Red Cross Boundaries

After living in his Wells home for 7 years, Bill Dyson and his family recently lost everything in a house fire.

"You spend everything you have to build a place for your family and then something like this happens. What do you say," Dyson said.

Dyson and his family did make it out safely. But when they went to Red Cross in Lufkin for help, they got quite a surprise. Wells is only a mile outside of Angelina County, but they were told to turn to the red cross in all the way in Tyler for help.

"I don't see the difference in a mile and an hour drive," Dyson said.

Officials at the Red Cross in Lufkin tell us their office only handles cases in Angelina, Nacogdoches, San Augustine and Sabine counties.

Glenna Harkness of the Lufkin Red Cross said, "I think like any other organization Red Cross has to have boundaries. There's 254 counties in the state of Texas so we have to divide up who will cover what territory.>

Wells is in Cherokee county, which falls under the Tyler office's jurisdiction. Of course both offices are part of the same organization, but the Lufkin office is a also a united way recipient.

"United Way funds are raised in Angelina County so all that money coming from Angelina County, United Way wants to be spent in Angelina County. They don't want that money going to other territories," Harkness told us.

The Lufkin office can only assist people outside of their coverage area by referring them to the correct office. As for Bill Dyson, he's just glad he and his family are safe.

Red Cross officials tell us they don't want to discourage people in need from seeking their help. They simply recommend that East Texans become aware of which office services their area.