Where are your Red Cross 9/11 disaster donations going?

Tuesday, October 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

If you are one of the millions of people who gave to the Red Cross' Disaster Relief fund, you might be interested to know more about where your money went.

News on Six reporter Heather Brooker followed the trail. Heather says that if the money was designated for the Liberty Fund, it went into that fund, and will be used for victims of the September 11th attacks. If the money wasn't donated to the Liberty Fund, then the money went into the general Red Cross fund.

The images of what happened on 9-11 will forever be etched in our memories. Such a tremendous tragedy prompted millions of Americans to donate time, goods, and mostly, money. Tulsans alone raised two point five million dollars. "We've sent every dime of that on through to the disaster relief fund for assistance in New York and Washington." Local Red Cross CEO, Roger Dahl addressed the issue of the Liberty Fund controversy at a luncheon for volunteers.

Reports surfaced last Friday claiming the Red Cross would allot some of its donated $550 million to funds other than disaster relief. Areas such as a blood reserve program, a national outreach effort, and a telecommunications upgrade would receive some of the money. Disputes between the President of the National Red Cross Bernadine Healy and the board over designation of the funds caused her to resign. "I think the confusion over this has come as a result of what Doctor Healy's preferences were and what the intent of donors and the wish of the board of governors is."

The Tulsa Red Cross honored its volunteers Tuesday, as an integral part of their organization, and Roger Dahl says along with the volunteers, donor intent is their number one priority. "Financial donors make their wishes clear to the American Red Cross Tulsa area chapter or anywhere else. We will honor donor intent." He says the only way to correct the situation and bring back public trust, would be for the national board to re-assess its priorities.

The American Institute of Philanthropy still gives the Red Cross an "A" rating for its work.