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Red Cross collects millions, hands out hot chocolate, cookies?

UPDATE (01):  WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE? THE PEOPLE AFFECTED BY THE STORM OR A CHARITY SEEKING TO PROTECT ITS MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR FUNDRAISING MACHINE?

The American Red Cross, which bills itself as “the world's largest humanitarian network,” is pushing back against critics of its response to Hurricane Sandy, with the head of the organization saying its relief effort has been “near flawless” despite criticism from stranded storm victims and elected officials.

Two weeks after the superstorm slammed the East Coast, leaving millions of residents without power and in need of food, warmth and shelter, the venerable nonprofit has taken a public battering over what many victims and some officials saw as a lackluster and unfocused response.

James Molinari, president of the hard-hit Staten Island borough of New York City, on Nov. 1 labeled the organization’s response there “an absolute disgrace” and went so far as to urge its residents not to donate to the largely volunteer agency.

Donovan, the Red Cross critic helping in Breezy Point, said he and his friends have been helping clean up there for about a week and had worked on some 30 homes. The Brooklyn resident, whose family has had a house in Breezy Point since he was a kid, said he had seen only one of the group’s trucks there in that time.

“You don’t see them. They’re not here ... they’re just not here,” he said Thursday, a day after a nor’easter blew ashore, pushing another storm surge into water-logged areas and dumping about four inches of snow.  <Source>

Original blog ...

Where is the Red Cross? Where is FEMA?  

Staten Islanders On Sandy Response: We’ve Been Left FAR Behind

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Staten Island residents are furious. They feel that in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy they’ve been ignored and left to fend for themselves.CBS 2′s Jessica Schneider toured the borough on Thursday night and saw one home on Cedar Grove Avenue that looks like it was torn to shreds by a tornado. However, it was surging ocean waters that tore the house apart, and filled others with more than 10 feet of water. It’s that type of apparent neglect that has left residents saying they haven’t received the attention or help they so desperately need. “Red Cross is here with hot chocolate and cookies. We need blankets, we need pillows, we need clothing. We can get hot chocolate and cookies, we need help!” resident Jodi Hannula said. It was almost too much for Hannula to bear. She said she had 30 years of memories washed away by flood waters. And with no flood insurance, she said she’s been pleading for help, but finding little.

“You hope that the government does the right thing and steps in and helps us out. We have been looking for FEMA, [but] FEMA has not been here,” Hannula said. People on Staten Island argued that they’ve been neglected while other parts of New York City, and the Jersey Shore, have been showered with attention.

“We are far from fine, and the fact that the mayor wants to have a marathon this weekend, when we’ve had people who have lost their lives or house, everything they’ve worked for their whole lives … I mean, its unbelievable to me,” Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said. <Source: Staten Islanders On Sandy Response: We’ve Been Left Far Behind « CBS New York>

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-- steve


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