The Bahamas branch of the International Red Cross began its work in 1939 under the auspices of the British Red Cross. The original purpose was to serve the relief needs of Allied troops in the vicinity and particularly those stationed in The Bahamas. In 1945, as World War II ended, priorities shifted from treating wounded soldiers and sailors to treating and controlling disease and malnutrition. The Red Cross fell naturally into service in these areas and established a number of services to aid and care for children, the Center for Deaf Children among them.
The Branch also provided service to the Discharged prisoners Committee, the Child Protection Committee and the Boys Industrial School Visiting Committee.
On June 23, 1975, an Act to establish and incorporate The Bahamas Red Cross Society was passed in The Bahamas House of Parliament, when the Branch became a National Society. Application was then made to the I.C.R.C. in March 1976 for formal recognition. After the visit of several Delegates from Geneva, the Society was formally recognized on December 16, 1976 and became the 123rd Member of the International Red Cross.
On May 4, 1977, The Bahamas Red Cross Society was admitted to membership in the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent.
The Society offers a wide range of assistance to members of the community who suffer loss as a result of fire, hurricane or any other type of disasters and works as an Auxiliary to The Bahamas Government.
The Annual Budget is financed through extensive fundraising, membership drive, donations and an Annual Government Grant.