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Red Cross Targets All of Sept. 11 Fund to Victims
November 14, 2001 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Red Cross Targets All of Sept. 11 Fund to Victims That's $543 millions dollars. Interesting too, after the previous 'head' 'refused to comingle the Liberty Funds with the general fund' and resigned.
posted by thunder (13 comments total)

 
Will they be donating the proceeds of the blood donated by Americans after 9/11 that they then turned around and sold back to hospitals, at a profit?

And when do these victims see any of the donated money? It sure isn't *now*, when they need it most.
posted by kristin at 1:28 PM on November 14, 2001


When the Red Cross got swamped by all that generosity after 9-11, its rivals in the charity and blood business got jealous, and got busy slandering. The idea that the Red Cross should simply be a conduit of donations directly to victim's families is appealling, but short sighted. Bernadine Healy, the now-resigned Red Cross head, not only wanted to help the victims' families, she realized that the Red Cross had to build up its infrastructure and blood bank reserves to meet the needs of the next terrorist attack which, for all anyone knew, might have happened THE VERY NEXT DAY. At the time, we didn't know but that 9-11 wasn't the start of a whole string of terrorist attacks, that would go off like a string of firecrackers across the country. It looked like, potentially, the Red Cross might be needing all the blood it could get, and fast. Also all the money. Of course, blood doesn't keep. But intrastructural improvements do. And Dr. Healy was preparing her organization for what might have been, and might yet be, a long war of domestic terrorism. She's telling us that the Red Cross, and the rest of our disaster aid system, is pathetically unprepared for more 9-11 scale disasters. Of course, the families of the WTC victims must be cared for. And they would have been. But the shortsighted board of the Red Cross smelled a PR disaster in the works, and threw Dr. Healy to the dogs -- along with her far-sighted ideas. Too bad. We need all the courageous leadership we can get.
posted by Faze at 1:41 PM on November 14, 2001


Not only, that but who are the "victims"? Only people who were killed? What about people made homeless from the disaster? They're victims, right? And the jobless? All those airline workers, the restateurs and their waistaffs, even the media employees cut because of weak advertising?

And who are the families? Husbands, wives and kids? Sure. Parents? Okay, maybe. Fiancés? Romantic partners? Homosexual partners? Roommates? Who will say? Is somebody going to track down those families in Mexico who still don't know why they haven't heard from their father or brother or aunt and give them money, too? Or do they have to come get it?

What kind of donor would freely give money then presume to tell the Red Cross where to spend it? Red Cross has expertise nobody else has, needs that nobody else knows about, and a responsibility that should not be meddled with. You gave the gift: wanting "sexy" recipients like smoke-blackened firefighters, big-eyed children and weeping widows is ignorant and selfish, when phones go unanswered, computers are outdated and electricity bills go unpaid. Those and other expenses are mundane and unexciting, but vital, absolutely vital, to the success of the relief operation.

People are jackasses.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:59 PM on November 14, 2001


5000 victims at 540 million is roughly $108,000 each.
posted by stbalbach at 2:07 PM on November 14, 2001


I believe I may have met someone related to a victim at WTC at some point in my life; I therefore demand my fair share of the winnings. I mean "proceeds". No, wait -- I meant to say "charity".
posted by aramaic at 2:12 PM on November 14, 2001


The problem is that the Red Cross in all their commercials and pleas made it seem like the funds were going to 9.11 victims and not "the general Red Cross funds". It was deceptive and misleading, and took advantage of one of the largest acts of goodwill I've ever seen in America.
posted by owillis at 2:23 PM on November 14, 2001


Will they be donating the proceeds of the blood donated by Americans after 9/11 that they then turned around and sold back to hospitals, at a profit?

Well, that's just Red Cross standard operating procedure. I'm not so much against the RC raising money to keep itself in business, just misrepresenting what they will do with the money they are raising. There's a big difference between saying "help us help others" and "give money to widows and orphans, we'll hand over your check"

Besides, they had to throw out so much of that blood, there's likely not much profit there anyhow.
posted by jessamyn at 2:35 PM on November 14, 2001


I don't support inefficient practices, and I won't fund them.
posted by rushmc at 3:22 PM on November 14, 2001


Of course, blood doesn't keep. But intrastructural improvements do.

Blood does keep, the problem is the red cross doesn't have the freezers to keep them. I'm curious as to what other organizations had empty freezers ready and waiting while the red cross got all the press, PR, and the money.

owillis nails it. Charities are unwilling or simply not able to be honest about the breakdown of their funds. Of course you can request this information, but your average red cross worker and red cross ad doesn't say a damn thing. That is arguably misleading and possibly fraud. Well, not fraud, unless you take that verbal contract to court and challenge it. Who wants to be the guy or gal who sues the red cross for their 10 bucks back in these times?

With so much money I don't see why the red cross hasn't considered a public or donor's referendum on proposals on how to use these huge funds.
posted by skallas at 3:52 PM on November 14, 2001


New York City was chronically short of blood before September 11; the American Red Cross was about to help rescue the New York Blood Center.

American Red Cross, August 22, 2001 — Although more than 8 million people call New York City home, less than 2 percent of them donate blood each year. To compensate for this low level of blood donor recruitment, the local blood center that serves the greater New York area has long imported blood from Europe. But in the face of a potential public health crisis — the possibility that the human form of "mad cow disease" might be transmitted through blood — the flow of "Euroblood," as it is known, may soon cease. The American Red Cross announced yesterday that it is preparing to make blood available for patients in the New York area as soon as late September.
posted by Carol Anne at 4:02 PM on November 14, 2001


The blood business is fraught with disagreement. Some argue the ARC was creating blood shortages in order to defer paying off its massive debts. Other [more reputable?] sources claim that the Red Cross's intentions were more honorable. Both seem to agree that while the RC was working on beefing up its donor programs, it was also responsible for setting the strictest standards [i.e. setting the most restrictions for donation eligibility] of any US blood bank, which may or may not have been necessary.
posted by jessamyn at 6:05 PM on November 14, 2001


I don't support inefficient practices, and I won't fund them.

really? are you a U.S. taxpayer? :)
posted by lizs at 9:41 AM on November 16, 2001


Interesting too, after the previous 'head' 'refused to comingle the Liberty Funds with the general fund' and resigned.

Faze already mentioned this, but Bernadine Healy was all for setting aside some of the Liberty Fund for other purposes. That's why she was asked to resign, an incredibly shortsighted move on the part of the RC.

I agree with Mo-- the donors, generous though they were, had no right thinking that the money was going to go straight to the "sexy" victims on their tv sets. It's crazy to suggest simply dividing $543 mil by the number of victims and then give everyone the same amount. Moreover, it's not even legal to do that.
posted by cowboy_sally at 10:54 AM on November 16, 2001


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