March 6, 2006
When a major event like a hurricane occurs I watch with interest as hundreds of millions, even billions, in aid pours in. I wonder what happens to the money.
In the cases of Katrina and Rita – last year’s twin and devastating hurricanes – huge amounts of cash were raised domestically and from foreign governments. The Washington Post reports it is mostly gone. I’d like to see an audited accounting of where it all went.
How much went for overhead and fundraising and how much to help the victims rebuild? Apparently most went for immediate needs and wants with a lot of cash given to victims after enormous political pressure to do something fast.
This may or may not be related, but the American Red Cross spent $500,000 over three years to boost its profile. In a $127,000 contract, a Houston corporate image company agreed to create a plan to make red cross CEO Marsh Evans the face of the organization as part of a “senior leadership branding project.” Evans resigned in December. That should be investigated.
Who is keeping an eye on these charities?
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.