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11-10-2012, 11:58 AM   #1
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What Is Up With The Red Cross????

In the news on Google I read that the Red Cross is saying that all they want donated for Sandy victims now is money. They're actually donating most of the household goods, food, clothes and other items to the Salvation Army and to some non-related shelters and such because it's too much trouble to actually take it where it's needed to distribute it? In the meantime the trucks of such items that are being distributed by others are being gratefully received by Sandy victims. In fact there is more of a demand than those trucks can fill.

Years ago when my Dad was working for a major store he says they had a bad flood in the area. That store gave vouchers to the Red Cross for people to come in and buy clothes and household items. Dad says people came in all right but they didn't buy clothes and such. They bought high end electronics and most of them were well dressed, driving nice cars, and didn't look at all like they were flood victims. Turned out he was right it came out that those vouchers didn't go to the flood victims they were intended for but to other people involved with The Red Cross...

Be careful who you donate your money and supplies to. Do find organizations that are willing to follow through and do the legwork necessary to distribute those supplies. What The Red Cross is doing might seem more practical to them but I don't think it's right. If other organizations can and do find people willing to distribute clothes, household goods and such then so can The Red Cross. That is what all those "monetary donations" they're asking for are supposed to be for, right? For feeding people, getting them clothed, rehoused, and getting them the new household goods they will need to start over?

Seems to me people donating that stuff is cutting out the middle man and that they should be happy to have it but apparently they're not, and no, the people who need it are apparently not seeing most of it. I don't know. If I was in that situation I think I'd be positively thrilled to see a truck coming with fresh clothes, new dishes and such. After the basic necessities of shelter, food, and water, clothing is about the next thing on the list and people do need something to eat off of besides.

This morning one of the articles mentioned that they re-donated disposable diapers, wipes. pet food, a bunch of donated vacuum cleaners, and other cleaning supplies to the Salvation Army and such. I was like WTF? I mean those are some very basic necessities given the situation and they're too much trouble to put on a truck and haul down there? My Dad's always been a little down on The Red Cross because of the vouchers incident. I've always given them the benefit of the doubt till now. But now I'm thinking maybe he was right and they're not someone I should be supporting...

I mean if they'd just re-donate stuff like that who's to say they're actually using the monetary donations for what it's supposed to be used for?

11-10-2012, 12:09 PM   #2
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Red Cross
11-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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Mag , that's just the way they opperate. They help and are most efficient with donations of blood & money.
After Andrew I was riding shotgun (litterally) on trucks bringing donations collected by Barnett Bank to Miami..Red Cross was warehousing water and canned goods and putting clothing in a huge pile in the middle of a parking lot. It was very apparent that they really didn't want to mess with our truck loads of donations. The driver I was working with and I decided to go out into the nieghborhoods and pass out stuff to those who really needed it.. Pretty amazing how the nieghborhoods came together to help each other. There was only one time that we got into a bad place where some individuals decided they wanted everything in the truck but the sound of a shotgun slide cycling changed their minds.
11-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #4
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So they look good on paper, but are they actually doing what they should be? That's what I am asking. There's more to charity than making sure your balance sheet looks right to the public. I don't like the stuff going elsewhere. It bothers me. I'm hoping whomever they are giving it to is making the truck runs because otherwise this stuff will just end up in the thrifts being sold to benefit whoever and that's not what it was intended for. Or sold to scrappers and destroyed.

One of our local thrifts recently got in trouble for selling good donated clothes to scrappers instead of putting them in the stores like they're supposed to. Their answer was it was too much work to put it all out on the shelves. In the meantime they're charging $20 for a pair of old jeans. They were supposed to just sell totally ruined and ripped up stuff to them, but they were selling almost everything that got donated. You'd go into that store and there would be nothing but a few expensive items on the racks and in the meantime they were courting people for donations like mad saying they had nothing to sell....

This stuff was meant for the victims of Sandy and it should go to them, I think.


Last edited by magkelly; 11-10-2012 at 12:48 PM.
11-10-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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My dad never had much use for the Red Cross. While in the service, the Red Cross came through and distributed shaving kits. The guys, dad included, thought it was a nice gesture - until their next payday when they found monies taken out of their pay to pay for the kits.
11-10-2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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I guess the Red Cross have to consider the logistics of sorting, storing, and transporting large amounts of clothes etc. That costs money. They may have other priorities which that money would be better spent on - heat, power, shelter, water etc. They may also already be oversupplied with donated goods. Just because it feels good to donate an item and imagine it going to a family in need doesn't mean the Red Cross should do that, just to make the donaters feel good about themselves. They have to look at the situation strategically.

