The Red Cross has recently come under scrutiny for concerns over its handling of relief efforts. Critics point to the organization’s track-record of allegedly misusing donation funds. A new event has cast additional doubt on what was once considered America’s premier charity group.
According to a video posted to Facebook, a Texas woman filmed what she claims to be piles of unused Hurricane Harvey donations–thrown away by order of the Red Cross because “they can collect more.” The woman who posted the video censures the Red Cross for allegedly disrespecting donors.
The video was published on Sunday by Wendy Wilkerson Underwood of Woodway, Texas. The recording in question shows Wilkerson Underwood in her garage with a number of items and filled black garbage bags.
Wilkerson Underwood claims that she retrieved those items after they were thrown away by the Red Cross. She named “dog food,” “crates,” and “blankets” as being among the discarded items. According to her narration:
“There are three of these bags that are filled with brand new Red Cross blankets–still in plastic wrap…This completely filled my vehicle. I’m going back for the second load. It’s free and they are instructed to throw it all away because they can get more…for Florida.”
The post accompanying the video states: “Have you seen the posts about the Red Cross and their abuse of volunteers and evacuees? Well, this is going to blow you away! They are throwing supplies into the trash in Houston.
“But don’t worry, they said they can collect more from what’s going on in Florida. I’m glad they are so respectful of their donors’ hard earned money.” But the Red Cross has refuted allegations that it is discarding donations.
On Tuesday, they published a post on their Facebook page titled “The Dangers of Rumors and Misinformation.” In the post, Red Cross argued that individuals who make accusations against them “risk hurting those we’re trying to serve.”
The Red Cross also went on to challenge critics to join their organization. “So for those of you who doubt our credibility, we have one thing to say to you: Join us. Sign up. Put on a Red Cross vest and volunteer at one of our shelters, blood drives or events. We welcome your service.” However, this isn’t the first time the Red Cross has faced public backlash.
As Christian News Alerts reported, another Texas woman earlier this month shared an experience in which she was allegedly rebuked by the Red Cross workers for trying to bring warm hamburgers to hungry evacuees in shelters. The woman’s post went viral and brought into question the Red Cross’s on-the-ground relief practices.
In another notable case covered by Pro Publica, the Red Cross has been accused of misspending funds designated for earthquake relief in Haiti. The Red Cross raised $500 million to restore the devastated area near Port-au-Prince, but ultimately only built six houses.
As seen on Twitter, the Red Cross is the charity Barack Obama asked Americans to donate to in light of Hurricane Harvey. However, these events have prompted many to reconsider donating to the world-renowned charity.