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My case against the Red Cross - Why you should think twice before giving to the Red Cross

It was only a few weeks ago when stories were running about how the situation in Haiti is still so desperate. Homelessness is still at a high, no major infrastructure work has been done, people are still sick and dying.

ABC news asked the Red Cross why it was sitting on a few hundred million dollars of funds for Haiti and they responded by explaining that it's better to dolle out the money slowly for the best impact. OR, could it be that the interest helps fatten their own bank accounts or, perhaps over time, people will stop keeping track of how much they're holding from people who've so generously given to the Haitian effort?

Very carefully and very softly the media will mention how slowly the flow of funds from places like the Red Cross seem to trickle in, this even after billions were donated world wide for earthquake relief.

A few years back the Red Cross was scrutinized for putting a massive amount of funds into their infrastructure for things like remodeling and new computers they said they needed to grow their efforts in the months and years following the massive amounts their received world wide after 9/11.

While the media doesn't report very aggressively about the greed and shadiness of this organization, they will mention it from time to time, but the Red Cross is such a sacred cow that you'll likely never see a major news network or newspaper go after them aggressively.

If you give, give to other national or international charities associated with the quake. If you must donate to the Red Cross, try to do so directly with the Japanese Red Cross and keep your money away from the U.S. and International Red Cross organizations.

This organization is crooked, greedy and dishonest at its core, I have no doubt about it.

by Anonymousreply 7303/14/2011

And this is the organization the idiotic Libertarian from some other thread said we said let handle all disaster assistance and relief so we can get rid of the US Federal and State and Local Government.%0D %0D As a private organization, it's just naturally more efficient, don't ya know.

by Anonymousreply 103/14/2011

Didn't the President get caught spending an exorbitant amount of money decorating her office and step down? Haven't donated to the Red Cross since, I prefer donating to Doctors Without Borders.

by Anonymousreply 203/14/2011

I THINK I remember that R2. I know for a fact they were caught using millions of donated 9/11 funds to update their I.T. infrastructure.

by Anonymousreply 303/14/2011

If they only spent the money on the flavor-of-the-week high profile disasters, most efforts would be unfunded.

by Anonymousreply 403/14/2011

I am no big fan of RC, especially since they still don't let gay men donate blood, however they need updated technical infrastructure to efficiently provide services and spend more money on disasters.%0D %0D I have never understood why people think it is a good idea for non-profits to use broken furniture and typewriters. That this will somehow lead to a more efficient distribution of donated funds.

by Anonymousreply 503/14/2011

World Vision is the same thing.

15 percent of every dollar you give them, goes to the World Evangelical Association. Plus they use food donations to promote Evangelical Christian beliefs in poor countries among starving people.

Starving people in South America (or anywhere else) should not have to accept Jesus, in exchange for food.

by Anonymousreply 603/14/2011

R4/R5, I think people have issues with them because they jump on disaster bandwagons to raise MASSIVE amounts of money by telling people they're raising money for those disaster. In reality, apparently very little of the money we all sent them for Haiti has ever seen the light of day. It's been used for new computers and trips and fabulous office chairs, etc..

Yes, they need a proper work environment and resources, but why not just say it? It's loathsome to lie and exploit dying people to raise money for a bunch of stylized Mac computers and ergonomic office chairs.

by Anonymousreply 703/14/2011

Treasure hunters are drawn to any place where money flows.

Elizabeth Dole used her office as a political tool and will be remembered as such. Forever.

The good thing about the 9/11 controversy is foundations began teaching donors about responsible giving. You don't want your donations coming back to bite you in the ass.

As a responsible donor, you look up overhead percentages for your targeted charity. This is how Wycliffe Jean (?) was spotted as a shit.

Where do you go? Modestneeds.org offers some good links, but I'd be shilling again, so you should head to one of the rating sites. Here's one:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 803/14/2011

Years ago, I witnessed a tragic event tha left thousands of people out in the cold on a frigid night. The Red Cross set up stations where they sold coffee and hot chocolate for 50 cents a cup. The Salvation Army set up stations where they gave away coffee and hot chocolate.

by Anonymousreply 903/14/2011

EXACTLY, r1.

