Haiti Relief Is a Big Test for Red Cross

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010  |  Updated 11:00 AM EDT
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Haiti Relief Is a Big Test for Red Cross

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MIAMI BEACH, FL - JANUARY 14: A volunteer sorts goods loaded onto a truck in South Beach to be delivered to the nation of Haiti after a devastating earthquake there earlier this week, January 14, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida.

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For the American Red Cross, a surge of donations to help its relief efforts in Haiti provides a dramatic chance to prove it learned from its flawed responses to Hurricane Katrina and Sept. 11.

     Through Wednesday, the Red Cross had received by far the largest share of Haiti-inspired donations from the American public -- a total of $137 million.
    
It's a remarkable show of confidence in an organization that irked many donors by earmarking some 9/11 gifts for unrelated purposes and was criticized for its response to Katrina.
    
Those debacles prompted changes, and now the charity community is curious to see what happens.
    
Ken Berger, president of Charity Navigator, says everyone is watching the Red Cross closely.

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