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Can We Trust the Red Cross?

Retired Article • Written by Alan Bellows

The three million unpaid volunteers for the Red Cross are an able, well-intentioned bunch... and they certainly do a lot of good. But recently the Red Cross organization itself has undergone some close scrutiny, and there are some troubling findings.

According to Richard M. Walden (president and CEO of Operation USA), it is estimated that 70% of the $1.2 Billion donated to Katrina-related donations went to the Red Cross, yet the Red Cross is fully reimbursed by the government for any shelters or emergency services they provide. Repeatedly, the Red Cross has run into trouble for spending much less on disaster recovery than they collect, shuffling the extra funds into their "national disaster account," where it can be used for purposes other than that it was collected for. That's the sort of trouble they saw in the aftermath of the 1989 San Francisco Bay Area earthquake, and after 9/11.

Despite landing in trouble for soliciting more donations than they need and squirreling the rest away, the Red Cross continues to operate this way. The organization makes a total of about $3 billion annually, about half of which is from selling donated blood. Some of this surplus money ends up in disaster relief, but it seems that much does not. Last year alone, the Red Cross spent $111 million in fund raising, and their CEO Marsha Evans made just under $652,000. It seems the the main value they offer is the free help of their volunteer force.

From the LA Times article:

The Red Cross expects to raise more than $2 billion before Hurricane Katrina-related giving subsides. If it takes care of 300,000 people, that's $7,000 per victim. I doubt each victim under Red Cross care will see more than a doughnut, an interview with a social worker and a short-term voucher for a cheap motel, with a few miscellaneous items such as clothes and cooking pots thrown in.
[snip]
Giving so high a percentage of all donations to one agency that defines itself only as a first-responder and not a rebuilder is not the wisest choice. Americans ought to give a much larger share of their generous charity to community foundations, grass-roots nonprofit groups based in the affected communities and a large number of international "brand name" relief agencies with decades of expertise in rebuilding communities after disasters.

The Red Cross also has some disturbing caveats in the agreement form which every volunteer is required to sign. From the BoingBoing article:

Every volunteer for the American Red Cross is required to sign on to an agreement that covers things like proper conduct, confidentiality, and includes a requirement for all volunteers to sign over all copyright/trademark/patent rights in any work-related writing, art and inventions come up with during their term, and for a full year afterward. Why the hell does the Red Cross need to own the copyrights in the work-related blog postings you make for a year after you stop spending your free evenings handing out cookies to blood-donors? If you write a novel and include some real-life details gleaned from volunteering in a disaster-relief efforts, does the Red Cross really deserve to take all rights to it?

So has the Red Cross become little more than a massive PR engine which takes advantage of millions of well-meaning volunteers, and capitalizes on disasters? It's an unpleasant conclusion, but it may just be the truth. Any evidence to the contrary is welcome, because this story is far too depressing if it's true.

LA Times article
BoingBoing article

Article written by Alan Bellows, published on 28 September 2005. Alan is the founder/designer/head writer/managing editor of Damn Interesting.

Article design and artwork by Alan Bellows.
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40 Comments
Gruesome
Posted 28 September 2005 at 08:04 pm

I work for the Red Cross, and NONE of this surprises me. I'm currently going back to school so I can get away from this organisation. I have found in my fifteen years that if managers can't make a success in the for-profit sector, they end up at non-profits. If I remember right, accounting practices were so bad at a region out east (New Jersey?), that the CEO and his minions were embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Alan Bellows
Posted 28 September 2005 at 09:29 pm

The most troubling thing to me, and I don't know exactly why, is the one-and-a-half billion dollars made in selling donated blood. They collect it under such a "desperately needed" premise, then sell it off for profit. Punks. And while the executives are raking in half-million plus salaries, they're giving good, hard-working people the "privilege" of volunteering. Bah.


Josh Harding
Posted 29 September 2005 at 09:02 am

It makes me glad that they won't take my blood. Something about mad cow disease....and former soviet union...and hot dogs???


PERKY_NIHILIST
Posted 29 September 2005 at 10:39 am

I wrote to 35 charities for the break down of where the money goes and I was just sick. Most have over 80% of their donations going to "administration" some over 90%.

