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Old 02-20-2006, 09:58 AM   #1
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7 Million Plus Donated In Three Months To Help Needy New Yorkers

NY Times

By KARI HASKELL

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund has officially closed the books on its 94th annual fund-raising campaign, having raised more than $7 million to aid New Yorkers hobbled by poverty and in need of emergency relief.

As of the final tally on Thursday, the fund had raised $7,171,428.91 over the course of a three-month drive that began on Nov. 6 and ended on Feb. 3. (Money was accepted through Feb. 6.) The donations, from individuals and institutions, came in response to a series of daily articles in The New York Times, profiles of people on the margins who have been aided by the Neediest Cases and its seven beneficiary charities.

These personal sketches revealed how money drawn from the fund had helped stop evictions, keep families whole, provide vital medical supplies, or just buy a reprieve to focus on getting troubled lives back on track.

"This was a difficult year for many families," said Jack Rosenthal, president of The New York Times Company Foundation, which administers the fund. "So many of us were affected by Hurricane Katrina, and people responded generously just as the Neediest campaign began."

This year's tally fell about 8 percent short of last year's, when the Neediest Cases raised $7,800,197.51.

Mr. Rosenthal said the shortfall was partly due to a similar decrease in donors, including the loss of a $1 million award from the Starr Foundation, which gave to the campaign in previous years.

"Nonetheless," he said, "we are pleased to express our gratitude to more than 10,000 donors." Among the donations that gave the campaign a large boost: a $500,000 gift from Lily Safra, a philanthropist; a $236,000 contribution collected by a team of investment bankers; a record-breaking book sale supported by New York Times employees; and a surge in online contributions and contributors through NYCharities.org.

The collection by analysts at Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and CIBC continued a 15-year tradition. This year's donation was the second highest in the group's history of giving.

"It is a great feeling to give something back to the community," said Alex Triplett, 25, a second-year analyst at Citigroup and one of three coordinators of the drive. Mr. Triplett and his counterparts, Hai Chi, known as Brian, 24, and Jesse Serventi, 26, recently presented donations to Mr. Rosenthal.

The driving force behind the collection was a legion of first- and second-year analysts who, despite workweeks that sometimes surpass 80 hours, spread the word about the drive by asking more than 5,000 colleagues to make an investment in the city's poorest residents.

"These people were usually involved in community service in college and are still in a very philanthropic mode, and they want to find something like this; it is a good outlet and good way to meet people," Mr. Triplett said.

Of the four companies, the largest amounts came from Citigroup ($81,801) and Goldman Sachs ($152,830).

"We make it a competition with our fellow bankers. Of course we want to raise more than the rest; it is a good, friendly competition," Mr. Triplett said.

There was also a jump in online donations this year through the use of NYCharities.org. A total of 2,156 supporters used the electronic option, a 14 percent increase over the previous year. For the first time, several donors chose monthly debits from credit cards.

Dale Bryk, 40, of Brooklyn, said that the daily Times articles had inspired her to give $50 each month in this fashion. Other supporters agreed that the articles were a tangible reason to donate.

Some of those donations came with personal messages, like the one with the $250 check from Joan and Jane Gerver of Manhattan.

In a note attached to the check, they wrote: "Another year has gone by, leaving imprints of grief and moments of happiness. The latter is what we cherish and what enables us to get through sadness. Keep up your good work."
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:01 PM   #2
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Re: 7 Million Plus Donated In Three Months To Help Needy New Yorkers

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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
NY Times

By KARI HASKELL

These personal sketches revealed how money drawn from the fund had helped stop evictions, keep families whole, provide vital medical supplies, or just buy a reprieve to focus on getting troubled lives back on track.
This is the key isn't it...the more people know that their contribution, however large or small, can and will make a tangible positive difference, the more they will step up.
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:04 PM   #3
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It is good to see charities of this nature - they can meet needs that cannot be addressed through government programs
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