Where do your donation dollars REALLY go?

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We all want to help people and when we hear names like Goodwill, The American Red Cross, The March of Dimes and others. We think these charities do so much good that we can’t go wrong by donating as much as we can afford. But check out the salaries and expense accounts some of these people have and it’s all from money we donated to what we thought was a good cause. Please check out charities before giving and put your money where it will do the most good.

For example, the Ronald McDonald House sees 89.5% of donations going to the cause; Salvation Army 82%. March of Dimes? 64.6%.

Want to talk about non-profit’s exorbitant CEO saries? Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern last reported annual salary was $1,032,022. UNICEF CEO Caryl Stern gets a $472,891 salary.

UNICEF, a UN organization created in 1946, was started to help provide poor starving children with food and healthcare. They even won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 and the organization has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to “help the poor children” in other countries.

You might recognize the Christmas cards…who can resist images like cute multicultural cadre of kids, smiling and holding hands as they circle the globe? Who can’t get behind the idea of children from all nations coming together across borders, showing the one-ness of the human race?

The real truth?

In recent years, UNICEF has taken a radical position against millions of orphans, insisting that life in the country of birth is always preferable than life with an adoptive family in another country even when that means children are condemned to orphanages.  So much for those handholding holiday cards.  Good-bye, one-ness.  Hello, border patrol.

Their tagline is “Shop for a cause and help children in need.”  While no one can argue with the fact that UNICEF does work to improve living conditions for some children in need, their assistance goes to those who already have families.  Those without, not so much.

UNICEF’s callous opposition to international adoptions is based on some alleged corruption in the adoption process, and an aversion to having children removed from what they know (disease, disaster, famine, poverty, death) into a life as a “rich American kid.”

EthicsAlarm.com said that UNICEF leaders regard international adoption as a human rights violation! Apparently death or a horrible life of starvation is better than being taken out of your “heritage.” UNICEF now relentlessly focuses on adoption abuse at the cost of all successful adoptions, and is calling for the closure of ALL private intermediaries that make adoptions possible.

Elizabeth Bartholet of Harvard Law School writes

The real threat to international adoption and to children is posed by UNICEF and others who claim they are not against international adoption, but simply for regulatory reform…But the UNICEF positions would if accepted radically limit children’s opportunities for finding nurturing homes. 

“Regulation prohibiting private intermediaries has been the deathknell for international adoption in many countries, as those promoting this ‘reform’ well know. Critics find receptive audiences with their talk of eliminating the greedy lawyers and others who make a living arranging such adoption. But private intermediaries are generally more eager than government bureaucrats to make matches between the parties who want adoption to happen – parties that include birth as well as adoptive parents. Pursuant to pressure from UNICEF and others, many countries in South and Central America have banned private intermediaries, and have as a result largely eliminated international adoption.

“Instead of placing thousands of children per year, they now place only a handful, and then only after the children have spent long periods in damaging orphanages.”

How damaging?

“…Abandoned babies are often confined to steel cribs 23+ hours a day for months or years. Without normal stimuli, without the ability to crawl, play, interact or be loved, they suffer immense, often irreversible psychological and physical damage.”

The prospect of any child being left to rot in such places because UNICEF is in thrall to ethnic purity, class warfare, and anti-American political correctness is frightening.

In many countries with the highest orphan rates, the children are either scavenging on the streets or crammed into prison-like cells then kicked out on the streets when they become of age.

Back on the Red Cross, where in 2005 a scandal erupted over the $450 million dollars raised for Haiti earthquake victims, where only $106 million was spent actually helping Haiti. During Hurricane Katrina, money was raked in for the victims only to reveal a “chaotic system the Red Cross cobbled together” allowed for the bilking of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Seems pretty shoddy for someone making over a million dollars a year to oversee it, doesn’t it?

The CA accounting executive and ex-official of Red Cross was charged with fraud in 2007. Karen Shuerger, 58, who was the assistant director of accounting, was charged with misappropriating more than $100,000 over the final five years of a 17-year career at the chapter. The investigation, however, is continuing to determine if the misdeeds were broader, said officials in the United States attorney’s office in Los Angeles, which is prosecuting the case.

Ms. Shuerger, the indictment said, used the chapter’s traveler’s checks and a credit card issued by the organization to make purchases for herself at places that included a gambling hall in Nevada, a beach resort in Hawaii and the San Diego Zoo. The embezzlement came to light, prosecutors said, after Ms. Shuerger, who had been in charge of monitoring money received by the chapter and preparing financial records, retired in the fall of 2005.

So who deserves our charitable donations?

A good start is Forbes top ranking charities, based on their efficiency, which include Brothers Brother Foundation a 53 year old Pittsburgh-based charity that has provided billions of dollars in medical supplies, food, textbooks and seeds to the needy, including most recently 8 tractor trailer loads of assistance to the Hurricane Sandy victims.

The end point of this article is to point out that the organizations raking in millions of dollars in donations aren’t providing the kind of quality to the cause that I personally think they should, especially given the fact their CEO’s are making more than enough (more than my own CEO makes!). They’re receiving as an annual salary more than many small businesses net in a year. They’re part of the loudly scorned and “terrible 1%” and the cause itself is getting little help.

We must research the efficiency and make sure these charities are held accountable for the funds we’re entrusting to them to help the cause we most passionately care about.
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Claire is an editor of the YoungPatriots website. A 20-something mom, her main concern is how the decisions made in government today will affect the lives of her children when they're her age. She believes passionately in a limited government, a charitable church and a peaceful personal life. In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.
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