That is shameful. I try to find small independant charities that I know to personally put needed goods and services in the hands of the victims.


siouxfan
Posted 23 October 2005 at 12:23 pm

Does not surprise me one bit. I heard about this years ago. When I give now, I try to give to the Salvation Army. I don't mind some going toward administration, but I do mind when it goes into a CEO's pocket!!


taz8tj
Posted 24 October 2005 at 04:45 pm

I won't give to Red Cross or United Way/Red cross because they knew they had or could have HIV blood in their supplies in the early 1980's, but instead of doing the right thing, they continued to sell it to the hospitals. They did not want to be without a profit til a proven test could be developed...so lets just continue with the blood, tainted or not. The United Way, because my brother use to go around Houston and give out Meals on wheels. I use to be the spoke person for United Way for UPS/ But when they turned my brother away because he had HIV, even thought he was a volunteer... Why would I ever give them my time or money again? I never will. They are cons going for the heart with their commercials.

Ohhh, they all help Aids/HIV now, but what about when they could have made a difference, at a time when they could have been proactive instead of greedy uneducated snobs?


JustAnotherName
Posted 31 October 2005 at 07:53 pm

I give to NAVS - National Anti-Vivasection Society. I target the Sancturary Fund. Outside of that I give donations to my congregation. No one has to know how much or see you put it in a plate as there are boxes in the back you can put money into anytime. I am a Jehovah's Witness. Don't even get me started on the blood issue. We do not take transfusions for religious reasons. But thankfully we have been protected from what many have suffered through transfusions AND STILL DO!! You can look up the Blood Transfusion Medical Information at http://www.watchtower.org.

My cousin is in Region 1 of 90 Building Regions of Jehovah's Witnesses in the U.S. and was just sent down to New Orleans to rebuild Kingdom Halls and Homes for those that have lost theirs. All 90 regions are going to be pulled and rotated to get this done. If we waited on the Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity or any other organization, we would have a lot of people without Kingdom Halls and homes for a long, long time.

I stick with Animal Organizations overall. I give food to the local SPCA and utilize Spay and Save for Stray Cats. I've always trusted animal organizations with my money more than any other organization outside of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Animal people are......well, NUTS and they would kill someone before not utilizing the money correctly. Still, I like giving food and targeting the Sanctuary Fund for NAVS.


JustAnotherName
Posted 03 November 2005 at 06:04 am

Oh, I forgot to say Thank You for posting this article. The last figure I had on how much the Red Cross makes on Blood was $600 Million a year; I believe this was AT LEAST a decade ago as it was printed in a Watchtower or Awake magazine. The updated dollar figure will help me to inform my Bible Study's. Blood is BIG business.


Arcangel
Posted 04 November 2005 at 11:49 pm

Yes this doesn't surprise me at all. In Canada we kicked the Red Cross out of the blood game due to the distribution of contaminated blood supplies which infected thousands of Canadians with HIV and hepatitis C. You can see one article on this at the following website:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4595039.stm


andrej
Posted 07 February 2006 at 07:26 pm

It seems that this problem is not specific to American Red Cross: the management of Red Cross of Slovenia was using the donated money as if it was theirs (of course less carefully, because it was "other people's money"). They were giving out low interest rate loans to businesses of the manager's friends. They weren't even particularly careful about paying them back. The manager was giving himself an excessively high salary (by local standards) and when he was fired because the whole affair was published in the press, he had his golden parachute - he got a year of that salary worth severance.


mart
Posted 04 May 2006 at 10:54 pm

an Australian and Dutch investigation found that of all aid organisations Oxfam is the one with the lowest overall cost. More than 90% of donated money reaches the people who need it, sometimes as high as 98%.

I dont work for oxfam, but came across their name when my girlfriend ran the famous oxfam 100k run in Melbourne.


froggy
Posted 06 May 2006 at 04:10 pm

The woman in the article dressed in red cross uniform? Is she a real person? Or is that just a randow drawing?
Her image leaped off the page and hit me right between the eyes. I felt as if I knew her from past time in my life. Very strange experience.
Strongest emotional experience I've had in years.
I usually snicker when I read stuff like this. Go figure. Must be getting old.