Thank you.

by Anonymousreply 1003/14/2011

Raising funds on peoples' natural urge to help in the face of a huge natural disaster (but actually keeping most of the funds) is a lousy way of doing business. I'd like to know which charities spend the least on their operating costs, and which funnel the MOST of their donations to the cause.%0D %0D I've given in the past to Mercy Corps, and Heifer International, Rainbow Heritage Fund, and UNICEF, as well as Doctors Without Borders. Would appreciate other recommendations for organizations that pass along the help right away.

by Anonymousreply 1103/14/2011

Too bad this is all conjecture except for the Lizzy Dole assessment, which I agree with.

by Anonymousreply 1203/14/2011

I gave %C2%A325 to the British Red Cross, now I think I did the wrong thing.

by Anonymousreply 1303/14/2011

R12,

The Lizzy Dole thing is old at this point, why're you hanging on to that while accusing everything else as "conjecture"?

There is no longer any question as to how the Red Cross is distributing their raised funds. They aren't. It's a sketchy, skeevy, morally corrupt organization and you're still bitching about some ancient old bitch who's likely dead by now?

by Anonymousreply 1403/14/2011

[quote]The Lizzy Dole thing is old at this point, why're you hanging on to that while accusing everything else as "conjecture"?

That's what they said about Edith Wilson.

by Anonymousreply 1503/14/2011

If the Haiti $$ really is earmarked for Haiti and protected for it, then there is some wisdom in doling it out over the long haul.

But if that's not the case, then the criticism is deserved.

by Anonymousreply 1603/14/2011

[quote] A few years back the Red Cross was scrutinized for putting a massive amount of funds into their infrastructure for things like remodeling and new computers they said they needed to grow their efforts in the months and years following the massive amounts their received world wide after 9/11.%0D %0D I don't have a problem with this. They needed to update, like all businesses do. Their funds come from donations. Of course they would use donated funds to update. The whole outcry over that was childish. %0D %0D The 9/11 survivors reaped millions from the government and from other groups. How much money were we expected to throw at them?

by Anonymousreply 1703/14/2011

A small building across the street from mine in Manhattan had a gas leak and had to be evacuated. The firemen brought the residents to my building's lobby. The Red Cross was there within minutes and found temporary housing for everyone for several weeks until the leak was found and repaired and the building was ok'd by the fire commissioner.%0D %0D It's not the sort of "disaster" you'd think the Red Cross responds to, but it was a disaster for those residents and the Red Cross was there for them.

by Anonymousreply 1803/14/2011

I know it's a "faith" based org but American Jewish World Service kicks ass. It's a 4 star NGO run by development warrior Ruth Messinger. (She was Manhattan Burough Prez- remember?) Almost all the money they raise gets to people on the ground because they partner with existing organizations in country to get people what they really need. I have confidently supported them for the past 4 years and I am not even Jewish. %0D %0D

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1903/14/2011

[quote]This organization is crooked, greedy and dishonest at its core, I have no doubt about it.

Perhaps I would have no doubt if the OP's post wasn't written in that vague Freeper style of writing that doesn't actually site any facts.

by Anonymousreply 2003/14/2011

Give to Charity : Water! It's totally legit.

by Anonymousreply 2103/14/2011

[quote]I prefer donating to Doctors Without Borders.%0D %0D Same here. %0D %0D My father served in the Korean War and told some awful stories about the RC asking for donations (from SOLDIERS!) before the RC people would help them. Can you imagine! So, it seems these most recent shennanigans are nothing new.%0D %0D The American Red Cross is a bloated, corrupt organization. It's been holding hands with the government so long and so tightly that it's starting to act like the government, two sides of the same coin.%0D %0D Also, you can donate blood at most major hospitals. You don't have to go through the Red Cross.

by Anonymousreply 2203/14/2011

And let's never forget the RC's "inspections" of German concentration camps in WWII.

by Anonymousreply 2303/14/2011

[quote]I know it's a "faith" based org but American Jewish World Service kicks ass. It's a 4 star NGO run by development warrior Ruth Messinger. (She was Manhattan Burough Prez- remember?) Almost all the money they raise gets to people on the ground because they partner with existing organizations in country to get people what they really need. I have confidently supported them for the past 4 years and I am not even Jewish.

