William Warren wrote:
> That's why the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are always a safe
> choice: not only do they have a lot of experience in culling out
> thieves, but the money stays in the U.S. to help people _here_.
> William Warren
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: That is true of Salvation Army mostly,
> but I have a problem with Red Cross. If you recall from the news, the
> Red Cross had a difficult time thinning its ranks of thieves during
> the Katrina/other hurricane events of this past summer. Red Cross
> lost about a quarter-million dollars to internal theft as they tried
> to serve Katrina victims. Was it about fifteen or twenty employees in
> their Sacramento, CA office involved in the rip off? That quarter-
> million came from donations.
And they were caught. Donations that go to Russia have NO oversight
and NO possible audit trail: every charitable organization uses some
funding for its operations, and there are lists of which charities are
more/less efficient than others. The point is that people who want to
feel good about giving away money can give it to U.S. institutions
with at least some assurance that most of it will go to worthy causes.
> I also have a problem with the Red Cross' blatent homophobia regards
> blood donations. [snip]
The Red Cross is homophobic because at the start of the AIDS epidemic,
it continued to agressively solicit blood donations from the gay
community despite mounting evidence that AIDS was spread through
blood. The San Francisco gay community was very hard hit, and the
community was also a major source of blood, based on its efforts to
limit the spread of hepatitis through blood donations.
Disaster relief gets the headlines, but the Red Cross is fundamentally
in the blood business, and someone decided to keep soliciting blood from
gays and thereby speeded up the spread of AIDS.
Needless to say, the Red Cross does not talk about this chapter of its
history, but that being said, if I had to choose between donating money
to the Red Cross or to an anonymous name on an email from a foreign
country, I'd choose the Red Cross.
And, *that* being said, I'd give it to the Salvation Army first.
(Filter noise from my address for direct replies)
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: None of what you say is news to me. Red
Cross was deeply involved on account of the politics of San Francisco
and the gay community therein during the early 1980's. But I do not
think Red Cross was hurt as badly from that backlash as was Glide
Memorial Blood Services. Have you read the book by Randy Shilts (former
reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and gay man [now deceased]
entitled _The Boys in the Band_. That sad story told how, among other
things, the politics prevalent in the 'gay liberation' movement at the
time prevented (or so it was thought) any better way of handling things.
One of his quotes, which I remember quite well was his statement that
... "the idea of socially quarentineing the AIDS/HIV carriers is
almost unthinkable ... and by the time in a few years when it becomes
'thinkable' it will then be too late." 'Social quarentine' as opposed
to 'physical quarentine' meant not so much removing the person from
mainstream society [i.e. prison or hospital] as it meant to mark the
person in an inconspicuous way [for example, a tiny almost invisible
tatoo in a place on one's body where no one would have any right to
look except for a physician or a potential sex partner, the two
persons who would have every right in the world to know the truth.]
Shilts was an excellent writer who died from AIDS several years ago.
By the way, I would also tend to give my money and efforts to the
Salvation Army. PAT]