red cross

Do not support the Red Cross

As someone who’s been in the middle of Harvey, Ike, Gustav, Katrina, Rita and probably any hurricane that’s hit Louisiana in my life, I urge you to not support the Red Cross. Every time they’ve come to “help” they’ve made it worse on the locals and the people they’re trying to give aid to.

For this I’ll use the most recent and most appalling, Harvey. As you probably know Houston was devastated by this storm. Where I live opened up our two biggest centers for the people that the Cajun Navy and other rescuers brought in. Of course the Red Cross took over these centers and within a few days everything crumbled. 

People were I live are incredibly generous and helpful during events like this because we’ve all been through it many times. Every time there’s been a disaster in Louisiana is when you’ll see the community helping each other with anything they might need.

So during Harvey, people here were treading flood waters and gathering all of the clothes, food, and hygiene products they could find. They took all of this to the centers and they started being turned away. They didn’t want to accept clothes donations unless they were brand new, which is appalling. These people left their homes only wearing the clothes on their backs which were covered in flood water, which contains many harmful bacteria. They weren’t going to care if there’s a mustard stain on a shirt, not as long as it was clean and dry. There were people who had been there for days and didn’t have shoes. Both centers have industrial wash rooms for clothes, they could have washed them if need be. Having something is better than nothing.

The most atrocious of it all is that they wouldn’t accept food people made. People here love to cook, we’re raised doing it. Being cooped up in a house for days on end with no work and the kids missing school meant many gumbo pots were being used. These people decided to donate it to the Red Cross, and it was thrown away. Even though they didn’t have enough food to feed the people there. Popeyes, a very popular franchise, had their employees go to work early and prepare food for the people at the shelter. The Red Cross threw it all away. Other restaurants donated hot food, and it was all put in the dumpster. I understand them being skeptical about homemade food because they don’t know people’s intentions, but to turn away restaurant food is wrong. Especially for them to accept the food and then throw it in a dumpster instead of telling the business they couldn’t take the food and the business would have been able to bring it to people that needed it.

Through all of this they just wanted people to donate money. They had the news broadcasting about “families don’t want to be seen digging through clothes on a table to find new ones.” BULLSHIT, we’ve been through this before and clothes are clothes. Giving these people a voucher to Walmart isn’t going to help them when the closest Walmart is 15 minutes away and they don’t have a vehicle or a way to get there. 

I’ve heard from so many places that the Red Cross shouldn’t be trusted, but now that they’ve pulled this shit in my hometown I know better. The local sheriff’s department got the go to chase off the Red Cross, and people from all over the city brought in hot fresh food for the people there. They got them all clothes and shoes and went and bought things for these people to make sure they were at least comfortable. The state then took over and transported the willing ones and all of the pets to Alexandria to a mega shelter where they’ll have more long term care as these other two storms come to be.

If you want to help with the effects of this storm, please find better places to donate! The Red Cross is the most popular and they’re not putting that money to good use. I don’t have links of places so if any of you do please add them here for people to see. It makes me sick to see this happening and I want to do what I can to inform people.

Red Cross Exec Doesn't Know What Portion Of Donations Go To Harvey Relief

As Americans are opening their wallets and donating to relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, one of the most prominent charities is the American Red Cross.

But donors might be surprised to learn the Red Cross doesn’t make clear what percentage of their dollars will go directly to helping the victims of the storm.

Dating back to 2014, NPR and Pro Publica have reported that the Red Cross misstated how donor dollars are spent.

In an interview with Morning Edition host Ailsa Chang, Red Cross executive Brad Kieserman was asked about reports that the charity has unusually high administrative costs.

“We are committed, I am committed, my team is committed to using our resources and donor dollars in a way that best helps the people of Texas,” said Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics.

Morning Edition’s Ailsa Chang: Through donations, how much of every dollar goes to relief?

Red Cross executive Brad Kieserman: Yeah, I don’t think I know the answer to that any better than the chief fundraiser knows how many, how much it costs to put a volunteer downrange for a week and how many emergency response vehicles I have on the road today. So I think if he was on this interview and you were asking how many relief vehicles in Texas, I don’t think he’d know the answer and I don’t know the answer to the financial question I’m afraid.

Listen to the full interview