Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More Troubles For The Red Cross

A few years ago, the Red Cross had a reputation that was envied by other organizations. But in the last few years, that reputation has suffered. Because of perceived failures of the organization, they have replaced their presidents after both the 9/11 and the Katrina disasters. Counting the interim leaders, the Red Cross has had 5 different presidents in the last six years.

Yesterday, the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross asked their latest president, Mark Everson, to resign. Everson's resignation was effective immediately.

The organization had learned that Everson was having an affair with one of his subordinates. It looks as though the Red Cross decided they simply could not afford another scandal. Everson is married and has two children. He had only been on the job for six months.

The Board released a statement saying, "The board acted quickly after learning that Mr. Everson engaged in a personal relationship with a subordinate employee. It concluded that the situation reflected poor judgement on Mr. Everson's part and diminished his ability to lead the organization in the future."

I can understand the board's action, but the organization has bigger problems than this. In recent years, the organization has begun to shun many types of donated goods, preferring gifts of cash instead. They have also promised these cash donations would be used for specific disasters, and then used part of the money for other purposes.

This has caused many to lose faith in the altruistic aims of the organization. Is too much of the money being used for administrative purposes? I know I became disillusioned after learning the charity's president makes a larger salary than our country's president.

If the Red Cross is going to remain relevant in the future, it must change the perceptions.

1 comment:

  1. Every choice has a consequence. As an ethics speaker, I address audiences around the country on that very topic. I understand full well the implications of that statement, as I spent time in Federal prison for my choices. In this case, Mr. Everson's actions don't warrant a consequence as extreme as prison, but he has experienced real consequeces none-the-less. Perhaps others can learn from his very painful mistake.


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