As a long time Red Cross disaster volunteer, I do Health Services and Disaster Mental Health locally and nationally. It is very disheartening to see the criticism we get about our efforts.
We help local fire clients every day all over the country. A Disaster Action Team responds to local fires anytime day or night. I then get called to provide emotional support and help facilitate replacement of lost medications, medical equipment, glasses, etc. We do the same thing on national disasters. We are providing assistance for wildfires out west and two major hurricanes. We have many people on the ground in impacted states. We have many more doing support work (screening, reviewing health records, covering local work for those deployed out, etc.).
No organization is perfect, but I see every day the good work that we do in our community and across the country. We are always encouraged to be good stewards of the donated dollar.
Please continue to support the Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations. This relief effort will be going on for a long time. If you make a donation to the Red Cross and earmark it for a specific disaster, that is where the money will be spent. And that money will be gratefully accepted and appreciated.
I would encourage you to also consider supporting the general disaster relief fund. Here’s why: once we are preparing for a disaster, the general fund gets used to pre-position resources, start providing services, etc. This is before we get donations for the specific disaster. Money used from the general fund does not get replaced if donations are earmarked for the specific disaster.
Becky Hauserman, Pandora