I just wrote a blog called "Running for a Reason" in which I told y'all about my marathon fundraiser for the American Red Cross. I had several lovely people donate and then one mentioned something about the recent funds allocation scandal.
Funds allocation scandal? Bwah?
I did a little research and was properly horrified and ashamed of my lack of preparation. Apparently, the American Red Cross has been investigated for lack of response during Hurricane Sandy and raising enormous amounts of money for Haiti earthquake relief that are largely unaccounted for. They're accused of such heinous acts as driving empty trucks around impacted areas just to make it look like there was a Red Cross presence in the area. ICK.
I cannot apologize enough to those who have already donated. If it's any comfort, I do believe the organization does good work, just not as much as it should. Lesson learned: good intentions must be paired with careful research!
I have shut down the original fundraiser, removed all links to it from my Facebook page and started a new fundraiser for Save the Children (after investigating it on charity watchdog sites). This organization works in the United States and across the world to support children's unique needs in various ways. They provide disaster relief services such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care as well as educational services such as their Healthy Choices program that teaches children how to eat healthily and stay active. They have a child literacy program here in the United States that provides resources to increase literacy and have excellent HIV and AIDS prevention programs. Basically, if a child is in need, they're there.
No charity is perfect, but I do believe in the work this one is doing and I feel prepared to stand behind it. If you believe in helping children in our own backyards and around the world and in humiliating me with run dares (oh yeah, if you donate, I will do the silly/bizarre/meaningful activity of your choice on my next training run :) ), then please consider donating. Again, I apologize for the false start. My heart got ahead of my head!