The United States is in crisis.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25 and dropped 27 trillion gallons of water on Texas and Louisiana, more than four times the amount of water Hurricane Katrina produced in August of 2005. Today, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida. Irma is the strongest hurricane to reach the United States since Katrina. Behind Irma, two more storms, Jose and Katia, rage across the oceans.
Millions of Americans are displaced. Experts number the damage costs in the hundreds of billions. Politically and racially divided, the U.S. is now being torn apart by an external force, our atmosphere. Its people need help.
Enter the American Red Cross, a nonprofit organization dedicating to serving the people of this nation during times of calamity. The organization was founded by American hero Clara Barton 136 years ago. Without hesitation, the Red Cross has set up donation sanctuaries, medical centers, and charity kitchens. They are accepting donations at every single store in your area. They are running ads during every football game. They have ads popping up even as you browse the internet now. Everywhere you turn signs scream, “Donate. Donate. Donate.” And why not? They help people. Right? Not so fast. Let’s take a look at their track record.
Remember September 11, 2001? Of course, you do. As you read that date, your mind took you back to the exact moment you found out someone had attacked the United States. But, in case you’re good at blocking out painful memories, the Huffington Post can remind you. Terrorists reduced the most prominent buildings in New York City to rubble. Three-thousand people died that day. Another 3,000 later died of injuries and illnesses related to September 11. Immediately, the Red Cross came to the rescue. They set up shelters, looked for missing people, and raised over $1 billion for the relief effort. But no one ever came to those shelters. They were never allowed to search for the missing because it was labeled a crime scene. And did they do anything with the money they raised? Well, they did. They paid Daniel Bouley, one of New York City’s bests chefs, to cook for their workers. None of it, unfortunately, made its way to the people who needed it.
After Hurricane Katrina destroyed vast sections of New Orleans, the Red Cross moved in to give people food, medical care, and hotel rooms. Huffington Post then reported the government was refunding the organization of its expenses. What happened to all of the money people donated? The Red Cross used it to fill their coffers.
In 2010, Haiti was devastated by an earthquake. Over 230,000 people died. Three million people were homeless. This time, the Red Cross managed to raise over $500 million. What did the heroic Red Cross do for them with all of that money? According to ProPublica, they built six small homes, essentially nothing.
Millions of Americans need help. Your countrymen are begging you to do something. But do not donate to the Red Cross. Find a local charity that can truly help those in need. One that will spend every penny it receives to alleviate the suffering.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]