Agreed. I work in not-for-profit and have heard high regard for AJWS. Doctors Without Borders, too. Both of them get top ratings (deserved) from CharityNavigator, a good lookup site for those who want to give only to well-run orgs. The Red Cross gets a lower 3-star rating, due mainly to higher cost per dollar raised.

by Anonymousreply 2403/14/2011

[quote] I have never understood why people think it is a good idea for non-profits to use broken furniture and typewriters

They should solicit donations of office furniture and computer systems from corporate suppliers. Money donated by the public for disaster relief should not be used to update offices.

by Anonymousreply 2503/14/2011

I wonder what percentage of the donations for the American Jewish World Service go to support Israel?

pass!

by Anonymousreply 2603/14/2011

This is second-hand, but my friend who works at a Red Cross blood bank has said pretty much all the bad shit in this thread is true.

For whatever that's worth.

by Anonymousreply 2703/14/2011

Don't forget their "Celebrity Outreach" efforts, headed up by the barely educated, drinksalot Julie Thurmond-- daughter of Strom Thurmond, who was great friends with Bob Dole.

Sickening.

by Anonymousreply 2803/14/2011

The Red Cross HATES GAYS!!!!!!!!!!!

STOP IT!!!!

DO NOT GIVE ONE PENNY TO THESE CUNTS!!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 2903/14/2011

[quote]Perhaps I would have no doubt if the OP's post wasn't written in that vague Freeper style of writing %0D %0D Vague? Isn't that exactly what your comment illustrates? Now that you've tossed out a "Freeper" accusation, isn't it time to also toss in a pedo-accusation and follow with a racist-misogny accusation?

by Anonymousreply 3003/14/2011

Ask any WWII Veteran what they think of the Red Cross. They ripped off GI's all through WWII.

My Father told the story of getting shore leave on some remote island in the Pacific, and the Red Cross was there selling their donuts. They were also selling 3 week old copies of the Honolulu newspaper. Printed across the top was "Free Edition for the Men in Our Armed Forces." They got the papers for free, the military shipped them for free, and the fucking Red Cross still felt they needed to make a buck.

by Anonymousreply 3103/14/2011

Of course the Red Cross would come through for some Manhattanites gassed out of their co-op. They probably weren't poor minorities. Right, r18?

by Anonymousreply 3203/14/2011

Snopes page on the Red Cross

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 3303/14/2011

"I wonder what percentage of the donations for the American Jewish World Service go to support Israel?"%0D %0D AJWS is not active at all in that part of the world for the very reasons you portray. There are many charities that will accept your donation if you want to support Israel. Israel's economy is also far too developed for an agency like AJWS. However, they have partners in Afghanistan and Pakistan that support the education and economic interests of women and children in those predominately Muslim areas. Ruth is also one of the few western peole allowed into Darfur since the beginning of the crisis there and she is very outspoken about ways to give aid. %0D %0D Please read their web page before you go shooting your mouth off. %0D This is a link to a funny PSA made for them by Judd Apatow.%0D

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 3403/14/2011

Any "charity" connected to organized religion is suspect.

by Anonymousreply 3503/14/2011

I give to Doctors Without Borders. You know the money is going to get where it's needed instead of being wasted on celebrity charity parties, etc.

by Anonymousreply 3603/14/2011

Donate to Mercy Corps

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 3703/14/2011

A friend of mine just posted that she donated via the Japan Society, which has long partnered with Japanese aid groups.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 3803/14/2011

%0D Here we go again.%0D %0D %0D The soap cunts are creating more and more new threads.%0D %0D %0D The soap cunts even have a thread called "General Hospital" where the first thing said is, %0D %0D "The webmaster is MIA, let's dish soaps"%0D %0D Well, webmaster, why do you encourage this? These cunts think you're a fool and aren't afraid to shove it in your face.%0D %0D %0D "Austien Peck" is a soap actor. The thread named after him is of course, a soap thread.%0D %0D The "Van Hansis" thread remains and is getting responses daily. %0D %0D How about you red tag or ban these cunts already? They don't belong on Datalounge.

by Anonymousreply 3903/14/2011

My company gives very large donations in response to these disasters and I usually suggest the organizations.