JJ
Posted 14 May 2006 at 03:16 pm

I think she might be from other publications/used pictures, as I too have seen her before. I think it might be from old war posters, or leaflets asking for volunteers sort of thing.


rainman
Posted 19 May 2006 at 10:20 am

This is no shock to me. I've been dealing with the Red Cross for a while, but for a different reason. The Red Cross bars donations from any non-celebate gay men. Their logic is that male-male sexual activity makes a person terribly likely for HIV infection. Now the numbers don't really show that, with many more HIV-positive heterosexual people than gay; if there's a disparity it's small. At any rate, they're supposed to be putting ALL new donations through quarantine and batch-screening tests, HIV blood is supposedly yanked very efficiently. If that's the case, why put an anti-gay rule into place, especially during crises when blood donations are needed? Try explaining to your coworkers why you're not donating blood after 9/11, when you simply can't. It's pretty embarassing when a donation-stand or bloodmobile volunteer asks me to donate, because I have to give a stranger details of my sex life, which elicits great responses, btw. (I realize gay sex grosses straight people out, which is why I don't detail it publicly). They're banning ~5% of the population using a bigoted rational that in turn, contributes to bigotry (the anti-gay movement LOVES that a beloved charity like the Red Cross openly discriminates in today's PC world).

The salvation army isn't much better on that subject, they for many years offered full benefits to gay couples... But, a few years ago, they decided they needed to save money... And everyone knows gay families are less deserving than 'normal' ones. So, they cut funding. If you look, there are plenty of stories of gay/lesbian people having to quit working at the SA because they could no longer provide health insurance to their partner's children. So every year, I now give the (highly annoying) bellringers a slip of paper that says, "I would have donated $2 but because of your anti-gay policies, I'm donating elsewhere." Not that I really believe economic boycotts work in today's market, but at least I can pretend :)

To sum it up, gay and lesbian people who wish to donate money to charitable causes such as these, may find it very difficult to find charities who do not work against gay/lesbian families. It's a mighty shame, because as another stereotype claims, we have a huge amount of disposable income. And believe it or not, we want to help out just as much as you do. But we don't want to have to fight against our own equality to do so.


Melon Head
Posted 25 May 2006 at 08:40 pm

JustAnotherName said: "I give to NAVS - National Anti-Vivasection Society. I target the Sancturary Fund. Outside of that I give donations to my congregation. No one has to know how much or see you put it in a plate as there are boxes in the back you can put money into anytime. I am a Jehovah's Witness. Don't even get me started on the blood issue. We do not take transfusions for religious reasons. But thankfully we have been protected from what many have suffered through transfusions AND STILL DO!! You can look up the Blood Transfusion Medical Information at http://www.watchtower.org.

My cousin is in Region 1 of 90 Building Regions of Jehovah's Witnesses in the U.S. and was just sent down to New Orleans to rebuild Kingdom Halls and Homes for those that have lost theirs. All 90 regions are going to be pulled and rotated to get this done. If we waited on the Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity or any other organization, we would have a lot of people without Kingdom Halls and homes for a long, long time.

I stick with Animal Organizations overall. I give food to the local SPCA and utilize Spay and Save for Stray Cats. I've always trusted animal organizations with my money more than any other organization outside of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Animal people are……well, NUTS and they would kill someone before not utilizing the money correctly. Still, I like giving food and targeting the Sanctuary Fund for NAVS."

Nice comment. I am also one of Jehovah's Witnesses. I think it important that people see how ineffective most charities are. I donate what I can to the collection boxes at the back of my Kingdom Hall and there is no doubt in my mind it goes where it is supposed to.


Filoviridae
Posted 15 June 2006 at 08:53 am

Ha! That's hilarious. That makes three of us then:)


Drakvil
Posted 21 July 2006 at 01:10 am

I too used to be a Red Cross volunteer. While there are very good reasons why I do not volunteer for them any more (some enumerated below), there are some misconceptions about they way they operate (not all of them exculpatory).

You can certainly see a reason for calling their donation solicitations deceptive when they use a specific disaster to advertise the need for giving them money and supplies, but all the money goes into their general fund - that was the case 100% of the time until recently. It does make sense for all the money they receive to go into a general disaster fund because they need to be prepared to respond to disasters rapidly, and it takes quite a while for donations to come in following a disaster: how many people donated the same day they saw the damage done by Katrina? By having a general fund the supplies and resources are prepared ahead of time for about any kind of disaster. That money needs to be replaced, so they use the disaster to replenish what has been spent from the general fund.

As for the statement in the article about the government reimbursing the Red Cross for emergency shelters and emergency services, I very strongly have to doubt the veracity of that statement - while congress has officially made it the duty of the Red Cross to act as an intermediary between tro0ps and their families and to provide first aid education, the RC receives no compensation from the government for those services. Every instructor's class I ever took from the RC drilled into our heads that the RC is funded by donations and gets NO money from the government. (But, being a charity, they do get some serious discounts and exemptions.) Also, the nurses that operate the blood donations are not usually volunteer, but are paid. There are volunteers that assist them, but they are in the minority.

