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Is the American Red Cross corrupt?

Watching Trace Adkins raise so much on CA, it had me thinking this group is way overfunded for what it and its volunteers actually spend on relief.

For example, the Red Cross raised over $486 million on behalf of victims of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti.

They say they've spent $250 million.

What about the other $280 million? The Red Cross says it has "long term" plans for that money.

Do they really need more money from Celebrity Apprentice?

by Anonymousreply 3012/16/2013

[quote] What about the other $280 million? The Red Cross says it has "long term" plans for that money.

They do. They prepare for future disasters. They help people who have had a fire. I lived in an apartment that caught fire and they came out immediately during the fire and put us up in a hotel for a week and gave us vouchers to buy food. They also run blood banks.

by Anonymousreply 205/20/2013

R2, you must have a really good local chapter and I know from personal experience with ours that local chapters are very good with concentrated disaster relief such as what you've described. But the National office is a political vipers nest and they always use national tragedies to fundraise and they were so late to respond to Katrina that Sean Penn made them look bad. Of course he made FEMA look bad too, and that wasn't too difficult.

by Anonymousreply 305/21/2013

Ooh, I wrote the loud part regular and regular part bold. Hoo boy.

by Anonymousreply 505/21/2013

Never mind the fact 280+250=530. You hardly seem qualified to critique their spending.

by Anonymousreply 605/21/2013

The $50 mil went to salaries and overhead.

by Anonymousreply 705/21/2013

As a longtime supporter, I find it extremely distressing. Their response to Hurricane Sandy was a joke. The Occupy folks did a better job of being on the ground and helping in the trenches. So what organizations are good alternatives? And you can forget Salvation Army, too, as far as I'm concerned.

by Anonymousreply 905/21/2013

So is there a local Okla. chapter we should donate to instead?

by Anonymousreply 1005/21/2013

My grandmother was a war bride, The Red Cross sold all the milk to the black market that was supposed to be provided for the mothers babies on said ship.

When my grandma and infant father docked in New York they looked so bad my uncle thought they were dying.

by Anonymousreply 1105/21/2013

A friend was a disaster relief coordinator for the Red Cross for a number of years. She loved it. Not only was her work helping those who were in need, it was exciting and interesting and it got her out of a marriage she needed to leave.

Then she got a new boss who was far more interested in doing P.R. and milking the politics of disaster situations. When she became aware that her boss was representative of the new Red Cross, my friend quickly moved on.

She now works for an international aid organization whose only mission is fighting world hunger.

by Anonymousreply 1205/21/2013

Charity Navigator offers a number of alternatives. The Red Cross in OK gets three stars, but there are a number of four star organizations, including the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. For me, it's partly about administrative vs. program costs. Some organizations boast a 1% or less figure for percentage of administrative cost within their budget.

by Anonymousreply 1305/21/2013

I am a Red Cross disaster repsonder. People donate a lot when there is a big disaster, but we have to take care of the little ones too. I go out when their are house fires. I am in an urban area so usually multiple families are involved and they are almost always poor. The money pays for hotels for people who have nowhere to go, food and clothing.

The only thing corrupt about the Red Cross is how much the leadership in Washington gets paid. But considering the good it does, I would not let that stop you.

It's a tricky problem. After big disasters is when people are motivated to give but they want to control where all their money goes. They don't think about the thousands of people affected by small disasters every day. After 9/11 there was an uproar that the Red Cross was saving some of the money for future crises and the Red Cross was pressured to spend every dime on 9/11 victims. The same people who were being compensated by the government.

by Anonymousreply 1405/21/2013

Having participated in a few disasters like Oklahoma I can tell you that responding to a major crisis is a sloppy process. Think of putting together an organization of thousands of people coming in from all over the country in a few days in the middle of a disaster zone. It doesn't and it can't hit the ground at peak efficiency. 98% of the people are volunteers.

People who complained about responses after Sandy never considered that the Red Cross was simultaneously deployed in 11 states. Of course not everyone can be helped immediately.

For whatever reason our nation has decided to leave a large part of the response to a disaster in the hands of a charity. The Red Cross has primary responsibility for sheltering in the government's disaster response planning. Yet to maintain its independence, the Red Cross is not funded by the government.

Most people are very thankful and appreciative of our work. Some believe they are entitled to our services on demand. That's not possible on a large scale.

by Anonymousreply 1505/21/2013

The money for Haiti was for food, water and temporary shelter for the displaced. The Red Cross provides for the immediate needs of disaster victims. It does not engage in rebuilding, though in limited circumstances there can be some support to those who are rebuilding.

by Anonymousreply 1705/21/2013

R15 you sound like a PR shill. The fact is that individually there are local chapters of the Red Cross that do commendable work. Don't you dare talk about Hurricane Sandy. They were disgraceful.

