Saturday, November 17, 2012
Red Cross workers living large
From the Huffington Post:
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.