One thing about the Red Cross we've learned the hard
way. If you don't specifically make a notation on your
check that this money is given to such and such
relief effort, than the cash will go into the general Red Cross
funds held for other purposes as well.
When San Diego experienced those terrible brush fires
last year and thousands of homes were lost, people donated
heavily into the Red Cross funds assuming it will be used
to help the fire victims. Wrong! Most of the collected monies went into a general fund for the Red Cross.
Dto. for the World Trade Center victims
At the World Trade Center the American Red Cross went nowhere near Ground Zero. There was no money to be raised at Ground Zero. There were no TV cameras. ARTI crawled below the rubble while the American Red Cross collected 6 billion dollars in extra cash beyond their usual multi billion dollar collection of donations. They still have most of that cash.