Donating To The American Red Cross? Think Again.

We have all heard about the American Red Cross. They are everywhere, whenever a disaster strikes the Red Cross is there. So we think that we are donating to a good cause, that you are helping those people in need. The problem is that recently many reports and documents have surfaced that show otherwise. I have decided to take the Red from the Cross and look at things black and white, and find out exactly what is going on with the money being donated. 

You would think an organization like ARC is organized and well funded and legitimate. That every dollar you give is being spent in helping people and making sure they have shelter, food and water in a time of need. Red Cross says that 0.91 cent of every dollar go to the cause, but have no documentation to back this statement. As a matter of fact recently they retracted on that statement and said that "around 0.91 cents of every dollar go to disaster relief." Now 0.91 cents is a great number, many charities spend average .30 to .40 cents per dollar before ending for the cause, so a .09 cent cost is spectacular. Well let's look at this closer. Even thought that is what they say, there is no evidence that shows us this. We are the ones that donate that money, so if we ask for transparency I think we have the right to ask. 

The President of the Red Cross is Gail J. McGovern. She became the CEO and president of the American Red Cross in June 23, 2008. Her salary in the latest reporting documents was of $597,961. That is a lot of money for an organization that is supposed to spend their money in disaster relief. That is not including all the other executives. Salaries for the American Red Cross can range from a modest $40,000 to $300,000. That is a lot of money, money that is not being spent in disaster relief. 

In 2010 Haiti was struck by an earthquake that killed between 230,000 and 316,000 people and left 1.5 million people displaced in the immediate aftermath. The American Red Cross raised around $488 million dollars. They made a commitment to make homes and give shelter to people. The result was not what everyone expected. The Red Cross was so unorganized that much of that money was not spent building new homes. They had no expertise in the matter and then they started discovering issues along the way that prevented them from accomplishing the goals. When asked about documentation on how this money was spent and how it was spread out, Red Cross declined to give that information out. When Sandy struck United States the American Red Cross raised over $300 million to help people that had been struck by disaster. When the money came in pouring and they were trying to help people, Red Cross behind closed doors admitted "We aren't doing good at scaling up". They started concentrating on the eyes of the world and publicity, asking sometimes about 40% of the ARC fleet to be backdrop for media conferences. When more food was needed they had no idea how to scale up, and started buying food from places, at one point they bought 70,000 danishes, at $7 a piece. Not only this cost was way higher than the average price, after they had them, they didn't know how to distribute them, wasting over 50% of them, that never got even consumed because they couldn't deliver them. At one point they even asked some workers to drive around emergency vehicles empty so the media could see the trucks moving around helping others. All part of increasing their publicity. When asked again to reveal documents to see how they spent and used the money in Sandy, Red Cross denied access again, saying that would compromise the organization and the way they do things.

Red Cross is not a private business, they are not a product that we buy. They are a disaster relief organization. That it is funded by the public and by the government. There must be transparency when asked, and also be able to show the public how they are managing the money that hard working Americans provided for a cause. We need to know exactly how much of each dollar is going to disaster relief. And how exactly is the money being spent, and how are the supplies being handed out. We do not need a CEO who makes over $500,000 a year that not only makes too much money but can't handle the money given to her well. Remember we control to who and why we are giving our money away. We need to make sure the organization and the way the money is being handled is correct, and in the most efficient manner. So let's open our eyes and make sure our money is actually helping people and not going to waste.