There are Red Cross chapters and volunteers in every one of the states that was hit. More importantly, since so many of those volunteers were directly affected by the storm, there were people ready and able to assist from other states.

But the National is more interested in exploiting disasters. I have never seen anything like it. They were flashing they phone number asking people to donate last night, super-imposed on the TV screen as the news of the dimensions of the OK tragedy was still evolving.

They never miss an opportunity to solicit money. The only reason I was willing to support the concert for Sandy Relief was because it went to the Robin Hood foundation. I will never support the national Red Cross. ever.

by Anonymousreply 1805/21/2013

R18 I agree. My first hand knowledge of the Red Cross during Sandy was pathetic. They may not be funded by the government but they sure learned to embrace the red tape of government operations.

by Anonymousreply 1905/21/2013

[quote]There are Red Cross chapters and volunteers in every one of the states that was hit. More importantly, since so many of those volunteers were directly affected by the storm, there were people ready and able to assist from other states.

The problem is not local volunteers. It's the entire infrastructure of organizing a large operation. Specialists come in from all around the country. IT, logistics, security, transportation housing, HR are all needed to coordinate thousands of people. All of the volunteers work full time for weeks, so it is not something most local volunteers can necessarily accommodate. So most of the long-term volunteers come from outside the area.

The scope of Sandy was unprecedented. There was major damage in 11 states requiring the simultaneous establishment of operations centers all over the East Coast. Was the response always what we hope it would be. No. But we do learn from mistakes and improve for the next time.

You say national wants to "exploit" disasters. If you think fundraising is exploitation then you are damn right because few people think about the Red Cross outside of major disasters. Sorry if that offends you.

by Anonymousreply 2005/21/2013

I did a little research and found that there are other organizations helping out in OK that are not the Red Cross, and do have good ratings for the % of funds they give directly to their mission.

Operation USA's motto is "give and it gets there," and they're currently sending aid to OK.

I also have great respect for Operation Sandy, which continues to make a difference where the Red Cross, FEMA and other agencies didn't. There's an Occupy Norman (OK) chapter that's on the ground and posting/tweeing about needs & resources on their Facebook page.

(I also usually check to see if Heifer International, Habitat for Humanity or Doctors Without Borders are onsite after a natural disaster and give to them when they are).

by Anonymousreply 2105/21/2013

I also do not give to the Salvation Army, or to religious groups that have anti-gay views, even in the case of natural disasters. I find someone who's NOT a hatemonger and give to them.

by Anonymousreply 2205/21/2013

Interesting article from the AP. If the Red Cross is not "corrupt" in the popular sense of the word, than it certainly is callous. In any case, this confirms my decision not to donate to the Red Cross, and to seek out local organizations instead. Fuck the Red Cross.

by Anonymousreply 2305/28/2013

R18 here, and I'm bumping this because the Red Cross's lack of action is indefensible. There is no justification for it. They mislead donors. I have no problem with fundraising. I have a big problem with misleading people.

by Anonymousreply 2405/28/2013

The few high profile events that really bring out the donors are a small part of what needs to be supported.

It's like donating to a missing children's organization, and then getting mad because some money went to any efforts other than this week's Nancy Grace "where is the cute little white girl" search.

by Anonymousreply 2505/28/2013

I joined the Red Cross and then I died.

by Anonymousreply 2605/28/2013

The American Red Cross is a callous bureaucratic mess, supported as a non-profit charity adjunct to the National Chamber of Commerce, a bunch of Republican thugs.

They're also part of the national advisory board of FEMA along with the Salvation Army, and some Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish organizations. They have very strong political ties.

I can't stand them. I also remember when they fought actively to oppose testing the blood supply during the early days of the AIDS crisis when it was determined that the blood supply was infecting thousands.

It took some high profile AIDS victims like Arthur Ashe to get them to change, not out of compassion or a sense of ethics, but out of embarrassment since it was hurting their donor base and their relationship with blood banks and hospitals.

by Anonymousreply 2705/28/2013

[bold]Much of Red Cross fund for Sandy aid still unspent[/bold]

NEW YORK (AP) — Seven months after Superstorm Sandy, the Red Cross still hasn't spent more than a third of the $303 million it raised to assist victims of the storm, a strategy the organization says will help address needs that weren't immediately apparent in the disaster's wake.

Some disaster relief experts say that's smart planning. But others question whether the Red Cross, an organization best known for rushing into disasters to distribute food and get people into shelter, should have acted with more urgency in the weeks after the storm and left long-haul recovery tasks to someone else.

by Anonymousreply 2805/28/2013

LOL Reply 4 and 5 signed by the American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern! No one caught that huh?

by Anonymousreply 2912/16/2013

Fuck meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!,

by Anonymousreply 3012/16/2013
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