Local Donations vs. Red Cross

Source: SFWA

Written by Allison Perry. Media by Kelsey Middleton.

American Red Cross Logo. Source: American Red Cross.

Recently we have seen numerous natural disasters occur, such as a multitude of hurricanes and earthquakes. These natural disasters have caused incredible damage to the communities they have hit. It is our duty to show our support to the communities facing this incredible damage and to do what we can to contribute to the relief efforts. For many, the best way to contribute is by giving donations, but some people are unaware of where or who to give donations to. It is incredibly important to be sure that the donations you are giving are going to those affected and that the institution you donate through is a trusted organization. The best way to ensure that you are donating to a trustworthy organization is to donate to local organizations, rather than the widely known and trusted American Red Cross organization.

If you donate to the American Red Cross organization there is a great chance that not all of the money they receive will go to the community they are claiming to help. According to npr.org, when the 2010 earthquake affected Haiti, the Red Cross raised almost $500 million; however, almost 25 percent of the money they raised went back into their own organization. Perhaps this does not sound too bad, but there is more to be considered. According to prorepublica.orgwith all the money the Red Cross raised for Haiti they only built six permanent homes. It is also important to note that when he was recently asked how much of every dollar goes to disaster relief, Red Cross executive Brad Kieserman could not come up with even a slight average.

Southeast Texas Food Bank. Source: EthicsPoint

Donating locally is much more effective and trustworthy than donating to the Red Cross. One way to get involved with Puerto Rico relief is by donating to the Belle Center’s GoFundMe page, contacting the Belle Center at 716-845-0485 and requesting information on items that can be donated or how to get involved with volunteering.

You can aid Mexico by donating to the Global Giving Mexico Relief Fund, which will use all donations exclusively to support the communities affected by recent earthquakes by providing food, shelter, water, and medicine to those in need. 

One way to help Texas is by donating to one of the many food banks that are accepting donations, such as the Houston Food Bank, Galveston Food Bank, and the Southeast Texas Food Bank.

Many trustworthy organizations exist that you can donate to when disaster hits. However, before donating to any organization, it is incredibly important to be aware of what that organization stands for, the percentage of monetary donations that are actually going to the cause you are donating for, what they do with the other percentage if it’s not 100 percent, and every other bit of important information that would either encourage or prevent you from donating to them. You shouldm always be educated on an organization before you donate to it.


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