Texas officials are requesting people to not donate to American Red Cross.
I have heard rumors about them not being honest in their help after receiving donations, but I hadn’t done much research. We often don’t question whether a company with a household name is being honest or not. Many stores ask if you would like to donate to ARC when you check-out, and people often do. I have a couple of times.
However, I don’t think I will be anymore!
Houston City Councilman Dave Martin had a public service announcement to make on Wednesday:
“I beg you not to send them a penny,” he pleased at the council meeting, “They are the most inept unorganized organization I’ve ever experienced.”
In part of a broader rant that also roped in a perceived lack of assistance from his native New Orleans (“Send me your darn trucks, Mitch,” he said, a plea for the Big Easy’s mayor, Mitch Landrieu, to send waste trucks westward to haul off storm debris), Martin said local folks opened shelters and gathered water and supplies to help his northeastern suburb’s evacuees.
“Don’t waste your money,” he continued, “Give it to another cause.”
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has said he asked local nonprofit to set up a shelter at NRG Park in large part because he did not trust the Red Cross to do so.
“The Red Cross could not have done this. They wouldn’t have had the wherewithal to do it,” Emmett said. “Don’t get me wrong, they’re out there on the front lines, but I had already seen the difficulty and we needed to get this set up quickly.”The organization also has been faulted for failing to ensure supplies reached area shelters quickly enough. By sunrise Sunday, when much of the Houston area awoke under water, one of the city’s two Red Cross shelters could not accept evacuees due to high water and the other had only 200 cots for what turned out to be more than 2,000 people. Cots did not arrive to the George R. Brown Convention Center downtown until after dark Sunday, and shortages there persisted for days.
A Red Cross spokeswoman, MaryJane Mudd, came forward to defend them. She said, “We had all of our shelters on standby the night before Hurricane Harvey blew in, we had all our supplies ready and waiting to go,” Mudd continued, “In some cases the floodwaters made it a little hard to get those supplies from where they were stationed into the shelters for a short while. We’ve had 1,500 people on the ground, we’ve served over 700,000 meals and snacks, we’ve sheltered 40,000 people. I know the plan was there. The process has worked very well.”
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