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7 billion people have a Red Cross or Red Crescent story

By ICRC
May 8, 2014

GENEVA – Everyday most of the seven billion people in the world are touched by the Red Cross and Red Crescent without even realizing it. Almost everyone – or someone they know – has donated blood or received a first aid tip or been visited by a volunteer, perhaps not knowing it was their local Red Cross or Red Crescent in action. Annually, May 8 is World Red Cross Red Crescent Day. Today we celebrate the power of community and people helping people, both in the spotlight during crises and behind-the-scenes in day-to-day life.

More than 17 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and 80 million members interact with friends, families and neighbours the world-over. Their service has a positive impact on the lives of every member of their community. They serve in places like hospitals, schools, community centres and gatherings, sometimes directly in peoples’ homes – all the while providing life-changing and at times life-saving services.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – comprised of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and 189 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – celebrates more than 150 years of humanitarian action worldwide. Across the globe, the Red Cross and Red Crescent helps support people every day of every year – in community programmes, responding to crises and inspiring hope.

“People instinctively want to contribute and give. This has been part of human nature throughout history,” said Bekele Geleta, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “There is a humanitarian in each of us, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent creates a space where people mobilize together to amplify the impact of their good work.”

"The size, outreach and grassroots work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteer network across the world are simply unique," said Yves Daccord, Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross. "Wherever I go, people have stories to share with me about people they know in our Movement."

Almost everyone has a Red Cross or Red Crescent story. On World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, we invite everyone to share their story with family and friends and at ifrc.tumblr.com.