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Support, correction of problems needed for Red Cross chapter

No one wants to point fingers at an organization that is such animportant part of disaster relief in this country and across theworld.

The Red Cross received much criticism in the weeks followingKatrina in 2005. Questions about its handling of financialdistributions to evacuees brought the organization criticism acrossthe country – some of it warranted, some of it not.

In those long days following Katrina, we saw Red Crossvolunteers put in countless hours and personal sacrifice to try tohelp the thousands seeking comfort in Lincoln County. Despite thoseextraordinary efforts, locally there were some management issuesthat warranted review.

We were under the assumption that necessary corrections had beenmade by the state organization. Apparently, they were not.

When cots and other supplies were not in place as evacuees beganarriving, local churches and volunteers stepped in last Sunday topick up the slack until the Red Cross could regroup.

In an interview with Red Cross officials in Hattiesburg,officials acknowledged the issues of last week and the stateorganization’s plan for correcting the problem.

Unfortunately for Brookhaven, one of the solutions could includethe movement of the office to Hattiesburg. We hope not, forBrookhaven is in a vital location for hurricane relief and localstaffing is important to allow that effort to work moreefficiently.

The willingness of people to volunteer both their time and moneyis an important component to the success of the Red Cross. Weencourage readers to do both.

Meanwhile, we hope the Red Cross can quickly address theproblems of last week.