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(Washington Post)   Just in time for Hurricane Isabel, Red Cross announces that its Disaster Relief Fund is empty   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
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4827 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Sep 2003 at 6:20 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2003-09-16 06:59:53 PM  
Sounds like the Red Cross just did an Enron...
2003-09-16 07:00:22 PM  
While I appreciate the healthy cynicism displayed here, the fact of the matter is that the red cross & red crescent is the first in and the last out of pretty much every disaster on earth.

Do they waste money? i have no doubt -- like any large organization it is impossible to achieve 100% efficiency. They have greedy people making backroom deals and "taking a little off the top", the only question is how much.

I for one would have preferred the Red Cross tell everyone to go screw themselves who wanted all the donations after 9/11 to ONLY be used for 9/11. The red cross deals with war, famine, poverty, disaster, every day, every month, of every year, and does so in every country on earth, and has for nearly a century.

They are victims of their own success -- we just take it for granted that someone will help us out when the shiat hits the fan, so it's easy to biatch about anything we don't agree with, or PR moves that strike us wrong.

But when the national guard is called out to a disaster, they call the red cross to help with civilian issues. When we invade Iraq, we call the red cross for help with the humanitarian aid. When POWs are captured, the red cross gets in (on both sides) to see them and make sure they are okay.
2003-09-16 07:03:14 PM  
All of you bashing the Red Cross should go volunteer there for a few months. Then we can talk.

I'll go, but only if they cough up that $450,000 bling -- savvy?
2003-09-16 07:09:12 PM  
Snarf-snarf - I think what got everyone going over the whole Red Cross/9-11 thing was that the Red Cross didn't do a good job explaining that not all of the monies collected would go towards the 9/11 victims' families. Call it misrepresentation or a simple case of misunderstanding the effect was the same: The red cross got the VERY bad rep as an organization that abused it's funds. Personally I think some of the Red Cross directors need a slap upside the head for how they handle thier fund allocation and media relations duties.
2003-09-16 07:16:28 PM  
Out of money just when a disaster will be good for fund-raising. What a coincidence. Are they like PBS, which spends all its money before the end of the fiscal year depending on gullible viewers to bail them out?

Non-Profit companies are not allowed to show a profit by law. (hence non-profit) excesses have to be spent by the end of the fiscal year. Ever wonder why your local Catholic Hospital remodels itself every couple of years? Now you know.
2003-09-16 07:17:21 PM  
The United Way is just a big corporate circle-jerk that exists so companies can say how much they are giving back to "the community". Nobody needs to defend them.

Many have mentioned the salvation army -- great organization. The red cross takes nothing away from them, and they do more right up front for domestic disasters because, well, that's what they do. But the salvation army doesn't have the ability to airlift supplies (i guess they have to call the salvation airforce? :P ) or provide long-term assistance to truly devastated areas.

For a hurricane in the USA, yes, the salvation army will probably be more noticable, providing clothes, blankets and temporary shelter. But when disease breaks out at the housing facilities, the water is undrinkable and the food is having trouble getting in, red cross doctors will show up with red cross drug stockpiles and infrastructure people who will build a small city with modern plumbing and electrical capabilities. THAT is what the red cross does.

As long as we're on the topic, believe it or not, the Christian Children's Fund (the one with Sally Struthers on the late night commercials) is actually a really good charity. I always assumed it was a scam, but I spent a few months in some remote African villages, and the CCF was providing all the health care and education those kids were ever going to see in their lives.

I'm an atheist that happily donates to CCF, the red cross, and provides all my old clothes and some cash to the Salvation Army (as well as occassional jobs, they have envelope-stuffing facilities and things like that to employ blind/deaf/unskilled workers).

Every one of them is great for what they do. Don't make the mistake of thinking that any one of them could replace the other in a short period of time.
2003-09-16 07:19:44 PM  


ZabbaDizzat: tool.
2003-09-16 07:20:15 PM  
When they farked up the blood donations after 9/11 (threw them out instead of freezing them or transferring them to other agencies that could help with storage), I decided to move my charitable donations elsewhere. Unfortunately, there are few charities that have stellar practices AND whose causes/religion I feel comfortable supporting.

