Cash not stuff needed, says Red Cross

| 08/09/2017 | 53 Comments
Cayman News Service

Devastation left by Hurricane Irma (Photo courtesy of the British Red Cross)

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Red Cross is launching an appeal for people affected by Hurricane Irma in the Eastern Caribbean islands, but officials are stressing that they need money only and urging residents not to make arrangements to send supplies to the affected areas. “The arrival of unsolicited donations into a disaster zone is at times referred to as the second disaster,” said CIRC Deputy Director Carolina Ferreira.  

“The items that most people would like to donate, like clothing, shoes, household items and toys, are not a priority in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophe, and when they arrive into affected areas they create numerous problems for workers on the ground,” she said.

The Red Cross explained that unsolicited donations are not only difficult and costly to send, but in areas where major ports have been affected and alternative locations are being used, they become difficult for organisations to access and collect, if they are even made aware of their existence at all.

Clearing and collecting such goods means diverting personnel and equipment away from more pressing tasks, like damage assessments. There is also the issue of sorting and storage, as such widespread devastation means that many buildings have been affected and there is a shortage of space. Lastly, the affected population is often not in a position to receive these goods at the time when they are sent.

“We really don’t know the extent of the damage as full assessments haven’t been conducted yet, but based on what we have seen and heard Irma has been catastrophic for several nations,” explains CIRC Director Jondo Obi.  “The Anguilla Red Cross has lost its headquarters, and as has now been widely reported the island of Barbuda has basically been declared uninhabitable.”

Obi said they were still working on establishing contact with their counterparts throughout the region, but those they had reached said they were physically well but emotionally devastated.


CIRC Disaster Manager Keith Ford noted that the organisation is a branch of the British Red Cross, and the funds they collect here go directly to the most affected areas as part of the larger appeal by the British Red Cross and the International Federation.

“The people of these Eastern Caribbean islands are already going to need a lot of help, but the truth is that Jose is following closely behind a similar path and set to turn into a major hurricane itself. We must help,” he said.

Anyone who wants to donate to the CIRC Hurricane Irma Caribbean Appeal can do so via direct deposit to Bank of Butterfield account 1360350540060 or at their Cayman Corporate Centre office on 27 Hospital Road, 1st Floor.

For more information, contact 916-3345 or

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Community, Local News

Comments (53)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    blankets to the caribbean!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know what is up with the Red Cross. But damn, it looks like they are a major fail, at least for the north Caribbean, and Florida .

  3. Jotnar says:

    If you don’t trust the Red Cross, then fine. Branson is organising a fund through Virgin, and he sure doesn’t need the money so you can be sure its going to be spent on victims. Just don’t let doubts about happens to your donation be an excuse from doing what you know is right.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There are plenty of places that are taking goods for victims of Irma. Don’t donate to the Red Cross. The top honcho makes over 1 million a year. The average amount that goes back to the victims is $.23 per every dollar. This is in the US, but I am sure it is that way everywhere. No person in a not for profit organization should be making that much money. Red Cross is great for immediate relief for families of smaller magnitude. Red Cross proved they can’t handle a true large disaster…..look at Haiti!

    • Anonymous says:

      there is not a single non profit in cayman where the “top honcho makes over 1 million a year”. That includes the cayman red cross. No, not the same everywhere.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never understood why the Red Cross have so many staff employed here. What exactly do they do ALL YEAR round???

  6. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps tax havens can tax their tax dodging companies that “reside” there to set up a fund to meet their needs for such events.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps the onshore “users” of the “tax havens” can contribute to their recovery. Afterall, they have been benefitting much more than the locals of these jurisdictions over the years.

  7. Unison says:

    I read an explanation from the Red Cross as to why they ended up building ONLY SIX HOMES for Haiti’s 2010 earthquake survivors.

    Now may we see an “independent” accounting of their funds ?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just drove past Red Cross this afternoon to see a couple of guys taking stuff from the donations. They were both young and had garbage bags to carry off their haul. This is disgusting and if the Red Cross can get CCTV, you should prosecute these thieves as they no doubt will be putting their haul on ecay next week. Have these guys got no conscience at all. These donations are for people in genuine need. Disgusting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Years ago I made a donation of clothes and supplies. A volunteer helped me unload my car and told me that she needed something that I was donating and asked if she could have it. If I took it into the shop she would have to pay for it. It was the last time I donated anything to them.

  9. Anonymous says:

    No way am I giving cash to the Red Cross! Goods yes cash no

  10. Anonymous says:

    Everyone is right to be cautious with big non-profits. There is one group I can vouch for as I have personally seen their warehouse and the supplies and aid be handed over to those in need. This group was amazing after the Alabama tornadoes and didn’t just leave when the camera crews did. And contrary to what Red Cross says they are accepting goods donations! Do your own research, but check these guys out.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is not up to individuals to finance infrastructure that has been destroyed. However it is important to help with assistance of clothing, food, medicine, tents etc. It is also important to take people from destroyed islands and give them humanatarian refugee status. Perhaps while we are at it we could also feed the many children going hungry in Cayman tonight.

