WTC and charitable donations

The front page of the KC Star (and other newspapers I would assume) had an article about how the Red Cross and The United Way collected a total of 1 billion dollars in donations from the WTC attacks.
That, in itself, is an impressive number as it says that every man woman and child in this country gave around $3 to just those two charities alone.

Anyway, only $160 million went to help out victims of the attack and investigations are starting to determine what happened with the rest of the money. Call me cynical, but I was just waiting for this newsstory to appear. The only question was: when?

So where did the rest go?
Glad you asked. Or I asked. Well, someone asked.
According to the article, it’s gone to “aid people who lost jobs, to help NY recover economically, and into large reserve accounts for future needs related to the attacks.”

A few questions.
I personally don’t see anything wrong with the first one. People that lost their jobs are in need of help. Does anyone object to this?
The second one seems a little more doubtful. What exactly is “helping NY recover economically?” Reduced fairs to see the Statue of Liberty? Free hookers for everyone? What?
The third is very sketchy. Large reserve accounts? So the Red Cross and United Way are getting fat off our money. That doesn’t seem right. What say all?

On a more general note, do we have a right to complain at all? Do we have a right to say where ANY of the money should go? When the money leaves our hands, it’s not ours anymore.

I don’t think the Red Cross is “getting fat off our money”. There are plenty of crisises around the world for them to spend that money on. I gave money to the Red Cross after WTC, but I don’t have a problem with my money being used to feed refugees somewhere rather than give 50 million to someone who lost their husband in the WTC. The WTC was a tragedy, but it’s the Red Cross’ job to help all victims, not just act as a clearing house to distrubute huge piles of money to the most visible victims and be left unable to help unpopular yet needier victims.

You’re absolutely right. But if you gave that money because you wanted to help out the WTC victims, if you gave that money because the Red Cross promised you it would help those victims, what then? Part of that money doesn’t appear to be helping anyone. It’s sitting there in whatever fund they set up, earning interest.
Now at some indefinite point in the future some indefinite amount will help said victims. Until then, it’s just sitting there earning interest for the Red Cross.

Well, the Red Cross is a charity. If the money is earning interest, they’ll have that much more to pay out when the next earthquake or famine or whatever comes along. It’s not like the Red Cross higher-ups are taking our donations and rolling around naked on the bed with them. If they are misusing the funds, that’s one thing, but there’s been no charges of that; you seem simply concerned that they have a lot of money. As tragedy has not yet been eliminated from the world, and not everyone has enough to eat or adequate medical care or help when tragedy strikes, I do not think that the Red Cross no longer has any use for additional money.

I don’t think the Red Cross did promise that the money would help the WTC victims, and only the WTC victims. I don’t remember any language to that effect, though it was a while ago. I seem to recall it was just a page about the WTC and how the Red Cross was helping the victims, and then a “donate” link. A lot of the money gathered was used to help the WTC victims, but I don’t recall getting the impression that if they raised 50 million dollars per victim then each victim would get 50 mil. They’re a charity, not a bank account for victims of various tragedies.

This is one of the reasons I advised against donating to the Red Cross… to assist victims of 9-11. Not that the Red Cross is not worthy- it is- but that they do not like to reserve donations given to a particular cause. They want to send your donations where they feel the $ will do the most good- not where you want your money spent.

The Red Cross, AFAIK, broke no promises, but they certainly advertised a lot- and gave the impression that the donations would go to the 9-11 disaster, when they knew full well (soon after that)- they had WAY over collected for that disaster. Nothing illegal, but a bit disgenuous. They have done it before, such as in Ca for earthquake relief. They have been widely critisized for this.

Thus, if you really want your $ going to where YOU want it to go- rather than where the Red Cross thinks it is best spent- then find a different agency for your donations. There were several local 501’s that would do so.

Of course, maybe the Red Cross knows better where to spend your money than you do. Or- maybe you want more control. It is your choice.