The Matthews Heritage Museum and the Western North Carolina Region of the
American Red Cross are joining together to put on an exhibit in celebration of the 100th
Anniversary of the American Red Cross in Mecklenburg County. The exhibit will open February
4 and run to June 24, 2017.
Currently we are looking for personal stories how the Red Cross might have been of help to you, your family or your community. We would like to incorporate
these personal stories into the exhibit, and possibly tape record the stories for a video celebrating 100 years of Red Cross work in the area.
Many Red Cross chapters were founded in the US in 1917 as part of the effort to serve soldiers in World War I. The US entered the war several years after the war in Europe started.
The number of local chapters jumped from 107 in 1914 to 3,864 in 1918! Woman gathered to roll
bandages often serving through their church, and locally the Red Cross served the soldiers at
Camp Greene. They were called upon to find housing for visiting girl friends, when hotels were
not available or too costly. They also provided several nurses for Camp Greene.
The Matthews Chapter was established in 1937. Canteen funds were given to help
veterans. During WWII our Mecklenburg Chapter was called upon to assist with Pearl Harbor
and by January 1942, $94,000 was raised. The Blood Donor Program began in 1947. Four
years later the American Red Cross provided Gamma Globulin to “Help Fight Polio”.
In 1954, disaster relief efforts for Hurricane Hazel helped 1500 families. Recently, the Charlotte Chapter
operated a 16-day shelter for Hurricane Katrina evacuees.
Has the Mecklenburg Chapter of the Red Cross ever helped you or family members as a
result of a fire? Maybe your mother or aunt made bandages, or served in a canteen during
WWII. Maybe a blood donation helped someone in the US Air crash in July of 1994.
If you have a story you would like to share, please call Barbara Taylor at the Matthews Heritage Museum in
Matthews at 704-708-4996 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.