  12. Bertie:B says:

    If you want to help , go to the salvation army , they are the only ones over the years of disasters around the world that actually get it to the people . Red Cross is and has been crooked for many years , as many people have mentioned in this thread . They claim 97 cents of every dollar goes to the victims , pure bullshit , nobody actually knows where it goes , Haiti for example had Billions donated Not Millions , where the hell is the money .

  13. Anonymous says:

    We need to boycott that stained Red Cross

  14. Anonymous says:

    I certainly appreciate the Red Cross’ intentions to be supportive to our unfortunate neighbours in the Eastern Caribbean and Turks & Caicos. The humanitarian efforts are commended. I will find some way to donate but it will not be via the Red Cross – certainly not cash! Some years ago, after I regularly donated of clothing and other personal items, I discovered that a Red Cross employee was making a tidy income selling donated items in her store in Jamaica. I reported this to an MLA who investigated the matter and concluded that, indeed, there were unanswered questions regarding donations. I was informed that the employee was dismissed.

    However, with that culture having been discovered within the Red Cross, apparently unknown to RC Management, I would not be sure that it no longer occurs. So, I will find a way to contribute through the FCO efforts based here.

  15. Cayguy says:

    I don’t have the problem sending cash donations, problem is the local and international Red cross doesn’t make it easy to donate that same cash- do they? Maybe if you bank with their bank certainly, but why can’t you deposit thru say a secured and online medium; think paypal e.t.c. I used to donate to red cross international, now they no longer take my international visa card. lmao and smh. make it dead easy and get alot more donations. red cross globally also needs better transparency – think of that last disaster handled in haiti as an example

  16. Fidel says:

    So if I provide cash instead of clothes, diapers, shoes, etc…..wouldn’t they still need to convert the cash to goods which equate to the same issue the article states? Am I missing something?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think they want cash to rebuild, but unfortunately for the people who are in dire need of the funds, these charitable organizations have lost the trust of the people who fund them. So some of the most desperate people on the planet will not get the help they need because a few already well off people can’t suppress their greed.

    • Sam says:

      Yea. The aid company doesn’t get a cut.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its usually a question of logistics. When physical donations work out right its fine. When it doesn’t it just mucks things up. The ‘classic’ example is people sending warm coats to the Caribbean or sub-Saharan Africa; in summer. Even if we just send t-shirts someone has to sort them at the reception point before distributing. Whereas they can wire money to have shirts boxed-by-size delivered in less time than to ship them physically from Cayman. And when they arrive they’re easier to distribute. Even more so with things like water, food, tents, etc. (Water is actually an interesting case. Its expensive to ship compared to a water filter plant that can churn out the same amount of water for a tenth of the price. Depending on location, length of time you’ll need the supplies, etc., sending cash to buy and ship in a filter plant is many times better than sending even as basic a supply as water.) And in the less critical emergencies (think next week for this storm) when the local infrastructure is reopening – the local hardware store with pallets of lumber for example – giving people cash allows them to rebuild their lives better than sending cases of tarpaulins. – Even within America its better to send cash than goods, imagine adding international logistics to the mix.

  17. Elvis says:

    Whilst I understand the article, once it changes to cash it’s a totally different ball game, not me boo boo

  18. Anonymous says:

    The Poverty Inc. documentary says it all. After watching it, no more donations, especially cash.
    Sorry Red Cross, your reputation is tarnished.

  19. Anonymous says:

    but some governor in texas day not to give red cross anything? it on yahoo news…he say give it to other organizations?

    • Elvis says:

      Good video. Issue is there is always someone who will steal. Tricky one I know, hmmmmmm , I’d have to give it out then I’d know it would all be spent on the people I guess, lol

  20. Anonymous says:

    The average citizen should not have to bear the decision to make cash contribution with the trillions of dollars floating around this island. Ask for corporate donations or the Vatican to write a fat cheque out of their billions, and see what they say lol

    • Anonymous says:

      The giving is for the good of the giver…

      • Unison says:

        lol … sorry I can’t agree with that statement. Its not good for the giver who does not keep proper account of his stewardship. Like for example an irresponsible evangelical Christian, enriching a tele-evangelist with his monies.That can never be good for a person to be helping financially a “devil.”

        If G bless you with wealth, you are a steward of that wealth! :/

    • Anonymous says:

      They will give Bobo. What will you do for your Caribbean brethren? Sit there and count how much other people don’t give? Or you could do something in the name of brotherly love that is so often quoted on here. You know, make yourself feel better by doing the right thing, so your soul is pure and clean.

  21. frangipani says:

    not my money! sorry! if people were really in need they would take what they get.

  22. Shanobi says:

    Nope…They using disasters as an excuse to fill their bank accounts…it’s documented that the Red Cross an many other so called relief groups are frauds…I’d rather send the people in need, food an other supplies myself if I could rather than give MONEY to those crooks…if there is any other organizations sending food an other supplies I’ll be first in line!!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to see some sort of formal document that says in detail funds donated go directly to the impact areas. In the past ,only mere cents on the dollar donated to Red Cross actually get to the affected event that you think you are trying to assist.

  24. Unison says:


    The Red Cross received millions of dollars to help earthquake destroyed Haiti …


    Hmmmm ?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Also accepting cash, thanks.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Ok I understanding not wanting the items but no one has explained what the cash will be used for and to be honest people support the Red Cross on a whole financially all the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.