What's a socially conscious person to do?
2003-09-16 07:25:14 PM
2003-09-16 07:27:34 PM  
I don't donate to charity...I already pay taxes.
2003-09-16 07:27:51 PM  
>>>they've spent $741 million on 55,000 families affected by 9/11

I'm confused. Are they saying that 55,000 families were given roughly 13 million dollars a piece? It would suck large amounts of ass to lose a family member that way but I think that even a large family could live quite comfortable off of the interest of an amount that is much less than 13 million.
2003-09-16 07:29:39 PM  
All these cynical whiners spouting out insults left and right because they heard somewhere that a person who is in charge of thousands of workers and volunteers and dealing with millions of dollers everyday for a national organization makes more money than they do.

Please remember to recite all these insults to one of the workers/volunteers helping you out if your house ever burns down or you and your family are in a disaster and lose everything, they'll appreciate it.

BTW, anyone on the Oklahoma/Texas area, we're in DESPERATE need of O positive blood. :)
2003-09-16 07:30:10 PM  
After how they managed the WTC funds, I'm never donating to them again. Those swimming in loot are always seeking more. 'uck em.
2003-09-16 07:34:16 PM  

Your decimal point is off a bit. $741 million / 55,000 = $13,500 average per person.

To get $13 million to every person, they would have needed $741 BILLION.
2003-09-16 07:34:44 PM  
>>>they've spent $741 million on 55,000 families affected by 9/11

I'm confused. Are they saying that 55,000 families were given roughly 13 million dollars a piece? It would suck large amounts of ass to lose a family member that way but I think that even a large family could live quite comfortable off of the interest of an amount that is much less than 13 million.

$741,000,000/53,000=$13,472.73 each
2003-09-16 07:35:23 PM  
Time for Amazon to set up another disaster relief donation fund.
2003-09-16 07:36:03 PM  

Oh wait I'm in that area. Oh well, it always blows past Fairfax! Always!
2003-09-16 07:39:47 PM  
When they farked up the blood donations after 9/11 (threw them out instead of freezing them or transferring them to other agencies that could help with storage),

You can only freeze blood for so long a time. Thus it had to be thrown out. At least that was my understanding.
2003-09-16 07:41:44 PM  

no $741 million divided by 55,000 is $13,400 a piece, roughly
2003-09-16 07:42:55 PM  
lol I guess I should of hit refresh before posting.

Oh well.
2003-09-16 07:46:09 PM  
Oh and more more thing...
The Red Cross, which has an annual budget of $2.5 billion, announced this year that it would cut 231 jobs, mostly from its District headquarters and its Rosslyn biomedical division.

CEO get's 400K a year, but hey they're gonna save money on biomedical :) Maybe they can pay for the Hurricane Isabel with that money from teh budget?
2003-09-16 07:55:33 PM  
But if they don't have any money, who will drive the $500,000 donut-mobile???

/Sounds like some Corporals in the Salvation Army are going to be furloughed. :P :P
2003-09-16 07:56:33 PM  
If you don't want to donate money to the Red Cross, try your local Search & Rescue crew. Most are set up as volunteer auxillaries of the Sheriff's department, and do not receive much funding or any pay. If you don't like your local crew, send it to Butte County Search & Rescue. I will make sure its spent well ;)
2003-09-16 08:05:12 PM  
I find it hilarious. Or anyhow, I laughed when I read it.
2003-09-16 08:10:02 PM  
If I donated $100, I assume that most of it would go to the RC's overhead then to the actual victims. It'd be much more useful to adopt a victim and help them out directly. Of course, you can't write that off. But I am sure the $5 I'd be able to donate wouldn't make too much of a difference on my tax return.

2003-09-16 08:14:05 PM  
Perhaps so, Quick1 - I'm certainly no expert. But here in the upstate of South Carolina, the Red Cross did admit they farked up by not freezing it or transferring it to hospitals that needed it. After, mind you, the local news ran a story about the disposal.

My donations to them now consist of Prime American corpuscles. And actually, I donate to a service run at the hospital - not even sure Blood Connection is affiliated with the Red Cross. I'll withhold my money from them, but I can't see any reason to get stingy with the red stuff.