At the national level the RC does tremendous amounts of good works for people in tremendous need by developing the classes and standards for services at no small expense. The RC exists by definition as a volunteer organization with a small paid staff to support the functions of the volunteers in doing these good works. The horrible breakdown is that on the local, chapter level, the paid staff have subverted that structure for their own ends. The paid support staff immediately start to believe that the volunteers are there to help THEM, and have turned the org chart for doing the good works upside down. They are aided by a few volunteers who have reached leadership positions in the chapters and their egos are left unchecked. You can see where that will lead things.

For the administrators (both at the executive director of the chapter level and division [blood services, health and safety, disaster services, etc.]) there is a lot of pressure to not operate at a loss (after all, these are paid staff we're talking about), and they bend any rules they feel they have to in order to achieve that. As a former CPR instructor for them, I was shamed events called "CPR saturdays" where they rush large numbers of people (on the order of 50-200) through a 8-hour CPR class in 3-4 hours in rotating station fashion. To say that the normal standards of instruction were not maintained would be an understatement.

I was invited to assist in the final practical exam for a first responder's class (basically a 60 hour first aid class), and was overruled when I refused to pass several students for gross failures in the standard of care. If you had a suspected spinal injury, would you want to be secured to a backboard by elastic bandages normally used for dressing sprained ankles? For our efforts, my wife and I received a letter signed by the chapter executive director telling us we were no longer acceptable as volunteers and were not allowed on that chapter's premises or to attend any of their functions again.

I have spent nights taking snacks and drinks to firefighters working to extinguish fires so they are not in danger of collapsing, I have assisted in giving lodging vouchers to people whose homes have burned down and all their posessions been destroyed, and I have several gallon pins for blood donations. The RC does do some incredibly vital good works for people in need, and they should not be stopped or hindered in providing those good works - but people need to be educated in what the RC does do and learn how to use it. (They do not, as an organization, enter a disaster scene until it is declared safe - their liability insurance does not allow it. They leave that to the professionals) It is a shame that small pockets of corruption give such a bad name to an organization that does provide such needed services. The CPR classes they teach (regular, no more than 8 students per instructor, not the mass workshops) work... two students I taught performed CPR on me the week after I taught their class, and they got my heart started again. I was awake before I got to the ambulance.

Like most other groups it does contain some bad people , but the organization in general is good and does good for people in need. Those are the people you need to keep in mind.


mwace
Posted 26 September 2006 at 07:32 pm

Damn good post, Drakvil.


Mez
Posted 29 September 2006 at 07:24 am

And the Red Cross associates with Red Crescent but not with Magen David Adom (the Israeli equivalent).


signtopia
Posted 28 October 2006 at 11:23 pm

I noticed a few comments from some Jehovah's Witnesses. I can understand why they would try promoting the Watchtower Society here, but as they so often fail to mention is that not even a Jehovah's Witness could get a full financial report from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of NY. It just is not possible. Until you know every detail, you cannot be sure where exactly that donated dollar goes. I am aware of their so-called "Annual Report".....but that is not from any "neutral" audit. I wouldn't want anyone to even think for one minute that the money donated in a box at the back of a Kingdom Hall goes entirely to some charitable cause. The Watchtower as a charity or a relief agency? Now THAT happens to be hilarious. And about that blood issue..........if you ever want to know about that, simply survey the doctor's and nurses at your local hospitals. More often than not, a Jehovah's Witness will accept a blood transfusion as long as there are no other Jehovah's Witnesses around to know it. The policy is that tranfusions are forbidden yet it is considered a "matter of personal conscience", that's the deal........however, if one does exercise his personal conscience and agree to a transfusion and the rest of the flock finds out, that person will be disfellowshipped and it will be said that the person "removed himself" from the congregation. Furthermore, adherents of the Watchtower Society generally recieve information regarding relief efforts from only one source.......Watchtower publications. That would send up a red flag in most normal people's minds. Reality is, way too often, these relief efforts are solely for Jehovah's Witness members and buildings owned by the Watchtower Society. Also, I must mention that a Jehovah's Witness will share stories about how wonderful it is that they refuse blood and do not participate in the donation of blood, but never seem to mention the assorted parts of blood they will accept even though they never donate these parts to the rest of society............and this leaves us with one question........Is a cannibal still a cannibal if he only eats the toes?


prudychick
Posted 14 March 2008 at 04:01 pm

One of the worst things I've heard about the Red Cross was from my mother. She knew someone who had received aid from the Red Cross. They later received a letter from them demanding that they be reimbursed for the aid they received.


