Editorial #55 The Great Flood Continued March 28, 2019
The flood disaster of the past few weeks brings out the best and the worst of humankind. It brings out the latent generosity of those who believe in the golden rule, but also brings those with the irresistible temptations to exploit the situation as well.
The difficult part about getting help to those in need is the infrastructure to implement such a massive undertaking is not something that can be taken out of storage when the need arrives. Now that the need is here, the frustration of getting the donated resources to those in greatest need is difficult. It is heart wrenching to see the hardship of those who are truly suffering. It is frustrating having a feeling of helpless due to distance or lack of the proper equipment that could make a small dent in providing relief.
There will be hundreds of millions of dollars collected along with countless hours of volunteer labor, all trying to do something. The sad part is, it would be logistic nightmare if everyone showed up to help. It is daunting to provide tools, safety equipment, food and water for the workers along with being organized with some sort of coordinated effort not to mention simple things like parking and restroom facilities.
The Red Cross was designed to address just such a conundrum, but has become a bureaucracy that is slow, expensive and often more interested in publicity to get more donations to fund that bureaucracy. “Go Fund Me” pages and call centers that accept donations are a problem with fees as high as 10% and anyone can set up a call center. These work well for individual situations but are ripe for fraud in cases like this. The concern as to where the money goes is impossible to determine with the urgency of the situation precluding any attempt to determine due diligence of the collector. If questioned, they often considered it an insult if one is suspicious of their efforts in trying to help.
The best way is to give to The Salvation Army, Church organized drives and Service Clubs who have infrastructure and a reputation, making sure help goes to the right place with experience in organizing such efforts. Thank goodness for our National Guard as they are the best prepared, trained with the equipment and military discipline to take necessary action.
This too will pass, but please be careful with your resources and generosity to minimize the fraud and corruption that sadly seems to find their way into the mix in situations like this. It is gratifying that corruption problems like this are minimized here as there really is no place like Nebraska.
This is Keith Kube wishing you the best in making the world a better place.