Help the Red Cross Out

As noted at Making Light, the recent disasters in Iowa have depleted the American Red Cross’s disaster relief fund, and they’re borrowing money in order to keep running:

“The disaster relief fund today is completely depleted. The balance is zero,” Jeffrey Towers, chief development officer, said in a conference call with reporters.

Towers added that the Red Cross “needs immediate funds to deploy in a variety of ways to provide the scale of services that this disaster demands.”

The Red Cross is congressionally chartered to provide disaster relief but operates largely on private donations. The depleted fund is a general reserve that is tapped whenever disasters strike. The financial situation does not affect employee salaries or the charity’s blood-collecting operations but could inhibit its ability to assist in disasters.

If you’ve got disposable income that you’re not sure how to dispose of, consider sending them some cash.

Comments

  1. #1 Yttrai
    June 17, 2008

    Done, and thank you for the prod. I meant to, and then….i just didn’t.

  2. #2 Colin M
    June 17, 2008

    Thanks for posting this – donated.

  3. #3 Ian Durham
    June 17, 2008

    Wow, that’s horrible. I hope we don’t have another Katrina on our hands. Even as a libertarian I think it is sad that the wealthiest nation in the world has to rely on a private organization for relief.

  4. #4 TheNerd
    June 17, 2008

    Recession? What recession?

  5. #5 Uncle Al
    June 17, 2008

    The 2008 US corn crop will be down by ~50%: late planting, poor weather, and massive flooding plus unanticipated pathogens and parasites thereafter. As national financial policy has destroyed suburbia and national educational policy the schools so national agricultural policy the farms. Send FEMA not aid. How many times will you pay for it?

  6. #6 MichaelS
    June 17, 2008

    Someone can check my memory but I thought the Red Cross screwed up big time after Katrina and was badly organized.
    The Salvation Army sounded like they had their act together and were more deserving of donations.

  7. #7 Fernando Magyar
    June 18, 2008

    Uncle Al,
    “Send FEMA not aid. How many times will you pay for it?”
    Huh? You sound like the kind of generous soul who would sell sand bags to flood victims at jacked up prices because it seems like a great opportunity to make a buck. And did you not just mention all the things that national policy seems to have screwed up? You want to send in FEMA? Yeah, maybe they will send in recycled housing trailers left over from the Katrina fiasco and then charge the victims for rent.

  8. #8 Colin M
    June 18, 2008

    Regardless of whether the Salvation Army has their act together, they A) discriminate against employing gays B) one of its stated objectives is “the advancement of the Christian church”.

    Both of these factors make me unwilling to support them.

  9. #9 On the ground in Iowa
    June 19, 2008

    As for who needs the money, it is definitely the American Red Cross. I live in the Iowa City / Coralville area of Iowa and the Red Cross were the first here to help and have provided the most help outside the local resources. The Salvation Army presence is not really being felt. I think if you haven’t been on the ground and involved in volunteering in a disaster situation, you really aren’t able to judge where the help is coming from. FEMA takes much longer to get there and set up and requires declaration as a disaster area by the President. The Red Cross doesn’t have to wait for that to happen and they did not here. Once evacuations were recommended in the area, the local office set up a shelter here. FEMA’s presence is just being felt now, over a week after the disaster started. So PLEASE send the Red Cross some money. I am currently volunteering for them and they are doing the best they can with the money they have. And they turn no one away.