DannyHaszard
Posted 23 March 2008 at 07:01 am

WATCHTOWER HEMOPHILIAC HYPOCRISY

Jehovah's Witnesses may take certain components of blood, such as hemophiliac preparations (Factor VIII and Factor IX),and have for many years.The greatest risk of AIDS infection comes from this procedure which is allowed by the Watchtower society,so this proves that this whole entire blood ban thing is totally made up and man made and NOT from the Bible.

http://www.ajwrb.org/basics/abstain.shtml


DannyHaszard
Posted 23 March 2008 at 07:02 am

Blood issue at a glance: The Watchtower leadership of the Jehovah's Witnesses say NO blood, BUT they actually DO ALLOW some blood "fractions".
Problem is this variance is so esoteric complicated that by the time special elders appear in the ER with the rule book, the JW patient is at the point of no return,bleeding to death.
NOW,they blame the hospital staff for not having a "cell saver" machine instead of the Watchtower leaders who are responsible for making the rules.

I was born a 3rd generation Jehovah's Witness in 1957 and endured the Watchtower's no blood commandment with longstanding bleeding Crohn's disease.The Watchtower leadership expects followers to die for their dogma and many have.The medical staff get blamed and are 'damned if they do damned if they don't'.

In 20 years there will be artificial blood for anyone who chooses it,putting an end to this drama.

I am Danny Haszard a real lifelong JW with a scary 28 year chronic bleeding disease who "took his stand on blood" and refused it countless times

http://www.ajwrb.org/basics/abstain.shtml Jehovah Witness blood policy reform site

http://www.towertotruth.net/Articles/blood_transfusions.htm Will you die for a lie?


Web
Posted 23 March 2008 at 09:01 pm

I apologize for this off topic remark, but dangerous misinformation should be stopped when possible.

rainman said: "Their logic is that male-male sexual activity makes a person terribly likely for HIV infection. Now the numbers don't really show that, with many more HIV-positive heterosexual people than gay; if there's a disparity it's small."

This is simply not true, and the perpetuation of lies like this is why HIV has spread as quickly as it has. The risk of HIV transmission from anal intercourse is MUCH higher than for vaginal. Do some research before you spread myths, and please, be safe.


DanThinksDances&femaleGspot
Posted 26 July 2008 at 10:25 pm

Enter your reply text here. OK

YOU GUYS ARE ALL WRONG. Yes, the United States Congress has fined and held herrings on tainted blood for which the Red Cross has dangerously incompetant management. // Most charities, problobly starting in the 1990's are hiring high paid CEO's from the private sector to 1) run optimally 2) tremendisly increase their fund raising abilities.

Small charities are usually efficient but need funding. They hire a million dollar CEO who then raises 10 million dollars each year.

Who's complaining? If your gay, charity's reflect society. Discrimination is still around.
Ask a female military general how she had handled discrimination. Yes, America has female generals.


DanThinksDances&femaleGspot
Posted 29 July 2008 at 08:03 pm

Enter your reply text here. OK

ps: I am a dog walker. Yes, full time job. I am not in the non-profit industry except as a volunteer.


a1c
Posted 09 August 2008 at 09:46 pm

My elderly grandparents *hate* the Red Cross for what went on during WWII.


Watcher
Posted 29 September 2008 at 08:23 am

I have a bone to pick with the entire non-profit, non-governmental development / aid sector although I don't doubt the high-minded altruism of some of the individuals who work in it. I have extensive exposure and my feelings are that:

1. In a very short time, their focus turns inwards. To the survival and aggrandisement of the organisation itself. To devise new projects, obtain more funds and to increase in scope and influence is the main goal of all such organisations because, think about it, if by some miracle you actually achieved your targets and delivered as you promised, then you would also eliminate the reason for your own continued existence. This was always to be expected if we weren't all so naive (extend that logic to the many organizations and agencies that have spawned in the last decade and you can also predict how likely they are to willingly eliminate their own jobs).

