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Benefit concert for Haiti

By Jodi Westrick  |  January 22, 2010; 3:31 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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It's not that I won't donate to Wyclef John's fund raising effort. We've already donated $200 to the relief effort through AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE. Small donations are the hallmark of disaster aid through AFSC, which is a quasi-policy & political arm of the FGC (Friends General Conference) of American Quakers. The FGC is the central agency that speaks for "unprogrammed Friends" -- those whose meetings are silent, punctuated @ times by spirit led speaking from that stillness & silence.
I heard Johns talking on Oprah's show that implied yes, some of his people may not have been honest or efficient with funds raised previously or in conjunction with the earthquake.
Discerning donators want to check out HOW the donations are spent. There were some doubts about his organization's delivery of goods v. "overhead" for the charity personnel. When charities are shakey on the % of money actually reaching the afflicted, it's become more and more of a death knell for the charity.
Sadly, if these problems haven't been fixed, there are going to be lots of younger folks, who want to get on the bandwagon this evening, who will throw some of their money down a rathole of inefficiency. Until the doubt about John's foundation are cleared up, it would be more responsible to send the $$ elsewhere.

Posted by: zennheadd | January 22, 2010 5:38 PM

There is something foul in the air when a successful Black American of Haitian descent who is trying to help his people but is knocked down for the same concerns which have plagued other "White" help organizations! Color should not be the deciding factor in doing the right thing about Haiti, but singling out Wyclef Jean's organization instead of simply saying "Give but hold accountable" like every other help org sure looks and sounds like color is a consideration!

Posted by: iphoenix | January 22, 2010 6:11 PM

Iphoenix is correct. Do your research on the recent histories of the United way(last 20 years) and the Red Cross(Hurricane Katrina)to see the ongoing transgressions with those organizations. Yes I am a fan of Wyclef and his music, and yes I donated to yele haiti without question. Why, because my research, despite smoking guns attempts to sully this organization led me to make this decision. Before the Earthquake, Wyclef's efforts in Haiti have been well documented and his contribution to that country, have and will never be talked about in mainstream press. Here is a qoute from "Experts on nonprofits said they saw no evidence of serious wrongdoing, other than slowness in filing taxes"

Posted by: cdb_bluebull | January 22, 2010 6:31 PM

Money's too tight to send anything to a charity that might be dodgy. I'll take my chances with an established charity rather than 'Clef's. The information that the Smoking Gun was enough to turn me off.

Back to picking up cans...


Posted by: tomjoad | January 22, 2010 6:43 PM

I donated to Yele before the controversy. I think it's less a case of being "dodgy" than poor management at one point or another.

I doubt they'll be dodginess from this point forward.

Anyway, there are many good charities working in Haiti. Yele funnels funds to lesser known ones, and that's good. Why punish those people.

Posted by: chunche | January 22, 2010 7:05 PM

Yes, I plan to donate to Yele and to the Red Cross. I also donated tonight to Hope For Haiti. Most organizations use funds for administrative purposes that are suspect. Yele is able to help in ways that organizations such as Red Cross can not help and vice versa.

Posted by: maehenrie | January 22, 2010 9:54 PM

Where are the Haitians?

As I understand it, Haiti is about the size of Maryland, a fairly good size country. It has a population of about 10 million of which some three million lived in Port Au Prince. That means about seven million live elsewhere in Haiti. Cap Haitein, Carrefour, Delmas and Petionville are four of the other major population centers in Haiti besides Port Au Prince, the Capital and the largest city there. These cities and other towns have mayors and other city officials. They have highly educated and rich people in Haiti, who live in other areas of Haiti besides the capital, Port Au Prince. They have bankers, doctors, lawyers, teachers and professionals in virtually every other field one can think of. Their contributions should go in first. Then outside contributions would go in and fill in the holes that remain. Now, we know that Haiti is basically a poor country; however, they are rich in labor. In a national emergency, you use what you have. I don’t see that being done there at this point, to match the extent of the calamity.

I ask, and I imagine, many others around the world are asking also, where are these Haitians? We see none of these people on television making any type of contributions whatsoever. We would like to see them, hear their opinions, suggestions, inputs and know what they are doing to help their fellow countrymen. We would like to see that they are ready and willing and able to take the lead in restoring their country. Work teams should have been in Port Au Prince immediately after the quake hit. We, the world, should know why that wasn’t the case. To date, seemingly, to much of the world, the Haitians care less about their own country than the world at large does. We have heard of no relief fund drives being carried on in these other cities, for example. Now, this might well not be the case. And if this is not the case, then the media streaming out of Haiti is doing a very poor job of letting the world know that leading citizens there are in fact engaged. To date, we haven’t seen it or heard of it.

Posted by: vmonroe_valnesio | January 22, 2010 10:28 PM

Amen to Iphoenix' and cdb_bluebull's comments.

Why are Yele Haiti's finances under such close scrutiny?

Has anyone similarly scrutinized the finances of the more established NGO's?

Posted by: pkramer1 | January 22, 2010 11:37 PM

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