The Grant County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) is encouraging residents wanting to help firefighters to donate cash to the American Red Cross instead of material donations directly to GCSO.
Over the past week, the Sheriff’s Office has issued two press releases on Facebook regarding donations for firefighters and wildfire victims.
On Sept. 7, the Sheriff’s Office issued the first release regarding spontaneous donations. According to the post, firefighters come equipped with plenty of drinking water and other items. The post addresses that while the firefighters do not need any donated materials, they would be grateful for a simple thank you.
Cash donations to the American Red Cross are the best way to help people affected by the fires, said Kyle Foreman, spokesperson for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. Cash donations have the most flexibility to get the exact needs for the victims, Foreman said.
Over the last few years, the Sheriff’s Office has issued similar notices because they have found it helps greatly reduce the number of donations in reaction to big wildfires that cannot be used, which results in staff having to find a way to store or get rid of them.
While the intentions of the donations are good, they usually end up creating more work than help, Foreman said.
On Sept. 10 the Grant County Sheriff’s Office issued a second notice on Facebook saying that they are not soliciting donations for victims of Washington wildfires.
According to Foreman, the GCSO will never reach out to the public directly for donations, whether it be through a phone call or knocking on doors. If there are any requests or notices, they will be published publicly on an official website or social media belonging to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Facebook post also addressed that a few years back, a bank in Grant County Ore. posted a legit notice offering to accept donations for wildfire victims back then. It was real, but they are not currently trying to accept donations on our behalf. It appears that the message from a few years back has resurfaced and may be causing confusion with Grant County Wash.