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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

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richard lo cicero

I've heard this before but one questuion. What do they do with the money? Enquiring minds want to know.

Marc Davidson

We should get our Rebublican friends here to intercede with their copartisans Libby Doles and Marty Evans and other such past and present presidents of the RC. Maybe they can find the solution.... or are they the problem?

rosedog

Glad you posted this, Marc. Surely we all value the Red Cross, but they're held up as the only game in town, when in fact they're first responders, period end of story.

A friend of mine decided to volunteer her time at the height of the Katrina crisis when the RC was pleading for volunteers willing to be sent to NOLA, Mississippi or TX. Since then she's been sending out the most horrifyingly funny day-by-day dispatches to her friends via e-mail, detailing what it's like to deal with the bureaucratic nightmare that is the Red Cross.

PS: RLC, the extra money goes just into the general fund, which gets used somewhere, I guess.

PPS: This problem isn’t limited to the American Red Cross. The Sidney Morning Herald did an investigation of the Aussie RC and found that of the $14.5 million Australians donated for Bali bombing victims, only about $4 million actually reached those selfsame victims.

kurt

Let me respond briefly, as a Red Cross board member from Long Beach. Yes, the Red Cross is a first-reposnder organization, but the money given the national RC does flow down to the local level. More than just house and feed short term (something I think we all feel vital) the Red Cross does help with getting people into new housing (with first month and security deposits) and providing money to purchase needed items such as a bed, clothing and more. We also provide trained counselors to help with grief, loss and other issues. While some of that money is reimbursed, it is far from making up what we spend. The Red Cross turns no profit, trust me.

The Red Cross has certainly made mistakes in the past, and we've tried to learn from them. And I'll be the first to say that the RC can be a frustrating buracracy at times. However, comparing Katrina to 9/11 is a mistake because you're talking about two different situations in many ways -- primarily (and unfortunatly), there were far more deaths and fewer people to house and relocate in the case of 9/11.

To suggest that people will get only a donut is a sad misrepresentation of what the Red Cross does on the ground and makes me question Mr. Walden's overall veracity (he does have the movtive of seeing his own organization grow).

GM Roper

Interesting that Marc Davidson projected political nonsense into what is essentially a bureaucratic problem, often the case in any HUGE organization. I have dealt with both and In order of giving (and if you want money to go to a specific cause ALWAYS specify the cause otherwise it always goes into a general fund) 1. Operation USA (because Marc recommended it and because I researched and like the way they handle their cash) 2. The Salvation Army and 3. the ARC.

Cheers

Woody

Marc, your link to Arianna's site doesn't work, but that's okay because I have it as my home page, bouncing you and GM (and myself). The Red Cross banner is now gone.

Below is Arianna's correct link for everyone who wants to read about Anna Nichole Smith's inheritance suit, why societies with God are worse, the Trumps are expecting, Cindy Sheehan is mad at the hurricane, most people wash their hands in the bathroom, Tom Sizemore has porno tapes for sale, Democrats consider "Gigli" star Ben Affleck for Senate, and other stories rejected by The Onion as too bizarre. http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Regarding the Red Cross, I surmise that it resembles government agencies in that it appears inefficient, unable to manage funds, and is a general bureaucratic mess. However, they somehow pass an annual audit and meet the federal filing requirements each year. I've seen nothing illegal, but designated funds have a way of covering overhead not directly related to the cause but for which the cause gets charged a percent.

The Braves should clinch tonight. If they don't, the Red Cross will have a new emergency at Turner Field.

reg

Thanks for the link Woody...but you missed the good stuff. Michael Brown getting a paying contract with FEMA to explain how he screwed up. Bill Frist lying about knowing what stocks were in his "blind trust". Oh, and Dr. Bill, Ricky Santorum and "Hammer" DeLay get the prize for being among the most corrupt members of Congress.