We've given to Doctors Without Borders numerous times as well as UNICEF.

In response to the Japanese earthquake we gave to International Medical Corps and Save the Children.

I almost suggested the Red Cross and now I'm glad I didn't. Was International Medical Corps and/or Save the Children a good choice?

by Anonymousreply 4003/14/2011

I stopped any support for the Red Cross decades ago. They are as corrupt and greedy as already stated here.%0D %0D I will give them this - they taught me to give CPR properly - not that I ever want to.%0D %0D It can be difficult for overseas organizations to get donations because they may not qualify for US tax deductions. Donations to foreign governments and orgnaizations are not generally deductible. You'd have to go through an American arm or affiliate of the overseas NGO. If you want to give money to the UN or UNICEF you need to donate through something like the US Organiztion for the UN. I don't know the real name. Perhaps someone better versed in tax law can advise on this. %0D %0D [quote] As a responsible donor, you look up overhead percentages for your targeted charity. This is how Wycliffe Jean (?) was spotted as a shit%0D %0D This isn't quite fair or accurate. When all the hulabaloo about Jean arose after the Haiti earthquake I saw an interview on Charlie Rose with the head of the Chronicle of Philanthropy which does a pretty good job of sussing out corruption and abuse. The woman said that Jean's organization was fine but that it had made mistakes in accounting which she said was common for newer and less sophisticated charities. One of the problems was how expenses were attributed, eg, if an NGO hires a nurse or teacher to work in the community and they put her in the category of employee then that employee becomes an administratve rather than service expense. Makes it seem like it's overhead when it's really a direct service. Anyway the woman on Charlie Rose felt the allegations against Jean were too harsh.

by Anonymousreply 4103/14/2011

[quote]The 9/11 survivors reaped millions from the government and from other groups. How much money were we expected to throw at them?

How would you feel if anyone else used the tragedy of 9/11 as a fundraiser to renovate their own offices?

by Anonymousreply 4203/14/2011

[quote] How would you feel if anyone else used the tragedy of 9/11 as a fundraiser to renovate their own offices?%0D %0D I honestly don't care. They needed renovation and people were throwing money at them. People were also running around donating blood to the Red Cross when nobody needed blood on 9/11. Then the people said, "Don't give my blood to anyone else!"%0D %0D Duh.

by Anonymousreply 4303/14/2011

PS -- the majority of donated blood in the US goes to cancer patients, not to accident victims or disaster survivors.

by Anonymousreply 4403/14/2011

Fine. If you don't care, then give freely. Most people assuredly do care whether the bulk of their contributions is going to provide assistance to the genuinely needy. If they knew they were financing office furniture for a charity's executives they would probably choose to donate elsewhere. Duh, indeed.

by Anonymousreply 4503/14/2011

I never really did understand what all the money was raised for for 9/11. Most of those killed were well insured and the families of the firefighters & police, etc were well compensated - the surviving spouses continue to collect the full salary and benefits plus they got huge death payouts, which is standard. %0D %0D And did anyone think the feds wouldn't compensate people? The people who got screwed were those that typically get screwed. The small business owner near ground zero. The invalid mother who used to live with her daughter a WTC low wage worker who didn't get much of the proceeds and who now has no one to take care of her. You know the drill.%0D %0D It seems to me that those who needed the money the least got the lion's share. I realize that part of the distribution plan was to take away the incentive to sue but really who the hell were they going to sue? I always felt that was a red herring. I'm just not sure a jury or a court would even have held the airlines responsible in any way.

by Anonymousreply 4603/14/2011

The federal 9/11 compensation funds were hush money. The government spent many times more buying the silence of the families than it did investigating the day's events. There never would have been an investigation at all had the victims' families not lobbied Congress long and hard for one.

by Anonymousreply 4703/14/2011

R46 raises questions that also bothered me -- once upon a time, the fireman's widow had to clean the fire house to keep body and soul together, but civil service regulations improved decades ago and the police and fire fighters lost in the attack were already going to get money to keep their families going. Same with all the financial workers.