Besides - I'm this close to getting another Gallon Donor mug...
2003-09-16 08:25:28 PM  
Quick, everyone donate money to the Red Cross so the directors can skim 30% of all donations to feed their increasing salaries and jet collection!
2003-09-16 08:38:25 PM  
Yeah, sure it is. All these guys suck. If you want to give money away, give it to someone who can use it for good, like the Mafia.
2003-09-16 08:56:21 PM  
I have an idea: people only get bailed out for the same disaster in the same location once. That is, if someone gets flooded, then they get assistance, then they move back to the same place and get flooded again, they don't get money the second time.

If they get hit by a hurricane, move right back where they were before, get hit by a hurricane again, no money the second time.

Screw me once and all that...

Who's with me on this?

Oh, and this is all Bush's fault...or Clinton's, I can never keep them straight.
2003-09-16 08:56:47 PM  
And for all you guys whining about the Red about looking at our current adminstration misusing tax dollars in order to make large corporations richer. Ohhh no..that would be too painful.

I choose instead to point out the extent to which my neighbor wastes hot water. That has about as much to do with the discussion.
2003-09-16 08:57:46 PM  
Well, since the Red Cross is going to be of no help I'll gladdly take donations.
2003-09-16 09:01:41 PM  

Yeah, sure it is. All these guys suck. If you want to give money away, give it to someone who can use it for good, like the Mafia.

You CAN'T give money to the Mafia. It just confuses them.

/A confused Mafia is NOT a good thing. :D
2003-09-16 09:17:20 PM  
[image from too old to be available]

2003-09-16 09:52:56 PM  
Thanks for the update I wonder what'll happen to me because of this......(darn parents just had to move here so that THIS could happen...!)North Carolina already sucks and now this. Man!
2003-09-16 10:20:00 PM  
But I just gave them a bunch of old clothes?
2003-09-16 10:48:48 PM  
Red Cross? Dang, I've been sending my donations to Redd Foxx by mistake.

Official Site
2003-09-16 11:19:57 PM  
BTW, are you aware the director of your local ARC chapters is most likely bringing in a six figure annual income?

my wife is the disaster services director for the area chapter. She makes 27K a year, and works at least 60 hours a week, every week.
2003-09-16 11:51:29 PM  
WayToBlue, snarf-snarf, Unitarder, suckerpunch,

Thanks for spreading a little truth out there to combat the general ignorance of the farkers who have been posting.

I happen to know our local Red Cross Director does not make a 6 figure salary. Our service area is nearly 400,000 people. I am sure that some of the directors for the larger areas do make a better income. I also know that many of those directors are out at 4:00 in the morning driving the ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) to an apartment fire in order to cloth, feed, and shelter the displaced families. To those of you biatching about the Red Cross, what did you do last night about that house fire on the other side of town?

The Red Cross also trains babysitters, offers CPR classes, gives rides to the elderly and infirmed, and many other day to day functions. The people I have met there are generally very hard working and very underpaid.

I know that our chapter sent about a dozen people to DC and NYC after 9/11. They were mostly trained counselors and they spent at least 2 weeks out each. The 9/11 attack was not like a normal disaster, there were very few displaced families, so there was little need for shelter.

The 60 minutes piece was a sensationalist piece of journalism with little story behind it. The money that went to the ARC for the 9/11 attacks became bottled up because of this and they were not able to distribute it to other chapters in need. Then the lower donations because of the economy and this story have hurt the charity as well.

If you want to give to the Red Cross give to your *local* chapter and then you know the money will be put to use in your community. Better yet if you have no money to give just go out there and work for 1 day. They can always use somebody to answer phones, lick envelopes, or generally help around the chapter. If after that day you still wish to slam them as money grubbing or whatever then you are free to. Before you do though just walk in their shoes for 1 day.
2003-09-16 11:57:12 PM  

Your decimal point is off a bit. $741 million / 55,000 = $13,500 average per person.

To get $13 million to every person, they would have needed $741 BILLION.

My math skills have always sucked.

As Emily Latella would say, "Nevermind."
2003-09-17 05:39:45 AM  
I worked for the Red Cross,but they cut my entire dept. when the war started. This comes as no suprise.
2003-09-17 07:43:43 AM  
As mentioned during the June 27, 2002, press conference announcing her appointment, Marty Evans will earn $450,000 per year as President and CEO of the ARC.

