As MDA cuts back offices across the nation, the amount of money that CEO, Gerald Weinberg made has increased. Yes, Gerry makes more than President Obama makes. Isn’t that great to know this is where your hard earned fundraising dollars are going?
In 2008, Charity Navigator reported him as making $402,732. That is up a few thousand dollars from the last time I reported on MDA (I believe he was making around $399K). Just to put that into perspective, that would buy at least 20 of the high tech kind of power wheelchairs I currently have. That would buy at least 400 pairs of AFOs/Leg Braces, or between 100 and 200 manual wheelchairs. Instead, it went into this greedy CEO’s pocket.
In 2009, Flint, Michigan was just one of the places that saw their MDA office close. It is not new that the economy in Mid-Michigan has been generally poor. However, records for patients are still sealed up in a Flint office. To get access to them, they must contact the Saginaw office, and arrange for the files to be accessed. I am just going to say my friend is having a LOT of trouble getting his files from this office. With nobody working in Flint, accessing these files is near impossible.
The office near and dear to my heart in Toledo, Ohio also shut down at the end of 2009. This is the MDA that diagnosed me in 1985. I was their poster child/goodwill ambassador before being the State of Ohio representative, back in the 90s. Northwest Ohio MDA was like my family. I had worked with the office staff on hundreds of fundraisers. I used to visit the office often in the summer. I saw some of them at camp and at clinic every year of my childhood.
It saddens me to think that people like Lori, who was more than a secretary for MDA, and who worked there since I was a child (I am 29, so you do the math), is now unemployed. In the meantime, the money that could play these dedicated, hard working employees is going to good ol’ Gerry and Jerry Lewis’ travel expenses.
To add insult to injury, MDA just sent out a letter (to me and those in Toledo – not sure if it was sent nationally), saying that they will no longer pay for durable medical equipment. That means no more help getting wheelchairs, braces, or other things we need for independence that insurance might not cover completely. It is a sad day in MDA history.
I am of the belief that it is only a matter of time before MDA camp gets sacked. They decided to cancel camp last year, and it seems as though it is considered an unnecessary expense. MDA seems to be going down the tubes, and though they claim to raise money to help those of us with one of the 40+ diseases covered under the “Muscular Dystrophy” umbrella, it seems they really are only helping themselves.