America's Second Harvest
I've had third thoughts after my second thoughts. You can now just choose which charity you want your money to go to from a list of charities doing hurricane relief. Details here.
I have been struggling with all the stories I've been hearing about problems getting help from the Red Cross in the hardest hit areas of the Gulf. Disaster recovery is excruciatingly difficult work, and organizing and executing it is the proverbial herculean task. I'm inclined to give organizations the benefit of the doubt until they demonstrate some evidence of real negligence (FEMA, anyone?).
But this thread is sort of a last straw for me with the Red Cross, and not because it's any particular degree worse than any of the other stories that have been drifting around, but because enough is enough. I want to give where the dollars seem most effective.
Money is pouring into the Red Cross in great waterfalls of green right now. They're not going to miss our $1260 (or whatever the final tally is going to be). The Red Cross is well-supported. But, because the push to donate to the Red Cross is so ubiquitous, I'd be willing to bet that other worthy organizations are not seeing nearly the same percentage increase in their donations. Why not give where the giving matters more?
Therefore, unless the overwhelming majority of you who have already "donated" through the purchase of Casey and Orleans bracelets wish otherwise, my intent is to redirect the donations to
Here is their general mission statement:
The mission of America's Second Harvest is to create a hunger-free America. We distribute food and grocery products through a nationwide network of certified affiliates, increase public awareness of domestic hunger, and advocate for policies that benefit America's hungry.
Our network includes more than 200 food banks and food-rescue organizations, serving every county in the U.S. The effectiveness and operating efficiency of this network depends on the cooperation of food banks, food-rescue organizations, service agencies, donors, and national programs.
Food banks serve people in need by securing and storing surplus food and distributing it through their own network of local service agencies. Food-rescue organizations often operate within a shorter time-frame, picking up and delivering perishable foods on a single run. A number of America's Second Harvest affiliates secure and distribute food in their local community through both of these methods.
I will be e-mailing those who have already made donations through the purchase of bracelets to see if anyone has any major objections to the switch, but I suspect there won't be many. If necessary, I will split the donations that have already come in.