That's more than the President of the United States job pays. Which one is tougher?

Hold up a second. You just got my attention...sonofagun, that's

The reason why that got my attention is that my university's football coach is bucking for a massive raise. How much cabbage does this leader of a Western Athletic Conference team, who can't even get the fans to pack his own stadium(sure, he's gotten Div 1-A. Still yet.), want?

Well, he STARTED out making as much as President Bush. Now, he's just been authorized TWICE
that, which is actually hundreds of thousands more than the University executive staff make. His argument: well, when he came in originally, he said he was just glad to be here. But now, it seems, he's looking at the million-dollar salaries of the Notre Dames and a few other I-As, and is starting to feel inadequate(and somehow forgetting all the I-A head coaches that make LESS than 400k, much less 800k). And don't even ask how many CLASSES the university could fund with the $400,000 difference, instead...hurts my head, especially since word on the street is that more class cuts are impending.


What's a socially conscious person to do?

Well, my personal opinion would be to go to the bar and work out your frustration by armwrestling more guys under the table.
2003-09-17 08:05:58 AM  
shenannigans on those motherfarkers.

the american people donated all that goddamned money for the families of those displaced and lost on 9/11 - and the goddamn red cross decided it was 'too much' and only doled out part of it. those farkers need to dig the rest of that cash back up in a hurry.

maybe it -was- too much. but for the love of god at least keep the damn cash for -domestic- uses, instead of shipping off aid to countries the american people don't by and large feel like investing in (if we did, then we have a governmental foreign aid package).

this mirrors the old studies that show that people are more inclined to give change to a guy in a suit who says he needs to make a phone call than to a homeless guy. why? because there's a better chance the guy in the suit is not scamming you, and odds are he's a good productive member of society, so you want to keep him in the resource pool, help him out.

guess what red cross? americans wanted that farking money to go to americans. maybe that isn't according to your foreign farking focused agenda, but people are not going to tolerate this bullshiat for much longer.

oh, and Farkers:
never give money to the red cross. this is not their first bout of questionable accounting, and their administration costs are disproportionately high. next time you're going to donate, ask what the pay-through rate is. for the red cross it's something like $0.40 per $1 donated gets to where you want. the purple heart and the salvation army are both around $0.75-$0.80.
2003-09-17 08:35:19 AM  

A bunch of middle class American WANKERS complaining about how the Red Cross administers its money??

You have got to be farking KIDDING ME!!!

Man, I used to wonder if maybe a few of these fark posters were just a little bit self-absorbed, a little narrow minded. You dumb assholes have no concept of what the Red Cross does around the world.

The typifies what is wrong with the United States of America. Your country is a joke.
2003-09-17 09:11:07 AM  
Suck it Trebek

/wrong thread
2003-09-17 09:27:11 AM  
The Red Cross always cries bloody murder when a 'disaster' is about to strike. It's a great way to raise attention and gather freebie resources. By now, with sound investment strategies, the RC should be similar to Lloyd's or the Vatican, with all the shyte people have given them over the years. Heck, they should be able to pay people for blood donations by now.

Moneypit? Aye.
2003-09-17 09:59:30 AM  
(a) $450,000.00/yr is way too much to pay anyone for running a charitable/non-profit org.

(b) As a former ARC non-paid associate (to lazy to actually spell the vol. word), the people on the ground and in the trenches are doing what they do from their hearts. Don't beat the worker bees because the queen bee is a biatch.

2003-09-17 10:04:00 AM  
As far as I'm concerned no one should donate to the Red Cross...they are an overstuffed, burecratic swamp that should stick to handing out doughnuts and coffee at disater sites. They take in millions and millions of dollars and it ends up being other charitable and fraternal organizations that really do the good for the people that need it.

And you just gotta love their little blood for money's been a few years but a hospital administrator I know told me that the blood that we the people donate to them is sold to the hospitals for something like $255 a pint. I know it takes money to collect blood, but where exactly is ALL the money going??? And the hospitals have to buy the blood because they are the biggest network to supply it.

