Last week our area experienced record rainfall (over 9 inches of rain in a 24 hour period) followed by record flooding. Many families were evacuated, and still have not returned to their homes. Having received word that one of the shelters was in need of clothing, books, games, and things to help people pass the time while the waters recede and they are allowed back to their homes, we packed up some supplies and headed out. Upon arriving at the shelter, we were told by a Red Cross volunteer that "they couldn't take any books or games, and clothing must have tags from the store still on them."
I stood there dumbstruck. Here we were trying to offer needed supplies and were being turned away. Returning home, the news ran an update, stating that the Red Cross was looking for donations, specifically money. Given what I had just found out, I can see why they are asking for money. To me it appears they aren't willing to accept the donations that could aid someone instantly, they would rather fill their coffers and have the aid come when they are ready for it.
To say I am disappointed with the Red Cross is an understatement. Instead of helping those people at the shelter, I will find another place who will take my donation and distribute it to those in need.
Have any of you had experience with the Red Cross like this? Or is this just a local issue?