Aside from selling the best used stuff in town, Bookmans has a slew of core values we like to promote within our stores and communities. While being the best used bookstore is rad, we also want to partner with other progressive organizations who hold similar ideals. The American Red Cross is one such organization. Their founder, Clarissa (Clara) Harlowe Barton, is one of the most badass women we can think of.

Clara Barton

We will skip the full biography, but Barton did make a huge impact on the world with her humanitarian aid and deserves to be honored for a few noteworthy events. During the Civil War there weren’t many women with duties outside of the home, but this clearly didn’t satisfy Clara. She went to the battlefront to tend to wounded soldiers, fix food for them and help clean and run the makeshift hospitals. She was named the “Angel of the Battlefield” after a bullet ripped through her dress without killing her. Clara was granted special permission for her frontline duties and when the war ended she wanted to continue to help the soldiers and their families. For years she ran the Office of Missing Soldiers, whose purpose was to help find and identify soldiers killed or missing in action. As her desire to help moved her across the country. Barton befriended notable activists including Susan B. Anthony leading the charge with the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Barton also met Frederick Douglas during his fight for Civil Rights.

It was a trip overseas that introduced her to Dr. Appia who ran the Red Cross in Europe. He appointed Clara the U.S. representative for the organization. In 1881 the first American Blood Cross meeting was held and a year later she became the founder of the U.S. Sect of the Red Cross. Clara altered the whole way the organization functioned when she wanted to offer disaster relief aid as well as aid to the wars. At age 75 she was still touring the U.S. giving lectures and spreading good will.

We’re not only in awe of the contribution Barton made to this country but we appreciate where the American Red Cross stands today. Did you know they fight for free speech abroad? They also partner with multiple literacy programs nationwide as well as overseas. The Red Cross doesn’t simply collect and distribute blood donations; they’re an organization devoted to making the world a better place.

Bookmans regularly partners with the American Red Cross by hosting blood drives. If you’re feeling inspired, stop by Bookmans Grant this Sunday and donate. This is just one way Bookmans is good for the planet and good for your wallet.

For more information on Clara Barton, check our biography section or visit the Red Cross website. Bookmans is a great place to browse and we’re sure to have something related to Barton and the Red Cross, but if you’re looking for a particular title please feel free to call ahead.