Mission: The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. History of the Greater Long Beach Chapter: Founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, the American Red Cross first gained national attention with her efforts during the Civil War. For the first 20 years of its existence, Clara Barton and the American Red Cross were dedicated largely to disaster relief. Barton soon rallied with government and army leaders to bring volunteer relief services to battlegrounds and field hospitals, providing food, clothing, bedding, medical supplies and comfort to soldiers. While the national Red Cross grew out of the Civil War, the Long Beach Chapter was born during the first World War. In 1917, the brutality of the First World War was eased by the care and concern of Red Cross nurses and volunteers. No one seeking help was turned away. Their participation in providing aid continued through World War II.