I think people threw money at those sorts for reasons as mixed as misunderstanding and guilt.

by Anonymousreply 4803/14/2011

I am a disaster relief volunteer for the Red Cross. I and my fellow volunteers are the people who show up at house fires to provide shelter, food and clothing to the newly homeless fire victims. OP's post is a hatchet job. It makes perfect sense not to spend all the money for Haiti immediately. The funds came in all at once after the quake and then donations dried up. If all the money was spent immediately, how would long-term continuing operations be funded?

The Red Cross is funded entirely from donations. If it needs new computers (and take my word for it, it does), of course they will be purchased with donated money. The Red Cross is not just a bank account to collect money and immediately distribute it. It has overhead and operational needs like any other charity. 95% of the people working for the Red Cross are unpaid volunteers.

The suggestion that the media ignore corruption at the Red Cross because it is a "sacred cow" is absurd. The organization was pilloried after 2001 because it wanted to keep some of the post- 9/11 donations (hundreds of millions of dollars) for disaster preparedness and to fund future relief operations. The media were outraged and in the end the entire amount collected was distributed solely to 9/11 families. You know, the ones who also received millions of dollars from the government.

The head of the Red Cross at the time was forced to resign.

No organization is perfect, but believe me, people attacking the Red Cross have a hidden agenda.

by Anonymousreply 4903/14/2011

My friend's father, an ex-WWII POW hated the Red Cross with a passion.%0D %0D When their POW camp was finally freed the RC was quickly there SELLING coffee and donuts to the starving, skin and bones thin prisoners.%0D %0D How could they SELL to broke and broken men who had no money you ask? They made the POWs sign IOUs against their back-pay!%0D %0D Nuff said.

by Anonymousreply 5003/14/2011

BTW, we don't really need blood after disasters like we did in the olden days. We now have "fluid resuscitation" using various volume expanders which cuts down on the amount of blood needed to save someone. Also, they used to pour blood into people with crush injuries because they didn't know how to treat crush injuries.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 5103/14/2011

Yup. R49 is correct. The Red Cross could have used that 9/11 money to prepare for Katrina. Instead, it was a windfall for the people who were already collecting millions from the govt, from insurance companies and from the airlines.

by Anonymousreply 5203/14/2011

It's too bad you can no longer cut and paste from snopes.com. The linked snopes article about the Red Cross makes it clear several times that it was the US ARMY who told the Red Cross to charge for donuts in WWII. There is even a quote from Dwight Eisenhower adrressing this issue.%0D %0D But people will not read the article and go on telling the stories of the Red Cross charging POWs for coffee and donuts (when the POWs were supposed to be fed by the Army anyway, not by the Red Cross).

by Anonymousreply 5303/14/2011

I just got a call from another Red Cross volunteer and I will be spending the day tomorrow at a shelter for families displaced by the recent flooding in Northern New Jersey. We have kept them fed and sheltered 24/7 since Thursday. I'll be sure to mention OP's concern about greed and shadiness to all the other unpaid volunteers there.

by Anonymousreply 5403/14/2011

[quote]The Red Cross HATES GAYS!!!!!!!!!!!

100% Correct.

by Anonymousreply 5503/14/2011

Having unpaid volunteers in no way negates the idea the RC executives are shady and corrupt.

I daresay it's an excellent idea-- have your charity's work done by the unpaid masses while you concern yourself with fabulous celebrity outreach parties!

by Anonymousreply 5603/14/2011

"For the love of God, somebody please shit in my mouth!"

by Anonymousreply 5703/14/2011

As far as I can tell, the "Red Cross hates gays" concept comes from the fact that it will not accept blood from men who have sex with other men. You may well argue about whether this policy makes sense, but it's unfair to interpret it as motivated by hatred of gays.

