During the wildfire in 2011, our county accepted gift cards and cash to be distributed to the victims of the wildfire. We still have the gift cards. County officials want to finally distribute them to the victims. I'm not sure how this would work. I've looked at LGC 263.152(4) and maybe we can donate it to a charity like United Way and they can distribute the gift cards as they see fit. I don't feel comfortable with the idea of just giving these out to people on a list submitted by a county official. It's hard to tell if that could be done in an equitable manner. Any thoughts?
Was there an emergency management committee or ad hoc group formed to organize aid? If so, I would hand them over to them for use. There may still be some in need, and arguably they would have the records. (That's what we did with our tornado relief issue...)
Lisa L. Peterson
Nolan County Attorney
During the wildfire, the county judge's office handled the influx and disbursements of donations. I don't believe there are any official records of those that are in need. It's one of those things where people know who lost their homes, etc. I think we're looking at donating it to a charity/civic organization to do the actual distribution rather than just giving them out to people on a list provided by an elected official.
In situations like the one you described, we've worked with a local non-profit organization who provides food, clothing and other essentials to those in need. They have been great in coordinating any donations that the county receives.
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