Steve Hurley wrote:
That's why the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are always a safe choice: not only do they have a lot of experience in culling out thieves, but the money stays in the U.S. to help people _here_.
(Filter noise from my address for direct replies)[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: That is true of Salvation Army mostly, but I have a problem with Red Cross. If you recall from the news, the Red Cross had a difficult time thinning its ranks of thieves during the Katrina/other hurricane events of this past summer. Red Cross lost about a quarter-million dollars to internal theft as they tried to serve Katrina victims. Was it about fifteen or twenty employees in their Sacramento, CA office involved in the rip off? That quarter- million came from donations. I also have a problem with the Red Cross' blatent homophobia regards blood donations. They claim they will not accept blood donations from any GLBT person who has had any sexual activity in _thirty years_, or since 1977. I do not frankly know any person, gay or not, who has not had any sexual activity in thirty years, and in order for a gay person to have not had sex for thirty years -- assuming that one begins engaging in sex as an older teenager -- would require the gay person to be at least 45-50 years of age, and yes, some gay people are that old or older, but the _vast majority_ of gay people who identify willingly as such are in the twenty to forty or possibly even fifty year age brackets. In other words, no blood donations accepted from gay men, at least according to the Red Cross workers in this part of Kansas, based out of Wichita. And not even consistently gay; their rule is _even one gay experience in thirty years_ disqualifies the person. In other words, a teenage boy who experiments with gay sex once or twice in that thirty year period is excluded also.
I am well aware of HIV/AIDS, and yes, you can 'catch AIDS' from one single episode, but the chance of that happening from one episode that long ago is very slight. And, although in the earliest days of HIV/AIDS (early 1980's) there was no reliable test for it in blood, there certainly is today. Red Cross says they test all blood prior to banking it, so I am certain that in the unlikely event that an old, very ancient person, admittedly gay had AIDS (and had not died from it by the time he was in his middle sixties) it is even more unlikely that his blood will be contaminated and it will not get detected in a routine screening. My complaint is also that they will not acknowlege that fact in their constant requests for donors. Signs around town here during the quarterly 'blood drive' invite everyone to give; they do not say 'except if you are homosexual do not bother to come around', or 'if you have ever experimented with homosexuality do not come around'. I think they should be honest and say those things, or words to that effect. I think they are very homophobic for that reason and cannot recommend them to anyone.
I said to someone at their office here locally, "well, but I certainly could have just lied about it, is that what you would have preferred?" The lady said, "We hope you would not lie about it." Well, gee, that would a first, wouldn't it ... a young guy lying about having had a homosexal experiment in the past few years ... PAT]