american red cross logo

With the many natural disasters that have been going on, it is human nature to want to give to those that have lost so much. There are many disaster relief efforts created to help others, but people must be aware of the organizations they are donating to.

One of the most popular relief efforts is the American Red Cross. This is one of the first organizations many people think to donate to when a disaster occurs and it wants to help. However, the American Red Cross has been under flames for not being honest about where its money is going, especially during relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey.

According to reports done by NPR and ProPublica, the American Red Cross does not give enough toward actual relief efforts like many believe. The Red Cross has been under investigation for dishonesty about where money is going, and how much is going toward actual relief plans. Twenty-five cents of every dollar donated to the Red Cross goes to overhead costs, though the American Red Cross claims that only nine cents go toward overhead costs.

During the 2010 deadly earthquake in Haiti, the American Red Cross raised half a billion dollars, but only built six homes in Haiti. This ratio is unacceptable and left many people wondering where the rest of their money was going.

According to an article by Niles West News, “When the Haiti earthquake struck, the ARC raised $488 million, money that the organization had no clue what to do with. They passed off the money to other charities, and a whole two years after the earthquake, only a third of that was spent to help the victims and the nation.”

When people asked for an explanation, the American Red Cross never gave a clear answer. Red Cross Executive Brad Kieserman could still not explain what percentage of dollars donated to the agency go directly to helping victims affected by natural disasters.

The unclear spending methods of the Red Cross eventually opened the eyes of the Government Accountability Office. According to Niles West News, it stated, “no regular, independent evaluations are conducted of the impact or effectiveness of the Red Cross’s disaster services.”

This brings on a deeper amount of controversy to the organization. If the organization's job is to help victims with donors’ money, the donors should know exactly how much of their profit is going toward helping the victims. The fact that no one seems sure about how much is being donated to victims is unacceptable, especially since the American Red Cross is not speaking up about the issue.

Natural disasters can happen anywhere and to anyone. People want to help, and they should be able to give their money to an organization that is honest about where the money is going and how it will be spent. The American Red Cross has not been honest about this, so other organizations should be used for disaster relief efforts until the Red Cross is more transparent.

Editorial policy is determined by the student editor, and views expressed in editorials are those of the majority of The Vidette’s Editorial Board. Columns that carry bylines are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Vidette or the University.

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