Why You Shouldn’t Donate To The Red Cross To Help Hurricane Victims

Ever since Hurricane Harvey touched down in East Texas last Friday, it has already left a severe and deathly path of destruction. As of now, there have been 10 people reported dead and hundreds injured. It has also been reported that roughly 30,000 people will be in shelters and around 450,000 will need some sort of assistance in this disaster. What makes this even worse is that there isn’t an end in sight yet and forecasters say there is a lot more rain to come.

As with any natural disaster, many organizations jump in to offer as much help as they can. From providing victims with resources they need on hand to asking globally for donations, they do as much as they can to relieve the burden for those in need. Especially when it comes to donations, they aim to give it all towards those who need it most.

Well, except the Red Cross Association.

The Red Cross Association has a terrible history of raising a lot of money in donations for disaster relief and not actually putting good use to it. During the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti, the Red Cross raised around half a billion dollars in donations, yet only built six permanent homes for victims who lost everything they had. There were 3 million people affected by that earthquake and had a death toll of 230,000. Back in 2016, it was said that they now live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal. They do not have access to safe, drinkable water, electricity or even sanitation. When it rains, their homes will flood and residents are forced to dig out the mud and water. What happened to the half a billion dollars in donations? They refused to answer.

“The most important thing is an unwillingness to level with the people exactly where the money went,” Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says. “There’s too many questions in regard to how the money was spent in Haiti … it gives me cause to wonder about other money being donated for other national disasters.”

This even goes back further than their Haiti scandal. When the World Trade Center went down back in 2001, the Red Cross this time raised over a billion dollars in donations. Again, victims of the terrorist attack never saw the money. They opened only a few shelters during the attack and no one came to them. They even handed out coffee and donuts for the rescue workers on site, yet charged them for the food and drinks.

As more natural disasters happened, more sketchy details came to light. The Huffington Post reported that while the Red Cross gave Hurricane Katrina victims food, shelter and helped them relocate to hotels, they get reimbursed for it with pre-existing contracts as long as there’s a state or federal disaster declaration. After Hurricane Katrina, victims saw the same problem with the Red Cross raising a lot of money, yet never actually seeing it used to help.

What’s especially sad about this is that the Red Cross is still heavily promoted by celebrities and politicians. We constantly see TV specials and commercials with a popular athlete, singer or actor asking you to donate to their cause. As if using the world’s most famous people to promote them, they use images of victims to make views feel more compelled to donate. And it works. They always come out on top.

We cannot let this happen to Texas. Residents are begging for people to donate anywhere, except the Red Cross. People are still stranded on top of their roofs and are trapped by severe flooding. This hurricane still isn’t over and people are losing their homes, keepsakes and even their lives.

Instead of donating to the Red Cross, here are some other places you can donate to:


All Hands 


Greater Houston Community Fund

Here is a list of food banks you can donate to in the Houston Area



  1. My Dad told me of the War and how the Salvation Army was always there for them with dry socks and packages from home. That is where my money goes. They do great work all over the world and if you check them out, I would say 99% of the money goes out to help others.

    1. Research would have shown you that the ARC was required by the US army to charge for these items. The ARC gave them away free initially, but because the British Red Cross could not afford to do the same, the US government required the ARC to charge a nominal fee, so as to not embarrass the British government.

  2. Last year I worked with a grassroots hometown group that provided a full meal to anyone in the town we were working that weekend after the August 2016 Flood in LA. We loaded our cars with meals ( usually enough in them for two meals!) and divided up the town going house to house. We also had a makeshift kitchen set up with more meals for anyone that stopped by. Everyone was so appreciative! And most had nasty Red Cross stories to tell of the food they came around with like it was gold they were handing out. Mystery meat a few green beans and a pack of gummy bears!!! We also had traveling kitchens turned down by RC to bring in hot dinners or lunches as they have their own vendors. We told the donators to walk in and announce that they had food across the street if anyone wanted to come get a meal as that was the only way to get around them. We heard of people’s Meds being thrown away…this from nurses volunteering their time at a RC shelter. Donated water and snacks being locked up in trucks and denied to the victims. Bringing a case of water to a subdivision and leaving it at the entrance to the subdivision! Throwing donated items in dumpsters! Going into church and other non RC shelters to take them over and then leaving in a few days.
    This doesn’t even touch what went on during Katrina… Never saw them! My husband’s fire Dept wives cooked meals for days and weeks…Never saw RC! And their warehouse was a block from the station.
    I guess as a person who has volunteered and donated all my life (even did a neighborhood MSD Carnival and a toy scavenger hunt collection for Toys for Tots when I was a preteen) it just breaks my heart to see what this organization does…Or should I say doesn’t do. Please give but not to RC!

