Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Stuart G

(38,650 posts)
Wed Oct 29, 2014, 09:05 AM Oct 2014

Red Cross' Secret Disaster: Huff Post, Pro Publica


by Justin Elliott and Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica, and Laura Sullivan, NPR
October 29, 2014

In 2012, two massive storms pounded the United States, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless, hungry or without power for days and weeks.

Americans did what they so often do after disasters. They sent hundreds of millions of dollars to the Red Cross, confident their money would ease the suffering left behind by Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac. They believed the charity was up to the job.

They were wrong.

The Red Cross botched key elements of its mission after Sandy and Isaac, leaving behind a trail of unmet needs and acrimony, according to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR. The charity’s shortcomings were detailed in confidential reports and internal emails, as well as accounts from current and former disaster relief specialists.

What’s more, Red Cross officials at national headquarters in Washington, D.C. compounded the charity’s inability to provide relief by “diverting assets for public relations purposes,” as one internal report puts it. Distribution of relief supplies, the report said, was “politically driven.” During Isaac, Red Cross supervisors ordered dozens of trucks usually deployed to deliver aid to be driven around nearly empty instead, “just to be seen,” one of the drivers, Jim Dunham, recalls.

This one is very ugly. It is a long read, but very well documented. Shows real incompetence and self indulgence. I read about this a couple of years ago in relation to another disaster. Red Cross has done this before, and evidently, no improvement according to this report.
5 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Red Cross' Secret Disaster: Huff Post, Pro Publica (Original Post) Stuart G Oct 2014 OP
Charity organizations and religious institutions make excellent rackets. bemildred Oct 2014 #1
Sadly, you are correct. Stuart G Oct 2014 #2
+1000. nt adirondacker Oct 2014 #5
Doesn't surprise me in the least shrike Oct 2014 #3
Red Cross was taken over by a Republican Chakaconcarne Oct 2014 #4


(90,061 posts)
1. Charity organizations and religious institutions make excellent rackets.
Wed Oct 29, 2014, 09:19 AM
Oct 2014

And that sort of thing is particularly pernicious because it delegitimizes the honest ones.

Stuart G

(38,650 posts)
2. Sadly, you are correct.
Wed Oct 29, 2014, 09:23 AM
Oct 2014

Red Cross, according to this story, is so incompetent that it doesn't know how to deploy its workers. That is something that it should have a lot of expertise in. And as you said, it hurts the honest charities, that do know what they are doing. This is truly an ugly and significant story in my opinion. Also, among most people, the Red Cross has a sterling reputation of helping others and being there. I hope everyone reads this.


(3,817 posts)
3. Doesn't surprise me in the least
Wed Oct 29, 2014, 04:14 PM
Oct 2014

I've heard anecdotes about the Red Cross for years, from people who'd lost their homes to flooding, and even from folks who'd experienced Katrina. Anecdotal only, but not ONE of these people had anything good to say about the Red Cross. It's a shame, with as much power as this organization has, and with its long history, you'd think they'd have their act together by now.


(2,532 posts)
4. Red Cross was taken over by a Republican
Wed Oct 29, 2014, 04:51 PM
Oct 2014

CEO. I remember when it happened. . They were going to run it like a corporation. Many saw the end to what was once a good agency.

Latest Discussions»Editorials & Other Articles»Red Cross' Secret Disast...