American Red Cross National Headquarters building, Friday, June 19, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

You Probably Should Not Use the Red Cross to Help Texas

The Red Cross has, in the past number of years, increasingly looked like a giant ponzi scheme and there is more and more evidence it is failing to help people while helping itself. For example, as ProPublica has noted, the Red Cross will not reveal how much it spent to help people after Hurricane Sandy, calling it a “trade secret.” But publicly there is not a great deal of evidence that it did much good.

In Louisiana and Mississippi after historic flooding, the Red Cross left local officials griping about its efforts. Internally at the Red Cross, employees are concerned about its leadership. The Senate is expressing concerns that Red Cross leadership might have misled Congress. And now in Texas, local officials are suggesting people give money elsewhere as the Red Cross has bollixed up its own relief plans.

The Red Cross claims it gives most of its money to help in relief efforts, but there is a growing body of evidence that the Red Cross does not such thing. It benefits from its branding and slick television advertisements. But nationally the Red Cross is raising eyebrows.

You really, really need to read this series of tweets from ProPublica about the Red Cross. They raise serious, legitimate concerns and those concerns raise the question of why Fortune 500 companies are encouraging people to give to the Red Cross.

I recommend two organizations that give 100% of all donations raised to relief efforts. The first is the North American Mission Board, which was the first organization on the ground in New Orleans after Katrina beating even the Army and FEMA.

I also unreservedly recommend the Salvation Army, which stays in areas hit by disaster long after others leave.

In the past I have recommended Samaritan’s Purse, but given Franklin Graham’s politics of late, I am hesitant to recommend them. I say that not because I don’t think they do good, but because I think Franklin Graham’s apologetics for President Trump make some people uncomfortable with giving to his organization. I would rather recommend two groups that do not have leaders aggressively engaged in the politics of the day than spend my time having to defend Graham and Samaritan’s Purse in order to persuade people to open their wallets to help others.

I don’t have to defend NAMB or the Salvation Army to get people to donate.

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Erick Erickson

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