  3. It is true that During WWII the Red Cross charged for coffee and treats and also lodging outside of base, but it was in the request of the ARMY itself. The request was made in a March 1942 letter from Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson to Norman H. Davis, chairman of the American Red Cross. Because American soldiers were fighting as part of the Allied Forces, matters had to be considered on a Force-wide rather than a solely American basis. The Red Cross was asked to establish club facilities for U.S. servicemen overseas where Allied troops would be welcome, and because English and Australian soldiers were being charged for the use of such facilities, it was deemed unfair that Americans were to get similar benefits for free (especially in light of the fact that their pay was higher than that of their Allied counterparts). For the good of the alliance, the American Red Cross was persuaded to exact nominal charges from American GIs for off-base food and lodging.

  4. I don’t like when staff members get six figure salaries in this type of organization. For this particular disaster I donated to J.J. Watt’s because he is on tv every single day saying where the money is going exactly and when and where the semis will be to deliver to people in need. Others must agree with me because he has surpassed the I million dollar mark. JJ has always been about taking care of community. Since he came into the NFL he has put time in endlessly to help community so for me it was an easy de ision

  5. Unfortunately there are several Charitable Organizations in this world (globally and locally) that do not use their donations in a completely professional manner which makes people question weather there donations will be used properly. There are also really great Charitable organizations that do amazing work for people in need. Before donating make sure you do some research to make sure what type of organization your are giving to and how they plan to use your donation to help people in need and remember donations don’t have to be money they could also be your time or energy helping the organization help those people in need.

  6. The Red Cross is a joke, I have had friends that have called on them after losing everything they owned in a fire only to be turned away saying they didn’t qualify for any assistance of any kind. Red Cross can kiss my rosy Red ASS!!!! Many prayers for those displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

  7. My dad was in WW2 and said the same thing. Said the Red Cross charged them (servicemen) for everything even though they got all the donations for free.

  8. I’m from the Caribbean where and how can I help. I don’t have much I am willing to give the little that I so have.

  9. I’m from the Caribbean where and how can I help. I don’t have much but I am willing to give the little that I so have.

  10. This gas been shared for years tbey do not use the full monies they accept. The lining pockets of those in charge they make alot of $$ but have we ever seen an actual higher up out in disasters? No donate to military sites, to church’s research research before sending any money.

  11. I would never give a dime to the Red Cross. The Salvation Army does more with less. The Commander of The Salvation Army gets $60,000 a year for he and his wife along with a small house. The president of the Red Cross makes more than the President of the United States.

  12. If you do your research only 13.5% of their expenses are for disaster services. The bulk of their money over 70% is allocated to their Biomedical operations. These are actual figures reported on their IRS Form 990 for the year 2015. Check out Charity Navigator for a breakdown of their expenses.

  13. It really makes me sad to see all the negativity around the Red Cross. Some of the stories may have an element of truth in them, but it isn’t true today. I am a proud volunteer for the Red Cross on their Disaster team, and never once have we asked for any reimbursement from our clients. We give them an ATM card with enough money to take care of their immediate needs. If they have to go to a shelter, they are fed and given a place to sleep at no charge. I volunteered in MS for Katrina, and saw many many charities and church groups donating goods to the people who were impacted by the hurricane. No charge to the people affected. I hope people will give to the Red Cross; they are the largest humanitarian organization in the world and they really need the funds in order to help the thousands of people in Texas and LA. This is going to be a very long recovery. People are going to need housing and food for months to come. Red Cross is also partnering with other organizations. They can’t do it alone. Please don’t be influenced by some of the stories of the past. I know firsthand what the Red Cross does, so I donate my time, my skills and my money. Be thankful that you are not affected by a disaster, but you never know what’s ahead and you may someday. Peace!

  14. I wad told by Red Cross that only 5% of the money raised for a disaster goes for that disaster, the rest goes for other disasters. We received most of our help from food to help with our home from Minnonites to Baptists, and they were friendlier. Please donate to the churches not Red Cross. I am Hurricane Katrina survivor.


  16. There are many inaccuracies in this report. You can check for yours of at snopes. Red Cross is a legit organization

    here is what SNOPES said: http://www.snopes.com/medical/emergent/redcross.asp

    Also, all non profits are required to file form 990 with IRS which is public record each year. Red Cross only spends 4% on admin costs such as salaries. This is very responsible for a non profit and very hard to achieve!

    Plus they do a ton of other great stuff like they are the organization that trains lifeguards and makes sure that the certifications are kept up.

    Of course there are many great charities so folks should give to the one of their choice and thanks to anyone who does so to help these poor folks. I just hate to see misinformation about non profits because it hurts the image of all non profits
    Last thing I will say. Promise. Charitynavigator.org is a great resource for looking into a non profit and how well they are managing their funding and meeting mission. People – do your homework before you do your badmouthing, please!

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