2. They very cynically exploit guilt and good intentions alike. They milk public sympathy and they bully corporate CSR for donations but they divert the funds to their own uses.

3. At the lower levels, the field workers and volunteers are often only in it to get the "brownie points" - i.e. something killer to put on their resumes so they look like caring human beings when they apply for their high-paying corporate jobs. I've seen volunteers in 3rd world countries acting like prima donnas or visiting heads of state. They will go to visit a family that has lost its home to some disaster and it is clear they think that even showing up in this hot, filthy, muddy place was a great sacrifice and kind deed on their part. They will ask a few inane and insensitive questions, all the more insulting because they are not even well thought out. And they will come back and snipe about the ingratitude of the victims if perchance the family was not obsequiously grateful for their interest and did not kill their last chicken to cook the honored guest a fitting meal.

4. At the other end, leaving our few high-minded altruists aside, most founders of charities and the management committees of ngos learn very quickly what a gravy train they have on their hands and, well let's just say it turns their head a little. I know of the founder of a charity ngo. He always wears very humble, homespun fabric clothing to show how he identifies with the poor. Its almost his trademark uniform. He also wears a Cartier watch and $1500 crocodile shoes which he thinks people won't notice or perhaps, cotton on to. Actually I saw him at an airport once when we were boarding the same flight. We walked on to the aircraft and as I turned right to go to my seat in coach he turned left to find his in first class.

I know of another committee that, since they run a non-profit charity and cannot take profits or dividends or salaries, pay themselves $5000 in attendance fees for each committee meeting that they attend. There are a minimum of 12 meetings a month and more can be called anytime one or the other of them decides they need a little extra cash. Best of all, they can sign by remote and need not personally attend.

5. The worst are the micro-finance institutes (that's small micro loans so someone can, for example, build a chicken coop or buy a bicycle to take their chickens to market). The financial engineering of these loans is pure evil. The lucky borrower has to pay processing fees, documentation fees and in some cases the first installment at the time of borrowing. The interest rates are anywhere from 2 - 4% PER MONTH. The reason for this is, since you are lending to the poorest of the poor, they have no security or collateral to give. Micro-finance models don't even admit mortgage or collateral because then they would not look like charities, they would look like banks. But on the other hand they argue that since the loans are unsecured and the risk of default is high they have to charge higher interest rates. Sounds like a bank to me. But here's the diabolical part. If you borrow $100, and they deduct $15 dollars as fees, costs and the first installment on the very day they give you the money, you only go home with $85. But you have to pay 4% a month on the $100 that is the official value of your loan. Effective interest rate: 40.8% per annum. Makes Shylock look like a stand-up guy. The amazing thing is these poor people are so honourable, that even though it ruins them, they sell everything and still manage to pay. In many societies, to default on a loan is like breaking your word and carries heavy social stigma. The micro-finance guys know this, that’s why they love the business. The real risk of default is low, they still charge high, high interest, and entire families and even villages are wiped out in their wake.

6. Now all the above points are about how they are run and arguably, that can be fixed. There's one over-riding question that nobody can give a clear answer too and that is, "Does it work?" This is the development/dependency debate. A whole school of economic theory from Latin America in the 60s and 70s rejected development through aid, however well-intentioned, because they felt it taught people not how to become self sufficient (such as through employment, empowerment and private enterprise) but how to keep getting money from a charity.


Shane
Posted 07 February 2010 at 11:11 am

Jehovah’s Witnesses oh brother, they will happily use other people’s blood components for inoculations to save their butts, but to give blood of any sort they frown on that. It was not that long ago that they viewed transplants of any kind as cannibalism, till their so called called flashing “new light” got brighter; this is all fine and dandy until you stop and contemplate how many needless deaths have occurred among their rank and file, all because their Governing Body Demigods, (corporate leaders) have successfully hood winked thousands of people over the years to their own demise When everyone’s thinking alike, no one’s thinking at all.


SHEKAR INDIA
Posted 22 November 2010 at 12:56 am

I read with interest the views expressed by watcher, DAnny, signtopia. Boy! you guys are lucky, you have acess to lot of inoformation on what is happening around you and who is responsible. Thank God and be happy that atleast most of the money that you have donated has come back to the aid of those in distress. On the contrary, the story is entirely different here. There are many NGOs who are good, but are over-shadowed by the "non-performers" who are the real scamsters.


