September 2, 2005

Red Cross?

Our friend Pamela writes:

Hi John, I'm really disturbed by how all media in the country are encouraging people to contribute to the Red Cross if they want to do something to help the people of NewOrleans. Practically everything Nicole Gelinas says about New Orleans could be said about San Francisco, however, when the entire world made massive contributions to aid our city after the 1989 earthquake, less than half the money contributed on our behalf was distributed to us. As far as I am concerned, the Red Cross is nothing but a giant money making scheme clothed in the pretense of generosity. If people want to help people they should "adopt" a needy family. My brother and sister-in-law have lost their home, all their possessions, the tools of their respective trades, and their lievliehoods. The Red Cross is only going to refer them to FEMA, which takes months. What is going to happen to the money all my friends are contributing to the Red Cross? It certainly isn't going to go toward rebuilding the lives and livliehoods of middle class, working citizens.

New Orleans is not just a place of slippery morals...just as San Francisco is not just such a place. Taking the money donated for San Francisco and keeping it for "other worthy causes" is just downright fraud....just as it will be for the money donated for New Orleans.

PS: I am going to turn my annual Blue Angels party into a fund raiser for Steve and Sidney and some of their friends I know who have also lost everything. Money and support from individuals instead of institutions means a lot more in terms of emotional and actual support.

I don't know much about the Red Cross, except that they seem very bureaucratic and complacent. People who do know seem to suggest giving to the Salvation Army or various church disaster-aid groups...

If that extra money donated for SF was used with wisdom and thrift to help others whose disasters didn't get enough attention, I wouldn't have too much of a problem with it. But one suspects that comfortable offices, high salaries and advertising campaigns were what absorbed the rest of SF's money...

Posted by John Weidner at September 2, 2005 11:18 AM
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