There may be small players in the relief effort who might be better set up to distribute personal donations.
11-10-2012, 03:55 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ihasa Quote
I guess the Red Cross have to consider the logistics of sorting, storing, and transporting large amounts of clothes etc. That costs money. They may have other priorities which that money would be better spent on - heat, power, shelter, water etc. They may also already be oversupplied with donated goods. Just because it feels good to donate an item and imagine it going to a family in need doesn't mean the Red Cross should do that, just to make the donaters feel good about themselves. They have to look at the situation strategically.

There may be small players in the relief effort who might be better set up to distribute personal donations.
Exactly. They prefer cash (and blood) because it helps them do their job:

QuoteQuote:
Aid Organizations Prefer Cash to Canned Food
ABC News

Mitt Romney’s hastily organized storm relief event in Ohio on Tuesday highlighted a difficult reality for aid organizations.
They’ll take canned goods and supplies, but they’d much rather have cash. . . .

The Red Cross and other aid organizations like FEMA have long said that donations of food, clothing and other small in-kind items force them to divert crucial resources away from relief efforts and toward sorting and cleaning donations. . . .

The campaign said that they had identified a site in New Jersey that would accept the goods, even as they acknowledged that the Red Cross does not solicit the donation of goods due to logistical concerns.

“The best way to help a disaster victim is through a financial donation to the American Red Cross,” according to the organization’s website. “Financial contributions allow the Red Cross to purchase exactly what is needed for the disaster relief operation. Monetary donations also enable the Red Cross to purchase relief supplies close to the disaster site which avoids delays and transportation costs in getting basic necessities to disaster victims.”

“Because the affected community has generally experienced significant economic loss, purchasing relief supplies in or close to the disaster site also helps to stimulate the weakened local economy,” they add.

Last edited by les3547; 11-10-2012 at 05:13 PM.
11-11-2012, 07:10 AM   #8
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I just may be that the Red Cross is concentrating their efforts on what they can do best. Consider that it consumes a lot of resources to pick up, store, and deliver household goods and clothes. The stuff needs to be checked out too. A lot of people get rid of broken washing machines and refrigerators by donating them to charities rather than paying a disposal fee. Clothes need to be washed and thoroughly cleaned. It's better to coordinate with another charity that is better equipped to handle these items.

11-11-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
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To be quite honest, most of this trying to cast the Red Cross as bad somehow is mostly because the Salvation Army keeps getting caught preaching hate, and trying to deny it. (But it's their belief, but it's not hate, but it's justified, but someone else is 'worse' but we're not bad, but we take political actions, anyway,' ) And meanwhile, people like me know it's barely safe to walk *by* the 'Salvation Army Base' in some place if you're queer and homeless.

Never mind what comes out of what they teach as a *church* and *actively pursue in politics.* And all.



Some info: Why You Shouldn't Donate to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers | The Bilerico Project

Speaking of worthy causes, by the way, there's a pioneering shelter and resource for homeless LGBT youth that both suffered from GOP cutbacks and has been flooded out in NYC. As someone who's both been homeless LGBT youth and helped shelter some when barely off the street myself, (When the Sally Ann was notoriously dangerous for any of us,) well, the Ali Forney center in NYC would be glad (soon) for any financial donations and (immediately) ...some clean clothes.

The big charity of your choice is unlikely to fold about whatever complaints are under discussion here. But the one safe place for too many... *is.* All too likely to.

Something to think about.
11-13-2012, 09:59 AM   #10
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This article ran in one of our area newspapers this week. It explains the problem pretty well I think.
Useless donations another 'disaster' - Times Union
11-16-2012, 02:47 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I just may be that the Red Cross is concentrating their efforts on what they can do best. Consider that it consumes a lot of resources to pick up, store, and deliver household goods and clothes. The stuff needs to be checked out too. A lot of people get rid of broken washing machines and refrigerators by donating them to charities rather than paying a disposal fee. Clothes need to be washed and thoroughly cleaned. It's better to coordinate with another charity that is better equipped to handle these items.
This^^. I remember after Andrew and Katrina, and a few others, the Red Cross asked people to stop sending "stuff" simply because there was no place to store it and the logistics of giving it out were a nightmare. I forget how many tons of donated clothing were ruined after Andrew because there was no place to store them except in a parking lot-outside. It all mildewed and got ruined.

Last edited by subeeds; 11-16-2012 at 02:48 AM. Reason: typo
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