As Harvey continues to tug on heartstrings and open the hearts and wallets of countless individuals, donations continue to come in from across the country and world.
From the immense success of Houston Texans’ defensive back/mega-philanthropist J.J. Watt’s plea for dollars, the current tally of which is currently upwards of $18 million, to celebrities gathering and challenging funds for the cause, the disaster is amassing a fortune in aid, even beyond dollars.
However, last week in an NPR interview with the head of logistics for the Red Cross, exactly where the money is going is just about as murky as the receding water.
“Morning Edition” host Ailsa Chang pressed executive Brad Kieserman on the issue, with a transcript of the exchange as follows:
Chang: Through donations, how much of every dollar goes to relief?
Kieserman: Yeah, I don’t think I know the answer to that any better than the chief fundraiser knows how many, how much it costs to put a volunteer downrange for a week and how many emergency response vehicles I have on the road today. So I think if he was on this interview and you were asking how many relief vehicles in Texas, I don’t think he’d know the answer and I don’t know the answer to the financial question I’m afraid.
Chang continued, asking how much of the money goes to internal costs for the organization, but Kieserman’s offering was less-than explicit:
“The folks I work for are very, very attentive to cost effectiveness and cost efficiencies in making sure that as much as every dollar that we spend on an operation is client-facing.”
Meanwhile, it’s well-known how much money Watt raised, with the local hero continually updating the world and working to ensure the money is handled responsibly.
His candid demeanor is what likely inspired in fans –from the sports world and beyond — to organize and sign a petition so a major Houston highway can be renamed in his honor.
So far, the petition amassed nearly 70,000 signatures, hoping to persuade Mayor Sylvester Turner and Gov. Greg Abbott to rename State Highway 99-Grand Parkway after Watt.
If you need or would like to help in Houston, read more here.