The Red Cross is comprised of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and all National Societies around the world.
The Red Cross was founded in 1863 by Henri Dunant in Geneva, Switzerland, where the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was formed. The primary focus of the ICRC is humanitarian law embodied in the Geneva Conventions. Wherever armed conflict is happening in the world you can be sure the ICRC are present to protect all persons affected by the conflict.
The American Red Cross (ARC), one of the National Societies, was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton. The primary focus of the ARC is disaster response, helping people throughout the US handle the aftermath of natural disasters such as fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, etc. Other services provided by the ARC include blood donations, services to armed forces families, and shopping/errand services. There is also an international component to the ARC that provides services focused on disaster preparedness, response and recovery, disease prevention, family tracing, and the dissemination of international humanitarian law.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is an organization that oversees all of the National Societies. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization, providing assistance without discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It was founded in 1919 and comprises 186 member societies around the world.