us in marking this historic milestone by honoring the legacy of Clara Barton and what she envisioned more than one century ago:

  • DONATE: Donate to support our lifesaving mission at A gift of any size makes a difference
  • VOLUNTEER: Visit to review our most-needed positions, including virtual opportunities.
  • GIVE BLOOD: If you’re healthy and feeling well, please make an appointment at to give blood or platelets. Your donation can make a lifesaving difference for a patient in need.
  • TAKE A CLASS: Sign up to take a CPR and first aid class, so you can be prepared for an emergency, at Provisional certification courses let you go through the online content now and then complete an in-person skills test within one year.

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