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Q. I've heard that Red Cross sometimes sends a bill to some of the people it helps. Is that true?

A. "All Red Cross assistance is absolutely 100 percent free," said Jane Blocher, director of the American Red Cross office in Douglas County.

No one, she said, is ever billed or expected to pay for the help they receive.

But Red Cross' charter, Blocher said, requires local programs to recoup the costs of putting on courses in first aid, water safety and baby-sitting.

"We do have to charge for books and papers and things like that. We can't put on a course for free," Blocher said. "But we never ever charge for disaster assistance."

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