American Red Cross $175 million in unallocated Haiti donations – update

On the matter of the American Red Cross and the $175 million in unallocated Haiti donations, this update: there’s still no word from the American Red Cross on how the $175 million in donations was handled. Initial attempts to gain an answer have been ignored as of this writing.

Meanwhile, the issue is gaining attention. This blogger was on a Fairfield, Iowa radio broadcast last Friday and more radio talk shows have expressed unsolicited interested in the matter of the American Red Cross and the $175 million in unallocated Haiti donations.

For background, it’s simple: the American Red Cross reported it collected $225 million in donations over the first month of the Haiti Relief Effort. But of that, $80 million was spent or earmarked for Haiti. The American Red Cross does not explain what happened to $225 million minus $80 million, or $175 million?

On Friday, I was on KRUU, “The Voice of Fairfield” in Fairfield, Iowa, on James Moore’s Planet Erstwild Show to talk about the American Red Cross donation problem. Here’s the recording of that radio show: Zennie Abraham on KRUU.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/abraham/detail??blogid=95&entry_id=57657#ixzz0gI367Cqf



I can remember my father and his feelings about the Red cross.  During his war the Red Cross took donations in American and then charged soldiers for them. He always supported Salvation Army drives because they distributed their material free of charge.

Our local Red Cross team recently suffered a scandal when the director was caught buying a Jaguar for a son, and spending a lot of money on luxury items. This cash would have saved a few Haitian children. Unfortunately, the Red Cross has grown to be a giant and giants are not aware of the needs of ants and other small creatures.

Big charities often eat up 80% on what they call Geneal and Administrative expenses…with twenty percent eventually trickling down to charities.

No matter what…$175,000,000 buy a load of Jaguars.


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  1. This is Wendy Harman from the American Red Cross. Perhaps we have not communicated clearly enough – we have SO FAR spent $80 million of the $276 million donated to Haiti relief in Haiti.

    The $80 million has been spent on immediate relief needs – water, food, shelter, basic supplies and health support.

    Every cent of the $276 million designated by the public to Haiti will be spent in Haiti. We are planning right now for longer term recovery efforts and will allocate that money in much the same way we did for the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

    We posted an entry with a bit more information on our blog today:

    I’d love to stay in contact with you as the relief effort continues and keep you and your readers updated on progress. This will be a long effort.

    As for the comment above this one, all American Red Cross disaster services are free and funded by the American public. The only exception to this happened when we made a huge mistake during WWII. We answered a request from the US Secretary of War to charge nominal fees for our services because the British military couldn’t afford to provide them for free – the Secretary was trying to even the playing field and boost morale. This decision has done many years of damage and if we could do it over again we would not have agreed to it.

    I don’t know the specific details of the fraud charge also mentioned, but the American Red Cross is filled with good people trying to do good. There are rare instances when someone not so good takes advantage of the American Red Cross and its donors wishes. In these rare cases we make our best effort to work with the judicial system to prosecute and recover any fraudulently used monies.

    I hope this helps a little. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

  2. Nice to see a dialogue.

    Collins- thank you for the informative site. It is refreshing to see someone bringing topics that are not of the mainstream ilk to light.

    Wendy Harman- How long have you been with the American Red Cross? In your time with them, have you been aware of any investigations of mis-use of funds? What are the avenues that would be taken to ensure that Millions or dollars are not given to drug smugglers?

    The level of corruption is staggering there in Haiti. Is there a likelyhood that the funding would be better managed by a seperate entity, outside of Haitian Government?

    Thank you for the chance to comment as well. Nice site. Keep up the good work.

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