Look Before You Give

By now the whole world has seen the horrific photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey….

The donations are poring in…..my neighborhood, which was hit hard by Katrina, has started clothing drives, food drives……all Americans need to pull together and help where they can.

Most people are donating money to the various charities that work during the disaster after math……but you need to be careful with these also….I wrote about the trouble the the American Red Cross is having……

Source: Closing Thought–30Aug17 – In Saner Thought

My family donates to the Salvation Army and the SPCA……

After the disaster in Haiti years ago the Red Cross got a bit of a bad name……some felt that it was undeserved criticism…..but after I watched an interview with a leader of the ARC I am not so sure……

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many have criticized the American Red Cross, with Facebook and others even directing those who want to help to donate to a different charity. The criticism isn’t new: As NPR notes, there have long been reports that ARC misstates how donor dollars are used, or uses a significant percentage of that money on internal expenses. NPR’s Morning Edition host addressed those criticisms Thursday with Red Cross VP Brad Kieserman, but Kieserman couldn’t say what percentage of donations will go toward Harvey relief. “I don’t think I know the answer to that any better than the chief fundraiser knows … how many emergency response vehicles I have on the road today. So I think if he [were] on this interview and you were asking how many relief vehicles in Texas, I don’t think he’d know the answer and I don’t know the answer to the financial question, I’m afraid.”

Questions on high administrative costs reported on in the past led to a similar answer: “It’s not something I would have any visibility on. I can talk about what it costs to deliver certain relief services.” He continued to say that, no, he “really” doesn’t know what portion of donations goes to relief, though he did say that as of Wednesday morning the ARC had spent $50 million on Harvey relief. “We are committed … to using our resources and donor dollars in a way that best helps the people of Texas,” he said. “The folks I work for are very, very attentive to cost effectiveness and cost efficiencies in making sure that as much as every dollar that we spend on an operation is client-facing.” The organization’s president and CEO, Gail McGovern, was on CBS News Thursday defending the ARC, and she said that on average, 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends goes toward its services for victims.

Do your research before you throw your money at these people……but do not get discouraged……Harvey victims are in dire need of your help.

Please do what you can.

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6 thoughts on “Look Before You Give

  1. Donating to charities is a minefield, in any country. I used to donate to the UK animal charity, the RSPCA. Then I discovered that their new chief executive was getting a £250,000 a year salary package; including a huge house, car and driver, and expense account. Needless to say, I cancelled my regular contribution.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I donate to the local ASPCA….but I do it with food and cleaning supplies….I have always donated to animal things….they deserve some charity….chuq

  2. My family noticed after Sandy that they mostly did photo-ops. It was disgusting because my neighborhood needed help, not pictures. Of course, I have a view of the Red Cross which isn’t flattering: https://blindinjusticeblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/where-to-donate-and-where-not-to-donate/

    In my opinion, local organizations often do the best work. Local charities, churches, police departments, community boards, etc. did some of the really outstanding work after Sandy. And similar things seem to be the case in Houston with Harvey.

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