KAMLOOPS - In times of disaster in our province, communities to come together and help each other.
But what's really the best way to help? The Canadian Red Cross creates special relief funds when disaster strikes, like the Fort McMurray wildfire or the wildfires in B.C. this summer.
Every time people are encouraged to donate, there are accusations from some who allege the Red Cross takes more money than they should for administrative needs.
"The fundraising costs related to emergency appeals will not exceed five per cent," the Red Cross website states. "The Canadian Red Cross ensures the largest possible amount of Canadians’ donations will be used to support people affected by the emergency."
There are costs during emergencies for processing donations, issuing tax receipts, operating call centres, communications and financial reporting.
Not only do donations go toward short-term needs like food and housing, but funds will go towards future needs like long-term recovery, resiliency and preparedness.
During the Fort McMurray fire last year, the Red Cross said at least 93.5 per cent of the funds donated would go toward wildfire costs, according to a Globe and Mail report.
If you're not comfortable donating money, organizations like United Way and Salvation Army are accepting material donations like clothing.
Executive director of United Way Thompson-Nicola Cariboo Danalee Baker says all donations are welcome, but with cash, they have the ability to get the most bang for a buck.
"Of course with dollars we can sometimes match them, we can leverage dollars, we can really stretch them," Baker says. "It's really up to the individual, we want to make sure everyone feels good about what they're giving."
Material donations like clothing and food can be taken to the Kamloops Food Bank or the Salvation Army, while the Sandman Hotel is taking hygiene products and toiletries.
"Whatever you give will go to good use," Baker says.
She does advise people to check with a donation centre or on social media for what donations are currently needed.
To donate to the Red Cross's B.C. Wildfire Relief fund, go here.
To find out where to donate within the City of Kamloops, go here.
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