Marsha Evans, now former president of the Red Cross, wants to spend more time with her family, as they say.
...Although the Red Cross is a private, non-profit charitable organization, it carries responsibilities on a scale usually associated with government. In the federal government's blueprint for dealing with disasters, the Red Cross is designated as the primary agency responsible for sheltering, feeding and offering medical care to people in the wake of a large man-made or natural emergency.
The very size of that role has contributed to making the once-sacrosanct organization a target of increasingly sharp criticism in recent years.
"After witnessing the American Red Cross' struggles during Katrina and Rita, I am not sure it is prudent for Congress to place such great responsibility in the hands of one organization," said Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.).
In the hectic days after the storm and the subsequent flooding of New Orleans, the Red Cross struggled to keep up with demands for shelter, food and medical care. And some evacuees, as well as some local officials and leaders of other relief groups, complained that the Red Cross had sometimes been slow to respond, had not reached out to remote areas, and had shown insensitivity in its treatment of some victims.
For its part, the organization pointed out that it had sent more than 200,000 volunteers into the areas devastated by Katrina, gave financial assistance to some 1.2 million families, and had provided food and temporary shelter for several million evacuees. Moreover, defenders noted, the challenges posed by Katrina and its floodwaters had often overwhelmed federal, state and local agencies as well...