Hurricane Harvey has left more than one million people displaced and without basic necessities like food and water. One woman decided to bring 400 burgers to evacuees who were starving, but when she arrived at the airport where they were hunkering down, she was met by workers from the Red Cross who had a disgusting response to her kindness. Anyone who has donated to the charity will be furious after hearing what they did.
With the help of a pilot who donated his time, fuel, money, and plane, Lindsey Scott delivered 400 hot hamburgers to a group of evacuees who were tired and hungry after losing their homes to what has been dubbed the most devastating tropical storm in U.S. history. The meal she provided was much-needed by the victims of Hurricane Harvey, but Lindsey, who is from Southeast Texas, the region hit hardest, was so “astonished” by the treatment she received from Red Cross workers that she took to Facebook to share her story.
“I’m astonished at the behavior of the Red Cross husband/wife team at the mid-county Jack Brooks airport yesterday,” Lindsey wrote on Facebook. She said the workers “accosted” her and “took turns berating me because I was trying to bring 400 warm hamburgers to our hungry evacuees, who according to them did not need the food because they had ‘already had a sandwich.” Lindsey continued, “Yes, they had 1 sandwich in 24 hours. They were desperate for a hot meal!”
Unfortunately, things only got worse. “The Red Cross proceeded to try and load the warm, ready to eat burgers into an ice chest. The pilot, who had donated his time, fuel, money, plane and arranged the delivery of the burgers was horrified at not being able to serve them (he actually came to volunteer as well),” she added.
Lindsey was taken aback by an organization like the Red Cross rudely turning away such a generous donation, and she had no idea how to respond. “I confess I just stood there with my mouth gaping open, fighting back tears while they told me that I did not know what I was doing and they had not even seen me volunteering,” she wrote.
“The Red Cross was not there at 6:30 am when we got there to find we had no food to serve the 100s of evacuees who had sat on a bus all night and some who had not eaten in 24 hours,” added Lindsey. “They were not there when the sun came up and [the evacuees] woke up hungry, angry, tired, scared, and frustrated. They did not see them fighting over donuts that OUR friends and family answered the call to bring at 7:00 am. They did not see the tears over dehydrated babies while we worked to arrange the delivery of Pedialyte and formula,” she wrote.
“They showed up HOURS later,” Lindsey went on, “when we had already coordinated the delivery of food and supplies with our LOCAL community members (who came out in droves) and The Sky Hope Network through our wonderful State Representative Dade Phelan after just a single phone call. And the reason they didn’t see me (sweating and sunburned) is because I spent most of the day on the aviation side of the airport on the tarmac coordinating the landing, unloading, and transport of supplies the Sky Hope Network was flying in all day,” she wrote.
“I do not care they weren’t there (I understand the vast, severe, damage that ranges from Corpus, Rockport, Houston all the way to Louisiana). I do, however, care how they treated the people of our community when they arrived!” an exasperated Lindsey explained.
“These supplies/donations were made by OUR LOCAL community members and the Sky Hope Network (not the Red Cross) and the Red Cross wanted them all shipped to their warehouse for processing and distribution,” wrote Lindsey. “Apparently they don’t do ‘local distribution.’ Say what?! We need these things here, locally, NOW,” she added.
“And while we refused to turn away anyone who came on foot or by other means (evacuee or not) or any other church, group, or organization asking for supplies…the Red Cross tried to prevent us from sharing OUR donations (contributed by our community for our community and surrounding areas). The kids that are barefoot need shoes NOW, not two weeks from now…and we had more than enough to share,” she continued.
“And the way, these two representatives of Red Cross treated local people who were donating their time (many in the wake of having lost everything of their own) and spending countless hours away from their kids and families in the wake of such tragedy hurts my heart,” continued Lindsey. “I pray this is not representative of the Red Cross organization as a whole. People who donate their money would be horrified.”
Unfortunately, it appears that Lindsey’s experience with the Red Cross is a fairly accurate representation of the organization. This is not the first time their integrity has been called into question. According to a ProPublica report, the Red Cross raised a half a billion dollars after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. They only built six homes with all the money. Their efforts following Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy were also strongly criticized, yet they remain the charity of choice for Americans who donate in droves each time disaster strikes.
“I’m thankful for our local volunteers who continued to fight with them (when I could not) and saw that the burgers and supplies were distributed to ALL those that needed them,” Lindsey wrote on Facebook. “As, OUR motto was, we turn no one away,” she continued.
“One thing I learned from this is THANK GOD I’m from TEXAS. Our men may spit, smoke, dip, cuss, and drink from time to time…but when the shit hits the fan, our husbands, brothers, dads, uncles, cousins, sons, and all the other men we know put on their boots, waders and get their boats and trucks and go to work!” she added.
“They aren’t afraid to get dirty or work long hours in the dark. They aren’t afraid of a little water, or snakes, or dogs that aren’t kenneled. They are strong enough to carry you out of your home and they can deal with being hungry, wet, cold, and tired (they deal with this sitting in deer and duck blinds half the year),” Lindsey wrote. “They have the know how to save your animals (horses, cows, etc) and they WON’T QUIT until the work is done. And our community will answer the call to donate, collect and distribute supplies and food wherever it’s needed. I won’t be waiting on the Red Cross,” she concluded.
Public outrage over Lindsey’s experience with the Red Cross was fierce. It seems the amount of good the organization does is sorely disproportionate to the amount of money it receives. The public ought to think twice about where they’re donating in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and how they can do the most good. Resources are scarce and desperately needed; there simply isn’t room for food and essentials to be squandered, and anyone willing to donate absolutely should not be turned away.
Perhaps the Red Cross is so quick to take monetary donations, but not food, because their executives make millions of dollars. The 400 burgers Lindsey Scott brought to feed her fellow Texans weren’t going to help pay any of those executives, but they sure fed a lot of hungry, displaced people — people who the Red Cross left starving and dehydrated. Now we know where their priorities lie.