As the river waters rise, people are forced to evacuate their homes, not having time to gather their possessions. When a helpless family's home is destroyed by a tornado, when a country is rocked by an earthquake, or when an entire city is overtaken by a hurricane, Red Cross volunteers are on the scene providing food and shelter until they are able to pick up the ruins and salvage what they can. The American Red Cross disaster service assists many families in times such as these. Whether it was nursing her older brother back to health, teaching underprivileged children, or comforting a dying soldier, Clara Barton, the founder of the Red Cross, was a true historical heroine.
Clarissa Harlowe Barton was brought into this world in Oxford, Massachusetts on December 25, 1821 (Sands 4).1 She was the daughter of Captain Stephen and Sally Stone Barton (Hamilton 17, 18).2 Clara was raised in a very charitable household. When she became older, her mother and father urged her to become absorbed in different types of community services such as helping youth with their schoolwork, and nurturing local neighbors with small pox ("The Biography of Clara Barton" 2pp).3 When Clara was eleven years old, her oldest sibling David, was assisting in constructing a hayloft when he slipped from the rafters seriously injuring himself ( "The Biography of Clara Barton" 2pp).4 For two years, Clara was dedicated to nurturing her brother back to health ("The Biography of Clara Barton" 2pp).5 Clara revealed in her journal that, "From the first days and nights in his injury, I remained near his side I learned to take all directions for his medications from his physician and to administer them like a genuine nurse" (Dubowski 23).6 His physician assigned "leeching", a procedure practiced for anything starting at the common cold to torn ligaments, for all of David's pain (Dubowski 23).7 Physicians near and far talked of David's injury, and finally the parasites were substituted by a method with the name of "steam cure" (Dubowski 23).