Committed to fulfilling the American Red Cross mission, "to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies," the Rhode Island Chapter serves over 1 million people in Rhode Island and several surrounding Massachusetts communities with a paid staff of just 13 people. To accomplish our mission, we rely on a team of over 1200 trained, committed volunteers from across the state and are constantly recruiting new Rhode Islanders to join our effort.


Each year in Rhode Island, the American Red Cross responds to residential fires, providing shelter, clothing and a warm meal to Rhode Islanders who are displaced. We operate shelters during weather emergencies and train volunteers to respond in the event of a large-scale disaster, including a terrorist attack. We also provide free mental health services for those suffering a disaster.


The core of Red Cross disaster relief is the assistance given to individuals and families affected by disaster to enable them to resume their normal daily activities independently. The Red Cross also feeds emergency workers, handles inquiries from concerned family members outside the disaster area, and helps those affected by disaster to access other available resources.


The Red Cross also performs Armed Forces Emergency Services (AFES), serving as the communication link between Rhode Island families and their loved ones serving overseas. Through a special arrangement, the Red Cross is the only agency authorized to make travel arrangements for a member of the armed forces to return home in an emergency like a death, birth or other special circumstances.


CLICK HERE for more information on Armed Forces Emergency Services.



We are also committed to helping Rhode Islanders save lives. We train over 15,000 Rhode Islanders a year in vital health and safety courses like CPR, First Aid, Automated External Defibrillation and Babysitting. Our aquatics program provides swimming instruction for hundreds of children each summer and we train more lifeguards than any other agency in the state.


Although the American Red Cross is not a government agency, its authority to provide disaster relief was formalized when, in 1905, the Red Cross was chartered by Congress to "carry on a system of national and international relief in time of peace and apply the same in mitigating the sufferings caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods, and other great national calamities, and to devise and carry on measures for preventing the same."


The Charter is not only a grant of power, but also an imposition of duties and obligations to the nation, to disaster victims, and to the people who generously support its work with their donations.


©Copyright 2006 American National Red Cross RI Chapter. All Rights Reserved.

American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter · 105 Gano Street :: PO Box 2496 · Providence, RI 02906

(401) 831-7700 · TOLL FREE 1-800-842-1122