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Red Cross Bureaucracy Holds Sept. 11 Funds

November 04, 2001

Re "Lessons in Charity," editorial, Oct. 30: Any large organization, be it private or governmental, is replete with costly, cumbersome and incompetent bureaucracy. The Red Cross is proving to be no different, particularly in the gross mishandling of over $500 million donated by compassionate Americans to assist victims of the terrorist attacks. What is unconscionable about the Red Cross in this case, however, is its arrogance in trickling funds to victims and the audacity of earmarking about $100 million of donors' money for unrelated programs.

Though its good works should not be overlooked, the Red Cross should understand, as should the Congress, that America and all its parts are supposed to be an efficient democracy, not a wasteful bureaucracy.

Daniel B. Jeffs

Apple Valley

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After Sept. 11, I sent checks to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. I wanted to support two worthwhile organizations that have always been there for disaster victims. Those who complain about how their donations are being spent by the Red Cross can contribute again to what they consider worthier organizations. Their Red Cross money will not be wasted, and their extra donations will satisfy their desires to directly help the victims of the Sept. 11 disaster.

Mayrene Ryan

Sylmar

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I have had a great deal of respect for the work that the Red Cross has done in the disasters that occur all over the world. This has changed to disgust. I appreciate that money is always needed, but to take money that was designated for a specific occasion is really appalling. Its reputation has been damaged, as well as depriving the victims in New York of greatly needed funds. I, for one, will not donate to the Red Cross again. I have other charities I donate to, knowing the funds will be used as specified.

I have nothing but admiration for Red Cross President Bernadine Healy for taking the stand she did [resigning at the end of the year].

Isabelle Jolly

El Segundo

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