After the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, most would think the American Red Cross (ARC) would step in to help the millions of Texans in need, but that is far from the truth. Billions of dollars in donations that flow into the ARC are repeatedly being squandered.

On the ARC’s website, one will find vague claims of assistance. The organization says it will “help people in emergency shelters,” yet it fails to detail the type of aid it will offer. For the common good, the ARC’s suspect behavior must be put under government regulation

The ARC is failing in both its financial and its humanitarian mission. In 2015, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigated the actions of the ARC, which faced criminal allegations. As stated in the GAO’s report, “the Red Cross [is] focused on governance and financial issues, not the organization’s performance in disasters.”

The ARC prides itself on helping with an “immediate response, longer-term recovery, and preparedness,” according to the GAO.  They accomplish this through a “standardized set of services and procedures,” yet the necessary response following earthquakes, such as the one in Haiti, is completely different from the one in a hurricane such as Harvey. This would not be a problem if the ARC did not fail to adapt their standardized procedures to the real life needs of victims.

Claiming to “save lives” in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, the ARC raised 488 million dollars according to reporter Jonathan M. Katz. The people of Haiti desperately needed medical attention and help in rebuilding their destroyed neighborhoods. The ARC failed to recognize those needs. The ARC should have donated their excess money to Doctors Without Borders or another more specialized charity after the disaster in Haiti. Instead, the ARC wasted two-thirds of their collected money on an unnecessary half-a-billion dollars of blankets, hygiene kits and temporary shelters. They even had empty trucks driving around for publicity.

Horrific lapses in judgment by the ARC were not restricted to Haiti. When hurricane Katrina hit in 2006, the ARC failed again to provide what the people really needed. For example, volunteers driving around affected neighborhoods were asked for water and juice, but all they could offer was bleach.

Although the ARC has been able to offer occasionally worthwhile assistance, its failures outweigh its successes. The government needs to oversee the ARC’s involvement in natural disasters to make sure donations are not squandered and that those living in disaster zones receive the proper aid.

Hurricane Irma has already wreaked devastation in numerous cities. Think about and be careful where you put your money. Just because a charity is well known does not mean it can be trusted.