Red Cross Spends $181,000 On Soho Grand Hotel Rooms For Sandy Relief Workers


Red Cross Spends $181,000 On Soho Grand Hotel Rooms For Sandy Relief Workers  | r-SOHO-GRAND-SANDY-large570 | News Articles US News
The American Red Cross has dispensed 5,800 workers to help with Hurricane Sandy relief and is spending $181,000 for some volunteers to stay in the SoHo Grand, a swanky hotel in downtown Manhattan.

The American Red Cross has come under fire for its slow response to certain areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, and now critics have a new complaint against the relief organization: It’s paying $181,000 for volunteers to stay at a swanky downtown Manhattan hotel.

The Red Cross, which has raised $131 million in Sandy relief as of Tuesday, recently fired back at critics, calling its disaster response effort “near flawless.” But struggling Sandy survivors allege Red Cross volunteers aren’t visible in their towns, and many have said they don’t understand where the organization’s dollars could be going.

The nonprofit revealed to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that one big-ticket Sandy relief item is hotel stays for volunteers. Since New York City is packed with tourists and facing a housing crisis, the Red Cross has taken 45 rooms at the upscale Soho Grand Hotel –- at a discounted rate — which will end up costing $181,000, spokeswoman Laura Howe told the Journal.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has also taken three rooms at the Soho Grand since Sandy hit, according to the paper.

The Red Cross says it has dispensed 5,800 workers for Sandy relief, 90 percent of whom are volunteers. To date, the nonprofit has set up 472 shelters in more than 10 states and has delivered more than 5.3 million meals and snacks, CNN Money reports.

Earlier this month, American Red Cross spokeswoman Patricia Billinger told The Huffington Post the organization is doing everything that it can.

“We understand people are frustrated,” Billinger said. “We’re definitely trying to get into every neighborhood we can, as soon as we can. On Staten Island, has every person who needs help from the Red Cross received it? No. But we’re providing more and more help.”

Part of the problem, experts say, is a misperception of what the relief organization is actually responsible for and able to do. During relief operations, the Red Cross is only tasked with supplying food and running shelters, according to Reuters.

“People have been giving without finding out first what a group’s capacity is to actually deliver services,” Ben Smilowitz, head of the Disaster Accountability Project, a watchdog group for first-responder relief agencies, told Reuters.

According to Reuters, 92 cents of every Red Cross dollar goes to its blood supply and relief projects, with the rest going to administration and further fundraising.

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Wendy Blanks is an independent researcher, journalist and activist. She is the Founder of TruWire Productions, LLC., and the Owner/Chief Editor for The Sleuth Journal. She has done investigative research in multiple fields and has a passion for sharing true news on various topics such as government corruption, natural health, human rights, globalism and other important issues that plague our society. Thankfully, we live in the age of information and sharing knowledge has become easier than ever. She has a deep desire to expose the truth in propagated information that is spewed from corporate/mainstream media. True journalism has been dead for some time and it is her goal to revive it. The Sleuth Journal streamlines groups of like-minded individuals and organizations to create a massive knowledge base for a ‘conscious awakening’ of what is really going on in today’s oligarchy pyramid that we call ‘society’. So many people are zombies by media, television and other means of mass brainwashing and we need to reverse the effects and give people back their minds, and in return, their power and will to change and challenge the system. Like The Sleuth Journal on Facebook. Follow The Sleuth Journal on Twitter. Join The Sleuth Journal group on Linkedin. Be sure to visit Drone Patrol to view and report drone sightings.

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