The Red Cross is a nonsectarian, secular organization. Perhaps people are confusing it with the Salvation Army? They do hate gays. BTW, the Salvation Army has historically been the source of much anti-Red Cross rhetoric. Something you might want to keep in mind.

by Anonymousreply 5803/14/2011

OK%0D %0D Enough

by Anonymousreply 5903/14/2011

You are deranged, R57. I am a gay man. The quality of your discussion speaks volumes about the validity of your opinions.

by Anonymousreply 6003/14/2011

R49, don't waste your breath. It' a troll thread

by Anonymousreply 6103/14/2011

I agree that there is a freeperish feel to this post, from the dark, accusatory tone ("fatten their own bank accounts") to the sketchily enumerated examples to the suggestion that there is a conspiracy behind efforts to defend a Telflon Red Cross. Well, these days if a scandal gets out about a donation-funded group there is very little to protect it -- plus the Red Cross has indeed come under scrutiny numerous times. After 9/11 and Katrina, to be exact.

No organization is perfect and that includes the Red Cross. Some of the alternatives on this thread sound good and I will check them out.

by Anonymousreply 6203/14/2011

Why doesn't the Red Cross take blood from men who have sex with men? Isn't the blood screened for HIV? Do men with HIV really want to give blood that bad? Can't straight people be positive as well. I am so confused by this. It seems grounded in hate.

by Anonymousreply 6303/14/2011

I don't believe the Red Cross has any choice in who they can and cannot take blood from. That is decided by the FDA. So if you disagree with that policy (as I do) you should complain to the FDA.

by Anonymousreply 6403/14/2011

R17, you are missing the point. Funds raised to benefit a specific disaster should be donated to people and projects at the disaster site. The Red Cross can raise money for its infrastructure through other means and some people would be glad to help the Red Cross with its infrastructure. Saying you're helping with the disaster, through direct statement or implied, and then using the funds to buy computers or other infrastructure is dishonest.

by Anonymousreply 6503/14/2011

This thread has been very enlightening. I ALWAYS fall for the Red Cross's pleas for aid whenever a disaster hits (Haiti, Pakistan, Katrina, etc.), but I'd definitely like to contribute to a charity that doesn't waste so much money. I used to donate to CARE, but I found out some pretty crappy things about them too.

by Anonymousreply 6603/14/2011

R49, get off your high horse. A lot of us volunteer. And those who volunteer know exactly what is going on where they are. Those who donate funds have to take someone's word for it. When I donate money for disaster relief in Haiti or Japan or New Orleans, that's where I expect it to go. If your organization is not prepared to do that, then it needs to say so, to allow me to give my money where I want it to go.

by Anonymousreply 6703/14/2011

R65--Every single charitable enterprise uses some of the money it raises to meet its operating expenses.

by Anonymousreply 6803/14/2011

R66--You think that you have learned something about the Red Cross through the ravings on an anonymous poster on the internet?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 6903/14/2011

Anyone who was in WWII in Europe will tell RC was selling cigarettes to soldiers that were donated by our tobacco companies. The Salvation Army gave to the troops with no questions asked and their hands weren't out for a donation.

by Anonymousreply 7003/14/2011

A few months after the Red Cross helps you, a letter arrives reminding with a list of what they did, asking to send them a "suggested donation" which equals what they claim they spent on you.

by Anonymousreply 7103/14/2011

Another WWII story, my mother was a war bride on a ship from Italy to NY with my older brother who was an infant at the time, the Red Cross sold all the milk and almost all the food that was supposed to last the voyage to the "black market" as she says...they arrived in NY and looked so bad, my grandfather was told "you better get down here". %0D %0D I hate those slimey bastards.

by Anonymousreply 7203/14/2011

[quote]A few months after the Red Cross helps you, a letter arrives reminding with a list of what they did, asking to send them a "suggested donation" which equals what they claim they spent on you.

Not in my experience. Most of the people I help are far too poor to make charitable contributions. But even if you're right, what's wrong with that? The point is we help people during a crisis. If they can make a contribution after the crisis passes, good for them.

by Anonymousreply 7303/14/2011
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