Clara Barton – American Red Cross Founder Always Put Others First

Clara Barton

You may have heard of the Red Cross.  They are an organization that helps people who are in need.  It may be because of a Hurricane, a flood, a war or an earthquake.  No matter how bad the situation, they will always be there to help!

But it hasn’t always been this way.  For example, in the United States, if not for the passion of a young woman named Clara Barton, the American Red Cross may have never been formed!

When Clara was young, she was very shy. One day when she was 11 years old, her older brother, David, was badly injured. He was ill for two years. Clara cared for him the whole time. Through this experience she learned something very valuable about herself. She found out that she came alive when she cared for others.

Soon, Clara, began taking care of injured animals. Neighbors began bringing their pets to her. And, almost always, she made them better.

When she was older, she became a nurse in the American Civil War and she helped save hundreds of soldiers.

After the Civil War, Clara traveled to Europe to rest. But that did not last long. Soon she was caring for soldiers in battle once again! But this time, she learned about an organization called the Red Cross who worked alongside her on the battlefield. Their mission was to help those who need it most.

She decided that the Red Cross was needed badly in America. Over severals years, she asked 4 different Presidents to bring the Red Cross to America. They all said no. But then, thanks to her persistence, one of the Presidents changed his mind! And the American Red Cross was born.

To learn about the selfless work that Red Cross does to help others today in America, check out this inspiring video:

Here is a mini biography that tells the inspiring story of Clara Barton:

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • How would you describe Clara?  What kind of person was she?
  • Do you know anyone like Clara?
  • Helping others made Clara come alive?  How does it make you feel?  What makes you come alive?

Take Action:

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.

Author’s Note:  I would like to thank and acknowledge my 9 year old daughter Anna for her major contributions to this article!   This article was written entirely thanks to her inspiration and with much guidance from her!  Thank you, Anna!

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