(May 28, 2013) Red Cross Sitting on a Third of Sandy Donations; $110M remains unspent
The Red Cross was the top recipient of donations after Superstorm Sandy, bringing in $303 million to help victims. But as of mid-April, $110 million of that remained unused, the organization says. Though the Red Cross—and some disaster relief experts—says that's a good move, allowing it to assist with needs that weren't obvious seven months ago, not everyone is convinced.
This past winter, some storm victims "were cold. Homes mildewed. There wasn't enough decent housing," says the director of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy and Civil Society at CUNY. "Given the lingering despair, it's hard to understand the argument that 'We are setting that money aside.'"
Red Cross officials have promised to use all of the Sandy relief money for Sandy recovery, as opposed to using it for other disasters or general operations, but "the Red Cross has never been a recovery operation. Their responsibility has always been mass care" in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, says the executive director of a nonprofit that monitors aid groups.