The second charity that we are focusing on this year is the American Red Cross. I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for the Red Cross ever since our second son was born. Due to complications during her C-section, my wife ended up needing multiple blood transfusions, and the blood was supplied by none other than the Red Cross blood bank. The Red Cross also does a tremendous amount of disaster relief work. While they do a lot of high profile work in response to huge disasters that hit the front page of the paper (e.g., Hurricane Katrina), they also help a huge number of people that are suffering through individual disasters (e.g., home fires).
Beyond all the good that they do, the American Red Cross is a highly efficient charity. In fact, Charity Navigator give them four (out of a possible four) stars, and they spend just under 92% of all funds on program expenses, with just 5% going to administrative expenses and 3.5% going toward fundraising.
If you choose to donate to the American Red Cross, you can actually specify how you want the money used. For example, you can ask that your contribution go toward their national disaster relief fund, their international response fund, your local Red Cross chapter, their military services, their measles initiative, or their blood services campaign. Alternatively, you can ask that your contribution be used wherever the need is greatest — this is what we always do.
In case you’re curious, here’s their mission statement:
The American Red Cross has helped people mobilize to help their neighbors for 125 years. Last year, victims of a record 72, 883 disasters, most of them fires, turned to the Red Cross for help and hope. Through more than 800 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people each year gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Almost four million people give blood – the gift of life – through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the U.S. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global network of more than 180 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world’s most vulnerable people.
If you’re looking for a worthy charity to support, please consider making a donation to the American Red Cross.