By Ellen Huber
“Hey lady, care to make a donation?”
The notoriously scandal-ridden Red Cross Society of China has set up camp in Baoxing county, one of the areas most devastated by the recent Yaan earthquake, to solicit earthquake relief donations, reports the South China Morning Post. But instead of raising donations, the Red Cross only elicited public backlash.
CBN Weekly spotted the make-shift operation in hard-hit Baoxing county, an area that should be given donations instead of being asked to give during this sensitive time. CBN promptly photographed it and blogged about the situation to spread awareness of sketchy charity trap.
The photos depict only two staff members, a donation box with a Red Cross logo slapped on, and a handwritten sign thats reads “Baoxing county Red Cross: 4.20 earthquake disaster relief donation booth.” The earthquake measured a magnitude of 7.0, as the charity workers would have known if they’d asked any of the people around them who’d had their homes destroyed by it.
CBN Weekly’s story spread quickly: one reader of the blog commented, “Is this some kind of action art?” Spotting yet another situation requiring damage control, the Chinese Red Cross Social Supervision Committee, posted: “As Baoxing county was itself a hard-hit area, setting up a donation booth was inappropriate. The social inspection committee has demanded the Red Cross rectify this right away.”
This is just the latest scandal surrounding the apparently-PR-deaf Red Cross Society of China. While the donation booth in Baoxing was insensitive, the organization has poor reputation for questionable use of donations.
The Red Cross was also seen in Chengdu canvassing for donations following the earthquake. It is reported that the public largely ignored the requests for money as they were more concerned with donating blood to injured victims.
Public perception of the charity may be seriously dampening the Red Cross’s ability to provide relief, donations to the organisation were significantly lower than to similar charities and many netizens speak openly of not trusting the Red Cross.