Next time you feel compelled to give your money or donate blood, go directly to the source. Give to local support groups in your own towns...donate blood directly at your local or regional hospital...keep the middle-man leechs like the Red Cross and United Way out of the loop and let them wither on the vine.

Just my 2cents.

2003-09-17 11:14:51 AM  
KeithGate - I believe all blood donation organizations sell blood for roughly the same price. Almost all of the money goes very directly to collecting the blood safely. Did you ask about what the hospital charges patients who receive blood collected directly at the hospital?

Aside from the staff time and disposable equipment (which is almost everything used), I know every donation is tested for hiv, hepatitis, syphilis, west nile virus (just within the last couple of months), and probably more. That costs a good bit of money as does safe storage & transportation.

I'm happy with the Colorado blood donation organization,, but will check into nearby hospitals too to see if there is even less overhead. Plus, bonfils has long since run out of dvds I want to watch.
2003-09-17 11:20:59 AM  
Also, paying blood donors is a very rare practice these days, no matter where you donate. It tends to drastically hurt the quality of donations - people who would only donate in order to make money tend to have much higher risk of hiv, hepatitis and such. Even though that would be caught in tests, it would be a big waste of time & money.

Bonfils says it "only accepts voluntary donations", which I didn't connect with "no money" at first. I thought they were bragging about not kidnapping people off the street and strapping them down for forced donations.

Some people seem to think this makes the high price of blood products even worse since the collection org got it for 'free', but it seems like a good policy to me.
2003-09-17 11:37:21 AM  
My experience working for/with the Red Cross:

Shortly after 9/11 I showed up at the Javits Center to make myself available to volunteer. I wasn't needed but I was put on a list, so I wandered around for a while to see if there was anything I could do there for the people returning from ground zero while I waited.

After a while I realized there was something I could do. A solitary nurse at the first aid station behind the sawhorses was absolutely frantic, and looking exhausted. I distracted a cop with Girl Scout cookies (I can't make this stuff up) and snuck in, and went to the first aid station. When the nurse finally saw me she blinked a few times to try to focus, then asked what I needed.

"I need a band-aid, and I need to come back there to help you," I told her. She hugged me.

All the people waiting for first aid needed exactly that: first aid, which I am more than qualified to give. After a couple of hours she said she was going to go home, have a shower and a nap, and come back in a couple of hours. I told her to take her time. I never saw her again.

After a few more hours it started to calm down, and I began assessing the supplies I had piled in boxes on the pavement behind me. Expecting bandages, aspirin, and saline, instead I found prescription drugs of all flavors. As far as I could tell, no one had touched them.

When I finally saw someone with an official Red Cross ID I flagged down him down, and suggested that the drugs be moved to a more secure location. He said "Do it." I looked at the large pile of boxes (several pallets full, at least) and the first aid station which would be unattended if I left, and asked if some help was available, possibly someone with a first aid cert.

"I'll send someone over," he said.

A while later I spotted someone else ducking under the sawhorses. I flagged him down, and he said he was looking for a way to help. "You came to the right place," I told him.

We alternated between moving the drugs inside and downstairs and manning the first aid station. When they finally closed the station for the night (I guess nobody gets hurt after midnight,) we went downstairs to assess the mess.

Truckloads and truckloads of supplies. Tons of donations. Pallets of goods donated by companies. A blanket donated by someone who had knitted it. Epsom salts donated by a little old lady who wanted to help. Everything in between. Food, medical supplies, rain gear, clothing, and frivolous stuff, piling up in a storage area.

One more person snuck into the area, and between the three of us we started sorting, palletizing, shrink wrapping, and moving this stuff. It took us days.

I'd leave and come home for a couple of hours, then return, my only ID a piece of white tape on which I'd written my name. When I saw someone from the Red Cross (perhaps twice a day, when they'd bring us something to drink) they'd beg me to come back the next day. The three of us, anonymous volunteers, kept returning. We had to, because no one from the Red Cross showed up to take over.

Eventually, the supplies we hadn't yet moved were taken by the military, and I went home and slept for a week.

I know there were folks from the Red Cross there on the front line. I know they were at least as exhausted as me. But they didn't have the help they needed, and organization was nonexistant.

The money I donated for that disaster was the last I'll ever give to the Red Cross.
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