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Clara Barton

My Friend Debbie      Clara Barton, the founder of "The Red Cross," is a woman to be highly regarded. She was a remarkable woman who had the drive and ambition to meet the needs of others without hesitation. Born December 25, 1821 to well known and respected parents, she was one of five siblings that were taught school from home. She was a shy young girl, but one of great intelligence.

     At the age of seventeen, Clara became a teacher in Massachusetts and founded her own school six years later.

     Living in Washington D.C. in 1861 and working for the U.S. Patent Office was a turning point for Miss Barton's life. The Massachusetts Regiment arrived in Washington after the Baltimore Riots. They came tired, hungry and need of medical services. Miss Barton organized a relief program for these men, and this started her lifetime philanthropy.

     The time was the Civil War and Clara Barton knew there were many wounded from the First Bull Run; she immediately took control and asked for help in getting medical supplies to the men. Miss Barton took the initiative to advertise in Worcester, Mass for donations and began a distribution center, ready to help those in need. My Friend Debbie

     The following year, the U.S. Surgeon General, William A. Hammond gave her permission to travel with any army ambulances, "for the purpose of distributing comforts for the sick and wounded and nursing them." For the next three years, Clara Barton was in the Virginia Theater attending to the wounded and the needy.

     In 1881, The Red Cross was official, thanks to the dedication of Clara Barton. Miss Barton remained the president of The Red Cross until 1904. She instituted the disaster relief guidelines for helping those who were effected by floods, earthquakes etc, for the United States and throughout the world, so the Red Cross would be ready to help those in need.

     In 1904, Miss Barton resigned from the Red Cross, and lived in Glen Echo Maryland for the rest of her life. She never married, but her life was filled with the families she had helped.

     Clara Barton died April 12, 1912 from complications from a "cold." The mission of her life can be summed up in her own words, "You must never so much as think whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not; you must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it."

Copyright © 2008-2015 Nancy Panettiere

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