- Planet Erstwild - 20100219 - Zennie Abraham

Host James Moore spoke with Zennie Abraham on PLANET ERSTWILD (Fri 2pm-5pm) about his blog on SFGate.com questioning the American Red Cross's handling of money donated for relief in Haiti. Zennie who, you ask?

The YouTube video channel Zennie62 has reached 12 million video views and 200,000 channel views as of Saturday, February 20th, and continuing a pattern of rapid growth that started in 2009 and has continued through 2010. Zennie62 on YouTube also has over 4,000 subscribers.

The YouTube video channel Zennie62 consists over 800 videos covering everything from politics to news, sports, tech, and entertainment and celebrity gossip. Zennie62 on YouTube is connected to the blog Zennie62.com, also at Zennie2005.blogspot.com. The Zennie62 blog is the center publication of a network of 100 blogs ran by Zennie62.com, of which this blogger, Zennie Abraham, is the executive producer.

Did you get a response from the ARC?

I'm curious to learn what you uncovered! Mr. Abraham is mixing his messages. He is absolutely correct that people should query the ARC (and any other organization) about the disposition of donated funds. What he is confusing is the "report" to which he refers is not an "annual report" but a publication giving an update of activities one month into the Haiti effort. It is by no means a rigorous financial report. He is also correct that the language used in the report is ambiguous. It does state that $80 million is "spent or committed" to be spent in Haiti to date. What Mr. Abraham is inferring is that the balance ($175 million) is not earmarked for Haiti. The Miami Herald report he cited in his blog seemed to be pretty clear that the funds distributed "so far" is not all that is going to be used in Haiti. He claims to have requested clarification from the ARC, but he mentioned he sent an email and a Twitter request. These are not necessarily the most effective way to contact any organnization for the kind of information he seeks!

Mr. Abraham also discussed with you some of the issues associated with the ARC during the Katrina crisis. There were indeed many questions raised about how the funds donated to the ARC were managed and applied. Since that time, the ARC has strict procedures around donor funds and how donations are collected and distributed for specific efforts. All he needs to do is go to the Red Cross web site or pick up the phone and call!

Finally, he thinks the ARC is getting some sort of "pass" froom the press and intimates that the ARC (or others) are waging a campaign aginst Yele Haiti. Neither is true. In fact Wyclef works with both the International Red Cross and the American Red Cross in Haiti.