Charities: A World of Corruption
Charities such as Autism Speaks, the American Red Cross and Kids Wish Network fall into the same category of organizations who promise monetary aid and other forms of assistance to the afflicted but fall short of their pledge.
Whether it be a natural disaster, a worldwide epidemic or a serious medical condition, there is always a myriad of charities waiting to assist, promising monetary aid, comfort and other forms of assistance to those affected. Certain charities though, such as the American Red Cross (ARC), Autism Speaks and Kids Wish Network, take advantage of individuals attempting to help those in need by prioritizing their foundation over the afflicted they are supposedly assisting. Behind their auspicious websites and appealing causes lies a slew of corrupt organization directors who profit from others’ misfortune. Feeling powerless and eager to help, people donate to these charities, inadvertently fostering the ongoing corruption and getting robbed of their good intentions.
After Houston, Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey, the ARC once again raised millions of dollars attempting to aid those in need but fell short of their promise. Similarly, with their appeal to “save lives,” aided by endorsements from the president and celebrities, and fueled by a pioneering text message campaign, the ARC, according to an article by the National Public Radio (NPR), raised a staggering $488 million for the earthquake in Haiti, of which only 25 percent went to helping the victims. The other 75 percent, or close to 366 million dollars, was spent on internal expenses, far more than they originally disclosed. People habitually turned to the most universally loved organization in humanitarian relief in an attempt to feel useful, but instead of helping the needy, were helping the privileged who continuously monopolize and benefit from the money allegedly going to the suffering.
Autism Speaks, an organization which promises to help autistic children and their families, falls into the same category of charities who wrongfully promote change and aid to those in need. According to the Autistic Advocacy Network (AAN), only three percent of the money raised by Autism Speaks is attributed to “Family Services,” despite that being their main objective and the one they are the most vocal about. Although 32 percent of the money raised does go toward research, according to the AAN, only a very small portion of the money goes to improving the quality of life of autistic people. The rest of the money, a staggering 60 percent more than what is actually donated to the families, goes directly to fundraising and helping their own campaign. Rather than devoting resources to ensure that those with autism can live comfortably, their money is channeled toward finding the cause of autism and how to prevent it by investing in prenatal testing and other heinous endeavors. Essentially, Autism Speaks, by promoting fear and prejudice against autistic people, is striving to create what they believe to be a better future for everyone — a world without autism.
Yet another charity, Kids Wish Network, appeals to the public with their sympathetic motto “Dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and those struggling with life-altering situations,” which is stated in bold on their website, but fail to accomplish what is promised.
According to a CNN report, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in the name of dying children all over the country, but only spends three cents on the dollar on helping these children and their families. The majority of the remaining money is directed towards enriching the charity directors and the for-profit companies Kids Wish Network hires to fundraise for them. Over the past decade, Kids Wish Network has funneled nearly 110 million dollars from the money donated to sick children to their own wallets, ranking as the only charity in the U.S. to have consistently drained an exorbitant amount of money from the needy.
The actions taken by the ARC, Autism Speaks, Kids Wish Network and countless other charities around the world prove to be extremely egotistical and show the lack of interest in actually helping the underprivileged. With that said, people should not just stop donating altogether as several charities do have genuine intentions, in spite of the many that do not. To prevent the monetary corruption and laundering that occur within certain charities, people are advised to research more into the charities they want to donate to in place of blindly writing that check. They should know if their money is actually benefiting the intended audience or if greedy organization directors are profiting from their altruism. Additionally, according to the Tampa Bay Times, try staying away from large organizations as their practices might be rooted in greed and dishonesty, and donate to smaller, less renowned charities, or even start your own. By doing this, one can accomplish their actual goal of helping those in need.