Where your money goes when you donate during disasters

Like many of us, you may be looking for ways to help. Through 9Cares for Texas we are teaming up to raise money for the Red Cross.

KUSA - Watching the devastation in southeast Texas, many people from Colorado may be moved to help our fellow Americans in need.

Although you may be tempted to put together a care package or drop off clothes, flooding has blocked so many closed roads that it's compromising rescues and would be a logistical nightmare to transport donations.

MAP: What roads are blocked in the Houston area right now? 

It's one of the reasons the Red Cross says donating money to buy supplies on the ground will go much further.

DONATE SAFELY: Research the charity before making hurricane donations

"It's unprecedented what we are seeing," said Gino Greco, CEO for the Red Cross for Colorado and Wyoming. "There are people that we just haven't been able to get to. There are places we are trying to get into with emergency management."

Like many relief groups, the Red Cross is asking for donations. Here's a couple of examples of where the money will go:

  • $40 will feed a family of four.
  • It takes around $7,500 to stock and deploy an emergency response vehicle for three days.
  • The biggest need right now are shelters, which cost around $5,000 to keep open for a few nights.

Keep in mind this disaster will last long beyond a few days -- the rain hasn't even stopped yet.

"We will probably deploy another couple hundred people from Colorado and Wyoming in the next several weeks," Greco said.

The extent of the damage has yet to be discovered, marking just the beginning of helping Texas.

TEXAS CARES: Donate here to support victims of Hurricane Harvey

When you donate to the Red Cross, around 91 cents go to the relief effort, the rest goes to overhead costs.

The Salvation Army says during disasters, 100 percent goes to disasters, but during other times, it's 82 cents per dollar, unless it's a red kettle donation.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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