BoSto
Posted 28 February 2012 at 01:04 pm

The Red Cross/Crescent Movement has conditions for admission but have no power to control or disown National Red Cross/ Crescent Socities who fail to meet minimum standards of transparency, accountability or operational standards. This is why such National Societies as Kyrgystan and Ireland should have been thrown out long ago due to unacceptable governance and management which is a disgrace to those who comply.
The SG of IFRC is only interested in public relations but time is running out for many development charities for whom accountability is an endangered species.
Oxfam is not better, it engineers its accounting to make its admin and operational costs appear minimal while little reaches the poor or those in immediate need of support.
The aid industry is in need of overhaul and this needs to be an international concern otherwise as with the multinationals, they will simply move from a tough administration to one where anything goes.


TARNA
Posted 03 March 2012 at 11:47 am

I worked for the American Red Cross for several years. I have never seen a more disorganized "charity" in my life. In my opinion, this non-profit organization operates on 3 wheels. It terrifies me to think of what would happen if my friends or my loved ones were in a disaster and needed their support. They also waste..... they honestly need to get better prepared and especially considering the fact that we are having more natural disasters in this country. I hope they get their act together.... for all of our sakes.


BoSto
Posted 04 March 2012 at 03:24 pm

TARNA said: "I worked for the American Red Cross for several years. I have never seen a more disorganized “charity” in my life. In my opinion, this non-profit organization operates on 3 wheels. It terrifies me to think of what would happen if my friends or my loved ones were in a disaster and needed their support. They also waste….. they honestly need to get better prepared and especially considering the fact that we are having more natural disasters in this country. I hope they get their act together…. for all of our sakes."

Better to get the community around to organise themselves for preparedness to react to emergencies. Not only is it a great way to get to know folks, develop the resources locally, be self-reliant and in control but it will mean that if help is needed it will be there faster and more appropriate than anything from outside such as from ARC.


Lee
Posted 27 February 2013 at 04:29 am

We give blood for free to REDCROSS, but they refuse to give blood to greece unless they can get money!!! boycott corrupt redcross!

Redcross not in it to save lives, just make a profit... They say no blood to those in need, in Greece, unless they can get paid so much money! They say the blood you give them to save lives is a resource for them to make profit!! ie redcross says money is more important than lives!


violeta
Posted 19 October 2013 at 12:50 pm

In Canada is not like in US.

Assess a global charity through corruption of one state is not in good faith. To compare it with the sect is more inappropriate. By the way the sectarian's comments were shown how they are educated in their field

do not judge others that you be not judged,
love your neighbor as yourself ...

How would it be to clean you own mess before pointing fingers at others. From sex abuse, to monetary transparency, blending into politics etc


bobby
Posted 09 January 2014 at 04:28 am

As a former volunteer I can tell you waste is rampant and overseen by incompetent managers who are way overpaid.


chris
Posted 24 April 2014 at 10:09 am

siouxfan said: "Does not surprise me one bit. I heard about this years ago. When I give now, I try to give to the Salvation Army. I don't mind some going toward administration, but I do mind when it goes into a CEO's pocket!!"

the ceo makes 650,000 a year it may be a abit much but its nothing compared to the millions that are donated so maybe less then a dollar of your money and everyone elses goes to him.


LateAgain
Posted 02 May 2014 at 05:05 pm

What a pity that watcher's comment was consigned to Room 101. But yes, I agree that your tirade against Red Cross, without any reference to any of the other charities, NGO's or Quangos should be made redundant.


Cherron Rodriguez
Posted 08 May 2014 at 06:04 pm

prudychick said: "One of the worst things I've heard about the Red Cross was from my mother. She knew someone who had received aid from the Red Cross. They later received a letter from them demanding that they be reimbursed for the aid they received."

I am a volunteer with the ARC. I can tell you for a fact that we tell our clients that the money we give them is a gift from the people through the ARC and it is not to be paid back. I've gone more nights than I can count without sleep because we were helping those who have lost nearly everything they own, and sometimes EVERYTHING they own in house and apartment fires. I wish people would get their facts straight before they start posting about different organizations and what they think, or what they have been told. Educate yourself with the facts. I, for one, am very glad to be associated with the ARC. I will tell you that if you want 100% of your donation to go to a particular disaster or individual you need to hand them your donation personally.


Sophia
Posted 25 June 2014 at 02:08 am

I am working within the Red Cross and must say that the noblest of missions often attract many shady people who like to operate under the cloak of light...


END OF COMMENTS
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