November 6, 2012

What happens when you donate to the Red Cross

Alex Thomas, Intel Hub -  The credibility of the Red Cross has come under fire once again after Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro slammed the organization during a now viral press conference. Molinaro brought up some significant points including the fact that the people in charge of the Red Cross actually make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year while never stepping foot on the front lines of a disaster. “All these people making these big salaries should be out there on the front line, and I am disappointed. And my advice to the people of Staten Island is: Do not donate to the American Red Cross. Let them get their money elsewhere...

In the days after 9/11, as the true horror of the attacks unfolded, millions of Americans sat glued to their TV. The Red Cross immediately capitalized on this and went to work calling for donations to help the victims of the largest terror attack of our lifetime. The outpouring of financial support for the victims was tremendous. Sadly, most of the money meant to go to victims of the horrific attacks actually went to the organization itself. (This according to their own President) Family members of the victims actually had to publicly fight the Red Cross to access even portions of the funds.

A 2009 investigation by CBS News uncovered a small tidbit of the possible corruption and fraud carried out by the Red Cross in regards to the 9/11 victims funds.
In the hours after the Sept. 11 attacks, a record-breaking amount of donations started pouring into more than 1,000 local American Red Cross chapters. What donors didn’t know was that some of the chapters entrusted with all that money had been identified by Red Cross headquarters just a few weeks before for having poor accounting procedures, inaccurate financial reports and for keeping national disaster contributions that should have been sent to headquarters in Washington. That according to internal documents obtained by CBS news. The Red Cross isn’t known for keeping a tight rein on its chapters. But now, it was suddenly crucial for headquarters to find out what chapters were doing with the millions in Sept. 11 donations. So the Red Cross leadership rushed special investigative auditors out to conduct surprise inspections. The results were startling. According to documents obtained by CBS News, a dozen of the Red Cross chapters audited were marking, or “coding”, donations as local funds. This means chapters like San Diego, Southwest Florida, and Gateway Area, Iowa would keep the money instead of sending it in for Sept. 11 victims.
An article published in 2005 by Paul Joseph Watson gave a stern warning to those who were considering donating to the Red Cross in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. “The Red Cross, under the Liberty Fund, collected $564 million in donations after 9/11. Months after the event, the Red Cross had distributed only $154 million. The Red Cross’ explanation for keeping the majority of the money was that it would be used to help ‘fight the war on terror’.


Anonymous said...

This is an old story in many ways; the Red Cross has been a corrupt bureaucracy for decades.

My uncle told me stories about Red Cross post flood relief in the 1950s that he experinced. Everyone in town was billed later for the sandwiches, coffee and blankets at exortinate rates and those who choose not to pay were pursued by bill collectors until a state judge ruled that the Red Cross was engaged in a fraudulent transaction.

Anonymous said...

Now you tell me - after I have donated. So who or what do I give to?

Anonymous said...

The thing that finished the Red Cross for me was learning that, when distributing donated clothing etc. at least some of the local units try to preserve class distinctions by giving the rich the better clothing, etc., so as not to embarrass them unduly, and the poor, the poorer because that's what they're used to.