Galveston, TX, October 10, 2008 -- Food prepared by Southern Babtist Covention volunteers is loaded onto a Red Cross IRV for distribution in Galveston. Working with The Salvation Army, this kitchen has prepared over one million meals since September 14, the day after Hurricane Ike struck. FEMA photo by Greg Henshall

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and the possibility of Hurricane Irma about to  deal out some damage, more and more Americans are showing the world what makes our nation so great: our generous heart to help out our neighbors in need.

Millions of dollars in donations have made there way down to Texas and other states affected by Harvey, putting on display the benefits of a capitalist system for the whole world to see.

These individuals aren’t being forced at the end of a barrel to give of their hard earned cash in some sort of “redistribution” scheme, they’re doing so out of real, legit charity, for the sake of love.

When disasters like this strike, there’s tons of charities that suddenly spring up, some of them run by folks who just have a heart of service who want desperately to end the suffering of their fellow man, while others see an opportunity to scam the hurting and make a quick buck.

This is why it’s critical for you to make sure the organization you are supporting with your donations are actually giving the money to those who need it, that you know precisely what the cash will be used for.

Due diligence such as this uncovers fraudulent practices, like those done by one of the biggest charity organizations in the world, The Red Cross.

While this group has been known to provide all kinds of help to those in need in the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, some of its more recent practices have gone a long way in destroying that well earned reputation.

Remember back when that massive earthquake rocked Haiti in 2010? Well the Red Cross was supposed to have accepted nearly $500 million in donations to be used as relief money, which is quite a lot of dough, wouldn’t you say?

Guess how many homes got built out of those fat stacks of cash? Six. Six homes. Yet the Red Cross — known from here on as RC — claims they provided new homes for 130,000 people.

That’s quite a significant amount of doubling up, wouldn’t you agree?

Due to the failure of following through on its promises, the Haitians passed on some healthy advice to the rest of the world: do not donate to the Red Cross.

The RC also got put on blast for diverting resources and needed supplies during the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, all as a PR stunt to boost it’s public image.

From Zero Hedge:

“The Red Cross national headquarters in Washington ‘diverted assets for public relations purposes.’

A former Red Cross official managing the Sandy effort says 40 percent of available trucks were assigned to serve as backdrops for news conferences.”

The outlets reported that “[d]istribution of relief was ‘politically driven instead of [Red Cross] planned,’” noting many organizational failures.

Further, a report released last year by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley found that 25% of funds donated to aid in relief for victims of the earthquake was actually spent on internal costs. That amounted to roughly $124 million.

Now, amid the hurricane in Texas, the Red Cross is admitting it currently doesn’t know how the funds it’s receiving are being spent.

“Through donations, how much of every dollar goes to relief?” NPR’s Ailsa Chang asked him.
But he responded without actually providing an answer to her question:

“Yeah, I don’t think I know the answer to that any better than the chief fundraiser knows how many, how much it costs to put a volunteer downrange for a week and how many emergency response vehicles I have on the road today. So I think if he was on this interview and you were asking how many relief vehicles in Texas, I don’t think he’d know the answer and I don’t know the answer to the financial question I’m afraid.”

A reporter for liberal rag “Slate” asked the organization how much money they had raised and spent thus far for recovery efforts with Hurricane Harvey, and they declined to answer.

When a group claims to be a charity and is taking donations from average Americans, many of whom have their own families to support and are barely getting by, living paycheck-to-paycheck, there is an obligation to present evidence that the money collected is being used to truly bring relief to those who desperately need it.

When you take someone else’s money and use it for some purpose not previously agreed to, you’re stealing. Period. And you’re being less than ethical in the treatment of disaster victims by having the means to ease their suffering and lining your own pockets instead.

It’s absolutely necessary for all of us to do our part and giving to the efforts to restore the lives of those impacted by Harvey, but before you do, research the organization you’re donating to, make sure they are legitimate and that the people in need will receive your funds.

 

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