I know this probably isn't a popular point of view, but the Red Cross, IMO, hovers between useless and criminally incompetent. I tried to volunteer as a nurse with them a number of times and just gave up, it was so disorganized. I like your grassroots group and would not hesitate to pony up for your group and actual names and faces.
A bailout of the People by the People. www.rollingjubilee.org