In the days after Superstorm Sandy, relief organizations were overwhelmed by the chaos and enormous need. One group quickly emerged as a bright spot. While victims in New York’s hardest hit neighborhoods were stuck in the cold and dark, volunteers from the spontaneously formed Occupy Sandy became a widely praised lifeline.
Occupy Sandy was “one of the leading humanitarian groups providing relief to survivors across New York City and New Jersey,” as a government-commissioned study put it.
Yet the Red Cross, which was bungling its own aid efforts after the storm, made a decision that further hampered relief: Senior officials told staffers not to work with Occupy Sandy.
Posted in Educational, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MEMORIES, MY TAKE ON THINGS, News, ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS, PEOPLE AND PLACES HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, Special Interest, Uncategorized
Tagged 2001 Pacific typhoon season, American Red Cross, Associated Press, Barrier island, Hurricane Sandy, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, New Jersey, New York City, NPR, ProPublica
This story was co-produced with NPR.
The American Red Cross regularly touts how responsible it is with donors’ money. “We’re very proud of the fact that 91 cents of every dollar that’s donated goes to our services,” Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern said in a speech in Baltimore last year. “That’s world class, obviously.”
McGovern has often repeated that figure, which has also appeared on the charity’s website. “I’m really proud” that overhead expenses are so low, she told a Cleveland audience in June.
The problem with that number: It isn’t true.
After inquiries by ProPublica and NPR, the Red Cross removed the statement from its website. The Red Cross said the claim was not “as clear as it could have been, and we are clarifying the language.”
The Red Cross declined repeated requests to say the actual percentage of donor dollars going to humanitarian services.
But the charity’s own financial statements show that overhead expenses are significantly more than what McGovern and other Red Cross officials have claimed.
Posted in Educational, Health and Environment, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, News, PEOPLE AND PLACES HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, Special Interest, Uncategorized
Tagged American Red Cross, Business ethics, ethics, Hurricane Isaac (2012), Hurricane Sandy, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Job Growth, NPR, ProPublica, United States
Observed in the U.S. Virgin Islands—St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John—Hurricane Supplication Day marks the beginning of the hurricane season. Special church services are held to pray for safety from the storms that ravage these and other Caribbean islands. The custom probably dates back to the “rogation” ceremonies (from the word rogare, meaning “to beg or supplicate”), which began in fifth-century England. Rogations usually followed a frightening series of storms, earthquakes, or other natural disasters. More… Discuss
Posted in Educational, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, PEOPLE AND PLACES HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, SPIRITUALITY, Uncategorized
Tagged Caribbean, Caribbean islands, England, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Season, Hurricane Supplication Day, Hurricane Supplication Day Observed, National Hurricane Center, Natural disaster, Rogation day, Special church services, Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands
Ellis Island, the U.S. gateway to immigration from distant lands, recently reopened to visitors, following significant damage from Hurricane Sandy. A visit there today, and to the nearby Statue of Liberty, can be emotional, even for those born in the U.S.
Posted in Educational, FILM, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, PEOPLE AND PLACES HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, Uncategorized
Tagged distant lands, Ellis Island, Hurricane Sandy, Liberty Island, National Park Service, New York City, Statue of Liberty, Twitter, United States