But for more of the good stuff, be sure to check out the intrepid Matt Drudge today for news of the monster mold that threatens the South, photos of a Giant Squid, Laura Bush's Xtreme makeover and the woman fined for sitting on a park bench with no kids (!). Of course the D-Man also has a bit of real news...headlines telling us that illegal immigration is increasing and Bush is going to pick another justice for the Supreme Court. Who knew ????

reg

"Michael Brown getting a paying contract with FEMA to explain how he screwed up."


This news, incidentally, opens up a whole new market for independent contractors:

Lyndie England gets hired to consult with the Army's department of diversity training.

Jack Abramoff gets a contract with the Society of Lobbyists for Unfettered Government to advise them on ethics and the law.

Paul Bremer is hired by the new Iraqi government to consult on reconstruction and security.

Halliburton is hired by the Government Accounting Office to improve accounting standards.

Arthur Anderson Inc. is hired by the Securities Exchange Comission to improve accounting standards.

The (ex) New Orleans Police Chief is hired back to deliver inspirational pep talks before each shift.

The Chairman of the Congressional Appropriations Committee is hired by the Treasury Department to consult on balancing the budget.

Bob Schrum gets a contract with the Democratic National Committee to plan a winning strategy for 2006 & 2008. (This will actually happen.)


The list could get very long...presumably ending with O.J. being called back to L.A. as a consultant to the homicide squad in a search for the real killers.


Richard Walden

As of Tuesday afternoon, the LA Times OpEd section was under siege as Red Cross demanded they renounce the "Money Pit" op ed they published. The Red Cross website also carried (in its Press Room section) a "point by point refutation" of what I asserted in my article. Unfortunately, all of their points were off the mark and irrelevant. They deny any pre-existing govt reimbursement but today's Washington Post had them lobbying Congress for FEMA reimbursment to chuches operating Red Cross-type shelters...why would they do that if they weren't reimbursed as well? What if there was no private response and no $946M taken in by them (today's escalating figure)? Would they have opened a single shelter? Of course they would because they are First Responders and required (by contract) to do so in a Declared Disaster. They do say I was wrong in saying they realize $1.5B from selling donated blood; they admit to over $2B or 68% of their revenues last year. They are furious that the ugly secret of govt reimbursement is all over the blogs of America and in the mainstream press, too. It might result in a fairer distribution of the public's compassion and give grassroots groups a chance to rebuild--which I and Red Cross both say it does not do. Stay tuned to see if The Times does enough research to stand firm behind its Op Ed choice of informing the public rather than playing the all-fundraising-all-the-time-Red Cross roulette like so much of the corporate media has done.

Abbas-Ali Abadani

I think another worthy target for donations is the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.

http://www.brfoodbank.org/

The population of the Baton Rouge area has more than doubled since Katrina hit and their resources are stretched to the breaking point. This Washington Post article was written less than a week after the levees were breached and I can't imagine the situation there has improved any since.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/04/AR2005090401547_pf.html

Also Baton Rouge Food Bank has one of the highest ratings given by Charity Navigator -- 99.4% of funds go into program expenses. So you know that your donation will be put to use where it's needed most.

http://charitynavigator.org/index.cfm/bay/search.summary/orgid/7719.htm

Click here to donate

http://www.brfoodbank.org/sc/viewcart3.asp?checkout=&State=LA&CertID=&donationtype=HurricaneReliefEfforts

(hat tip: Matthew Barganier)

richard lo cicero

Well, I'll take Kurt's word for it since it seems reasonable. Rosedog I think that contributing to the general fund is OK since money is fungible and, in a way, so are disasters. Of course I'll go along with Marc and point out that there are other good charitable sources.

BUT...

Why is FEMA only sending money to "Faith-Based" groups? I sure as hell don't want my money going to Pat Robertson. I'd rather send it to ANSWER!

reg

Maybe this was your ironic point, but isn't ANSWER also a faith-based group ???

HTTP Viewer

Well said Kurt...

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