If we give money to groups like the Red Cross what should we expect in return? And if we don’t like how they handle our money, can we request a refund? A novel idea that just may come to pass.

A recent story in the Times Herald Record print edition (I couldn’t find it online) said that “Seven months after Superstorm Sandy, the Red Cross still hasn’t spent more than one-third of the $303 million it raised to assist victims of the storm. I always wonder how our donations are spent. You will excuse me if I am a bit skeptable about the motives of organizations that collect huge amounts of money…including our government.

“What is the Red Cross waiting for?”

I remember something like this happening after the 911 attack. There was this overwhelming outpouring by many of us who wanted to let those who were affected by the blasts that they weren’t alone and so we game money…lots of money to organizations like the Red Cross. That money also went unspent for a long period of time…I think, at that time, the Salvation Army was called to task.  

According to a Huffington Post article , storm victims could have used more help this past winter. This is was according to Kathleen McCarthy, director of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy and Civil  Society at the City University of New York. And the Red Cross was not there.

It is tough to know which organization is acting responsibility and which needs to be put on the carpet. That is one reason I hesitate to give money. I would rather help those around me…people I know who need a hand. Maybe to cook a dinner or take them to the store. It’s not as easy as clicking online to give a donation but at least I can see the smiles of people who appreciate the a small gesture of kindness.

How do  you handle donations? Have you ever asked for a refund?