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Red Cross asking for cash donations, over items like clothing



Around 400 from Wisconsin are helping with relief efforts

Money, yes. Clothing, no. That declaration came recently from the American Red Cross, which apparently has been overwhelmed with donations of clothes and other goods for victims of hurricanes and wildfires.

Cash donations allow the Red Cross to direct its efforts toward specific needs, as opposed to clothing.

“We want to make sure that we treat people equally,” Wisconsin Red Cross spokeswoman Barbara Behling said. “So, if one person gets a designer pair of jeans and one gets a winter coat in Florida. You know, that just doesn’t make sense.”

Behling added that the Red Cross is not equipped to handle donated clothing, the way that Goodwill might.

When it comes to volunteers helping it those disaster stricken areas, Wisconsin has nearly 400 residents serving as Red Cross volunteers over the last three months.

Eight are still in Puerto Rico and surrounding islands, helping with recovery from Hurricane Maria. The state disaster officer for the Red Cross is now in the Virgin Islands.

“Because their island is still recovering, they are in need of sheltering, food, we’re getting clean water to the people who need it, and we’re helping them with recovery plans,” Behling said.

Each volunteer is supposed to be on the road for three weeks at any one time. Some, however do get sent from one emergency site to another – from Texas to Florida and then to California to help wildfire victims.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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