The first Red Cross organizations was established in the Principality and in East Rumelia as early as 1878. A Sofia Regional Organization for Helping the Sick and Wounded with chairman the Sofia mitropolit Miletii was created in May in Sofia. A number of prominent citizens of the city of Sofia were recruited and worked for it headed by the regional governor Mr. V. P. Alabin. The Red Cross organization in Sliven was established in October with chairman mitropolit Serafim. The Articles of Establishment were approved by prince Dondukov-Korsakov - chief governor of East Rumelia.Immediately after the Unification of both Bulgarian provinces on September 20, 1885 the National organization was founded with presided by mitropolit Kliment. It was ratified by an official decree of the first Bulgarian prince – Aleksander Batemberg who takes the BRC under his protection. The organization is also officially recognized by the International Red Cross Committee in Geneva by letter dated October 20, 1885.
Since its establishment the Red Cross has had 15 chairmans – prominent figures in the social life of the country: mitropolit Miletii, mitropolit Serafim, mitropolit Kliment (Vasil Drumev), Dr. Pantelej Minchovich, Dr. Panaiot Jechev, Dr. Georgi Sarafov, Ivan Evstatiev Geshov, Prof. Dr. Stoian Danev, Prof. Dr. Vasil Mollov, Prof. Dr. Dimitar Orahovatz, Dr. Liuben Rachev, Dr. Petar Kolarov, Dr. Kiril Ignatov, Prof Dr. Stoyan Saev and the mast. pharm. Hristo Grigorov.The tradition royal persons to be patrons of the Red Cross was preserved during the tzar’s dynasty. Queen Eleonora – the second wife of tzar Ferdinand and queen Ioanna - wife of tzar Boris III play an important part in that respect. Tzar Boris III is the supreme patron of the Bulgarian Red Cross in the period 1918-1943.The Bulgarian Red Cross had a significant contribution for the establishment and first steps of the Bulgarian social health system. He also built numerous hospitals in Sofia, Pleven, Haskovo, Burgas, etc. The organization established and managed for more than 40 years the “Red Cross” hospital - one of the most modern and reputable state medical facilities nowadays. The first and for a long time the only school for nurses in the country was established in 1900 as a part of the hospital. Using its structure and example many schools and colleges for medical nurses have been established later on.In its longtime history the Bulgarian Red Cross played an important part in organizing and providing medical help in times of war when Bulgaria fights for national unification. He carries out numerous health courses for the training of Samaritans and medical nurses who take care of the sick and wounded soldiers and officers on the frontline and in the country.The greatest problems experienced by the organization in times of peace were the big earthquake in 1928 and the influx of refugees from the Mediterranean sea and Odrinska Trakia and Bulgarian Red Cross medical workers exceeded in dealing with these problems and succeeded in saving thousands of people from hunger and misery by using its own resources and the help of douzens of other international Red Cross organizations.
The BRC organized the training of medical personnel for its organizations throughout the country, as well as of medical nurses helping the agricultural and production enterprises. The organization came up with the initiative and established the sanitary aviation and emergency medical care in Bulgaria as well as the organized free of charge and voluntary blood donation.Main concern of the national organization has always been the children’s health. The BRC established numerous health consulting centers, milk kitchens, summer camps, students’ cafeterias for the Bulgarian children.The contribution of the Bulgarian Red Cross in the fight against tuberculosis is significant. During the 1920’s and 1930’s of the last century local Red Cross organizations supported by central authorities built pavilions for children and adults suffering from tuberculosis in Plovdiv, Russe, etc. and kindly gave them over to the municipalities.The Bulgarian Red Cross on numerous occasions renders help to a number of countries.Two medical teams have been sent to Russia during the Russian-Japanese War (1903-1905) and the First World War. It organized sanitary trains and a hospital on the East front during the first stage of the Second World War.
The war against nazi Germany once again proved the readiness of the national organizations to work in extreme conditions while being loyal to its humanitarian principles.In modern times the BRC organized the public in the country and carried out numerous humanitarian events benefiting victims of natural disasters and war conflicts in over 40 countries around the world.The country has always supported the Bulgarian Red Cross and on numerous occasions showed respect and recognition for its enormous contribution for the sake of humanity.