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Obama visits Red Cross, thanks relief workers

By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama visited the American Red Cross headquarters building just a few blocks from the White House on Monday to thank workers for their efforts following the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Joined by the first lady, Obama toured the agency's Disaster Operations Center, a beige space divided into 20 cubicles. The center is where the Red Cross is coordinating it earthquake response efforts.

"We're just here to say thank you for the great work you're doing," Obama told the approximately 100 workers at the center.

He then went through the room to personally thank workers. At one station where workers monitor Twitter and other social media outlets, someone had written: "President Obama and the First Lady are here visiting our disaster operation center right now."
Obama saw the message and hit the send button, later telling reporters that was the first time he had "tweeted."

The president also told reporters that he had been informed that $21 million in donations had been made to the Red Cross through text messages, which he called a tribute to the generosity of the American people.

By Post Editor  |  January 18, 2010; 2:52 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama  
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Comments

We also need to highlight that the CEO of the Red Cross (an "non-profit" org) is paid $565,000!

Apparently because that is what it takes to attract people with the necessary talent and experience for such a "large organization."

Interestingly, the US President only earns $400K ($200K as recently as Pres. Clinton) - so I think we can be sure that there are plenty of well qualified people who will capably lead the Red Cross without such an outrageous salary. Especially, given that most of their work is done by volunteers or extremely modestly paid staff.

I urge people to consider donating to other organizations that are also doing exemplary work - rather than a knee-jerk reflexive donation to the RC (helped by the media's default publicity of the RC.)

- - - - - - - - - -

For the sake of accuracy, here is the link to an article from WP.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/08/AR2008040801553.html

Interestingly, it also highlights the lack of in depth experience - stating that the person has "done little work in the primary mission of the Red Cross: disaster relief." and "will face a steep learning curve".

Posted by: Orion101 | January 21, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

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