The American Red Cross, founded in 1882, grew rapidly during World War I. Red Cross volunteers supported American and Allied troops and provided limited services for prisoners of war and victims of the war. Support for the troops included a camp service, a canteen service, a home service, and a hospital service. The American Red Cross set up fifty-four hospitals overseas during the war which provided medical services for the wounded. Four hundred Red Cross workers lost their lives in World War I, of which 330 were women.
World War I increased the demand for the services offered by the Red Cross. The American Red Cross used posters, like the one pictured here, to solicit donations and volunteers to help with their humanitarian efforts. The propaganda campaigns appear to have been successful since the number of members increased from 16,708 in 1914 to 20,390,173 in 1918. The total amount of donations, including money and materials, for 1918 reached 400 million dollars.
How do citizens contribute to a war effort?
Check for Understanding
Identify the main idea of the poster and explain the purpose.