Did You Know?

During World War II, the Moline and Rock Island units of the Red Cross were very active.  As always, the Red Cross relied heavily on the help of many volunteers.  Volunteers rolled bandages, knitted scarves and hats for servicemen, made ditty bags for the armed forces, and set up and staffed an emergency hospital for flu victims during the great epidemic of 1918.  Food for the patients was prepared by Red Cross workers, and the Moline canteen served 9,861 meals in a two-month period.
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American Red Cross of the Quad Cities Area
1100 River Drive
P.O. Box 888
Moline, Illinois
61266-0888

Phone: (309) 743-2166

E-mail the webmaster

Copyright 2003 American Red Cross

 

HISTORY

The American Red Cross actually has international roots, dating back to 19th century war-torn Europe. It was in 1859 on a battlefield in Italy where Swiss businessman Henri Dunant witnessed a disturbing lack of help for the wounded.  Dunant's vision and resulting book inspired the birth in 1863 of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Meanwhile a half world away, the Civil War was raging in the United States. Former schoolteacher Clara Barton volunteered to help care for wounded men on the battlefields. Following the war, while traveling in Europe, Barton was introduced to the Red Cross movement. Returning home, she helped persuade the U.S. government to sign the Geneva Convention, international treaties designed to protect war victims. On May 21, 1881, Barton founded the American Red Cross.

Although formal chapters weren't to appear in the Midwest until well after the turn of the century, the Red Cross had a presence in the Quad Cities as early as the late 1800's and 1900's. B.F. Tillinghast, managing editor of the Davenport Democrat, and the American Red Cross Secretary of Iowa, directed disaster relief efforts from the newspaper's offices.

Quad Citians responded with assistance for such disasters as the Johnstown Flood of 1889, the Russian and Chinese famines, two major Midwestern floods and the Polish War Relief in 1916. Tillinghast's distinguished service was rewarded when he was appointed an American delegate to the 1902 International Red Cross conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. There he met Clara Barton, and accompanied her on her return trip to the U.S.  By 1917, three local Red Cross chapters had been established: in Moline, Rock Island, and Davenport. In 1964, the Moline and Rock Island chapters merged to become the Black Hawk chapter. In 1971, the Black Hawk and Scott County chapters were merged to form the Illowa chapter, changing to the Quad Cities chapter in 1980. In 1997 services were extended to Mercer and Henry counties. To reflect this expansion of services, the name was changed to American Red Cross of the Quad Cities Area in 1998.

The chapter continues today to serve the visions of Henri Dunant, Clara Barton, and B.F. Tillinghast.

Congressional Charter Mandates Emergency Services
In 1900, the Unites States Congress granted the American Red Cross a charter, making the volunteer organization responsible for providing services to the U.S. Armed Forces and relief to disaster victims at home and abroad.
 In 1905, Congress approved a revised charter to enhance effectiveness as a national society responsible for disaster relief and service to members of the military and their families. All American Red Cross chapters are charged to fulfill these services.

Many volunteers made items and worked to help the Red Cross.  These individuals often formed groups and met in a variety of places.  One very active branch was the Junior Red Cross.  Every student in Moline was a member of the Junior Red Cross.  they helped in a variety of ways.  They raised money through dues, selling war stamps, and high school students put on plays.  Students also helped by making bandages and putting together comfort kits.

 

 

 

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