The Morning Call Feeds the Cynicism that is Tearing Our Communities Apart

Leave it to The Morning Call to make things worse (“Gas blast victims to charities: Where’s the money?” March 1).  We have dozens of families whose lives were shattered or even lost.  We have untold damage to those lives and the neighborhood.  We have an emergency response system that can only accomplish so much in a few short days, and one that generally doesn’t provide money directly to victims.  And we have many companies, groups and individuals who want to help. 

So the newspaper makes it sound like those of us who stepped forward to do what can be done are taking our good old time.

To those who gave or want to give (by the way, Morning Call decision-makers in Baltimore or Chicago or wherever you are, I haven’t seen nor heard anything about a contribution from you):  we have two challenges.  First, we need to know the families’ needs so we can compare them to each other in order to be be fair in the distribution of funds.  And, second, we need to have some sense of how much money will be available.

Think about it.  What if we are moved by the needs of the first five families with which we come into contact?  We give them as much as they “need.” Forty-four families to go.  Sorry, folks, we gave it all away. 

Tough luck?

To the kind neighbors, near and far, who want to help:  every nickel of your contribution will go directly to the families; it will be done carefully to ensure that it’s distributed fairly; and it will be done with haste, but not, to the best of our ability, with waste.

And to the families: we are trying to reach each of you.  If you would contact us at 610-691-2127 we will move this as quickly as possible. 

3 Comments

  1. Monkey Momma

    I don’t find the Call’s article cynical at all. There ARE people who need money now, and they DO have to wait for the red tape to be cut. That’s just the way it is. The Call also lays out where folks can donate, and quotes your explanation as to why it can seem like a long lag time. There are scams being run in the wake of this tragedy, too, and it’s very important that people know about these scams.

    If you are really just taking issue with the headline and not the meat of the article, that is one thing. But the article, as it is written, appears to be quite fair. I’m sure victims who need help now are frustrated, and their concerns are addressed and answered in this article.

  2. Alan Jennings

    Monkey Momma, you make thoughtful points. The headline is definitely provocative.

    But these days, when so many people are turning on each other, we need news that informs, not enflames. It would have been helpful if Scott had explained the process.

    The claims made by the musicians went unchallenged. Are they going to meet with each family, do a complete needs assessment, compare the needs of each family and ensure that the money is properly accounted for and fairly distributed? If they raised $4,000, are they going to give $85 to each of the 47 families? Or are they going to weigh the needs and allocate appropriately. Holding themselves out as doing it right as if we are all wrong, while the paper reports it without challenge, seems unfair.

    I don’t know, it just seems like we try to help and we get attacked before we’ve had a dollar to distribute.

  3. Rich Laliberte

    I’m not one to blame the press for reporting the news but my first reaction, too, was that the focus was off or at least premature. Conscientious effort shouldn’t be confused with the kind of foot-dragging that the entire article clearly implied is taking place. I, for one, am glad my small contributions are being maximized thoughtfully for the benefit of as many people as possible.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *