RED CROSS, MARCH OF DIMES, UNITED WAY, UNICEF, and GOODWILL SCAMMING IN THE NAME OF GREED … SALVATION ARMY, VETS ORGANIZATIONS, MAKE-A-WISH, ST. JUDE, RONALD McDONALD HOUSES, LIONS USE DONATION FOR TRUE CHARITY AND GOOD
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, DEC. 12, 2013) — It’s getting to look a lot like Christmas, and that means lots of organizations asking for your hard-earned money. Sure, you’d like to give to all, but you have bills to pay and miles to go before you stop shopping for family necessities that you can barely afford. What do you do? We offer the following thoughts as a means of answering the question.
A famous family story tells of the time my father, far from fresh from the exhausting and bone-crushing action of the front lines during the Battle of the Bulge, went into a Red Cross station in Paris and asked for a donut. The tart woman behind the counter insisted on five cents for the treat. My dad didn’t have five cents on him. They wouldn’t give him the donut. When dad finally got his discharge late in 1945/early ’46, one of the stories he shared with my mom was the Red Cross’ incredible display of close-fisted parsimony. From that moment on, she vowed she wouldn’t give another nickel to the money-grubbing Red Cross.
Imagine THE PLANET‘s surprise and delight when we saw the Red Cross high on a list of organizations to which you don’t want to make donations — if, that is, you want your money to help those in need and not pay for the inflated salaries of CEOs and bloated bureaucracies.
THINK BEFORE YOU DONATE
THE PLANET came across this information while doing some research on the web. We share it for obvious reasons but especially in the interests of social justice and as a statement against greed. Mind you, we aren’t advocating social engineering, and we realize greed will for the foreseeable future, at any rate, shall continue as the sad adjunct of humanity’s desire for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nonetheless, to each his own, and may our own share be enough.
GIVER BEWARE OF THE FOLLOWING OUTFITS:
- THE AMERICAN RED CROSS
President and CEO Marsha Evans makes $651,957 a year plus expenses.
- THE MARCH OF DIMES
For each dollar you give the March, only 10 cents is given to the needy.
- THE UNITED WAY
UW President Brian Gallagher receives a base pay of $375,000 a year along with numerous expense benefits.
Pays CEO Caryl Stern $1.2 million a year plus all expenses. Her expenses include a Rolls Royce. Less than five cents of your donated dollar goes to the cause.
CEO and owner Mike Curran pays himself $3 million a year. Goodwill is a catchy name. You donate to Curran’s company, and he then sells the goods for profit. He pays nothing for his inventory and pays his workers minimum wage. Zero dollars go to help anyone.
ON THE OTHER HAND …
Here are much better choices for your donations:
- THE SALVATION ARMY
Commissioner Todd Bassett receives a salary of only $13,000 a year plus housing for managing this $2 billion organization. Some 96% of donated dollars go to the cause.
- THE AMERICAN LEGION, THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS, THE MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART, and the VIETNAM VETERANS ASSOCIATION
The National Commanders of each of these organizations receive no salary. Your donations go to help veterans and their families, and they support youth programs.
- MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION
This group helps dying children fulfill their last wishes. 100% of your donation goes to funding trips or special requests for a dying child.
- ST. JUDE RESEARCH HOSPITAL
All of your donated dollar goes toward funding to help children with cancer. The children come from families with no insurance or cannot afford to pay for treatments.
* RONALD McDONALD HOUSES
All money raised goes to running the houses for parents who have critically ill children in the hospital. The homes provide parents with free housing and meals at locations near the hospital.
- LIONS CLUB INTERNATIONAL
100% of your donation goes to help the blind, to buy hearing aids for the hearing impaired, and to support medical missions around the world. The Lions latest undertaking is measles vaccinations.
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Those of us lucky enough to have discretionary dollars for charitable donations want our dollars to go to those in need. We don’t want them to go to those who will use them to feed their greed. THE PLANET supports certain causes in anonymity, most local, and we shall keep it that way. We will not, to our knowledge, however, open the checkbook to every cause that comes down the pike, because, sad to say, too many fail to live up to the claims they make.
Donore, et caveat, emptor.
“I think I’m ‘Going Home,’ — by helicopter.” — Alvin Lee, August 1969, introducing Ten Years After’s blazing “Going Home.”
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.