American Red Cross under fire surrounding Hurricane Harvey

Claire Campbell

With the many disasters that have occurred this fall, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, many people are looking to donate to help victims. Red Cross is a widely known organization that raises a lot of money for such causes. However, suspicion has been raised recently about their use of the donations. Red Cross seemingly makes it unclear what percentage of their donations will go towards aid and what will remain within the company to pay for employees and expenses. In fact, one-fourth of donor dollars toward the 2010 Haiti earthquake- a whopping 124 million dollars- were spent on “internal expenses,” according to National Public Radio.

Such internal expenses include the salary of Marsh J. Evans, who reportedly makes 651,957 dollars per year. This is disheartening because everyone works hard for their money and when they donate funds, they expect it to go directly towards the victims, not to support higher ups within the company.

Brad Kieserman, the executive of Red Cross, responded to claims about the company’s abnormally high administrative expenses saying, “We (Red Cross) are committed, I am committed, my team is committed to using our resources and donor dollars in a way that best helps the people of Texas.”

Within five days of Hurricane Harvey hitting, Red Cross had put approximately 50 million dollars to use in Houston. This shows that the criticism the Red Cross received from their help in Haiti is encouraging them to put their money to work sooner.
While donating to any cause is better than none at all, after researching there are plenty of other organizations that ensure your money will reach the cause. For example, Houston Texans defensive end, JJ Watt raised 37 million dollars for Hurricane Harvey, which all went directly to aiding victims in the best way possible.

There is nothing that should discourage donations of any kind, but in order to provide the most appropriate and efficient aid, there are certain guidelines that should be followed. That in mind, donating money has been reported to be the most effective way to assist rather than donating food or clothes.

Victims of disasters of any kind rely on the aid of willing individuals and organizations, therefore it is essential that if you are able, you offer what you can to those in need; just be aware of the reputation of the organization that you use.