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Old 09-06-2005, 07:37 AM   #1
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Bravo to the average, everyday, ordinary citizens of the USA

on a positive note ...

Donations for Victims of Katrina Reach $404-Million
By Suzanne Perry, Nicole Wallace, and Ian Wilhelm

Americans have given at least $404-million to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The pace of giving is unprecedented in recent American history. In the 10 days after September 11, Americans donated $239-million to charitable causes, and in the 9 days after the tsunamis hit, major American relief groups raised $163-million.

However, some relief organizations worry that concerns about the disaster's impact on the national economy and on fuel prices could hurt attempts to raise funds for the long-term recovery work that will be needed in response to one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

As of Saturday, the American Red Cross, in Washington, had raised $302-million, a jump of more than $106-million over Friday's total. By comparison, a week after the South Asian tsunamis, the American Red Cross had raised $79.2-million.

"It's overwhelming," says Sarah Marchetti, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross. "People are just pouring their hearts out, and making a donation is an expression of that."

The Lilly Endowment, in Indianapolis, has been one of the biggest foundation donors to the relief effort. It has given $10-million to the Salvation Army and $10-million to the American Red Cross.

For its hurricane relief, the charity has received several large corporate contributions, including $3-million from the Chevron Corporation, in San Ramon, Calif., $2-million from Exxon Mobil, in Irving, Tex., and $2-million from Bayer, in Leverkusen, Germany.

In addition to pledging $15-million in cash to help federal relief efforts, Wal-Mart, in Bentonville, Ark., also has donated $1-million to the American Red Cross and $1-million to the Salvation Army, in Alexandria, Va.

So far, the Salvation Army has garnered $24.5-million total in donations for hurricane relief. By Friday morning the organization had received $1.7-million through its toll-free telephone line. The average size of those gifts was $205.

The Salvation Army previously estimated it would require $50-million for its response to Katrina, but it now says the need will exceed that amount. "We can't even put a number on it," says Major George Hood, the charity's spokesman. "The devastation will exceed September 11." After the 2001 terrorist attacks charities raised more than $2.2-billion.

Catholic Charities USA, in Alexandria, Va., has raised more than $2-million for relief efforts. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked local parishes to take up a special collection that the charity will use to support its response to the hurricane, says Shelley Borysiewicz, a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities.

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the Internet has also proved to be an important source of gifts.

By Saturday, $168.4-million had been donated through the Red Cross's Web site, out of the $302-million the group had raised overall. On Tuesday the charity sent an e-mail appeal to 700,000 supporters, which raised $4.5-million. On Thursday, the organization sent a follow-up solicitation to those supporters who had not opened the first appeal.

The search engine Yahoo and online retailer are also collecting donations to the Red Cross through their Web sites, as they did after the earthquake and tsunamis that struck South Asia last December. By late Saturday afternoon, Yahoo had collected more than $47.7-million, and Amazon had collected more than $6-million.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which has raised more than $3-million, had to move its Web site to more powerful servers to accommodate the volume of donations coming into the group's two hurricane-relief funds.

"We had to change the provider to manage the volume," says John G. Davies, president of the foundation. "It's been coming in fast and furious."

For a number of groups struggling to keep up with the pace of donations, the amount raised online is the only total they know for sure.

Operation Blessing, a Christian relief organization in Virginia Beach, Va., has received Internet gifts totaling more than $500,000, but beyond that, the charity isn't sure how much it has raised overall.

"We're still trying to get to that," says Kristin Vischer, a spokeswoman for Operation Blessing. "Our phones are ringing off the hook."

Other nonprofit groups are unable to provide any estimates.

Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief, in Alpharetta, Ga., does not yet have a tally of the amount it has raised for relief efforts. Jonathon Wilson, a spokesman for the charity, expects that when a tabulation is done, it will be the most the group has ever raised after a disaster.

Mr. Wilson notes that on Sunday, most of the 42,000 Southern Baptist churches in the nation will be taking up a special collection to benefit the charity's work with hurricane victims. "I'm sure early next week we're going to see some staggering numbers come in," says Mr. Wilson.

Despite the outpouring of donations, some nonprofit executives worry how the economic repercussions of Hurricane Katrina will affect giving.

Ron Patterson, executive director of Christian Disaster Response, in Lake Alfred, Fla., says he expects Americans to give generously for hurricane relief, but worries that the disaster's effect on gas prices will hinder fund-raising efforts.

"How many donations can you make when you're paying $3 a gallon?" he asks.

Among the results from other organizations responding to the disaster:

The United Methodist Committee on Relief, in New York, has raised $570,000 from donors giving through its Web site.
America's Second Harvest, in Chicago, has raised more than $1.5-million. The organization has 37 tractor trailers of food and supplies on their way to the affected region, with 25 more scheduled to leave this weekend.

United Jewish Communities, in New York, has raised more than $1.5-million.

Network for Good, a San Francisco charity whose online giving site allows donors to contribute to any charity, has processed $6.2-million in online donations for hurricane-relief efforts since Monday. On Thursday the site processed just over $3-million in relief gifts, the biggest one-day total in the organization's history.

The Humane Society of the United States, in Washington, has raised more than $500,000 for relief efforts to rescue and care for animals left behind in the disaster.

M.J. Prest contributed to this article.

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Old 09-06-2005, 07:45 AM   #2
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The extent to which people are rallying to give aid is amazing. In my travels over the last couple of days, I've seen collection efforts from corporate matching to church tithing to local store donation boxes to three separate lemonade stands.

Thanks, Irvine, for the positive news.

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Old 09-06-2005, 07:57 AM   #3
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It's amazing what can be done in such a short period of time.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:07 AM   #4
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This is another nice story, people are trying to find Snowball and his owner:
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:12 AM   #5
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Excellent thread, Irvine.

We need to see more stories like this in the aftermath (hard to believe it's been a week already).

One woman set up a Web site to help people pair up pets with their owners.
I believe you mentioned something in relation this last week, kelly. That's wonderful; I hope they're reunited.
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:16 AM   #6
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say what you want about Americans but I still believe most of us really come through at a time like this and are good decent people

a couple of firefighters in my town volunteered to go down there and do whatever they need them to do, they were chosen from many who volunteered all over the state

they are taking some evacuees to my state and people are volunteering and donating like crazy

and there's nothing wrong w/ people being concerned about the animals too, in many cases that's all people have left other than their family. People have special emotional bonds w/ pets, and especially for children how can they take that heartbreak when they've already suffered so much
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:07 AM   #7
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Just about every business in the metro Birmingham area is collectiing donations for the hurricane victims. Last Saturday volunteers collected relief supplies from every merchant in one mall and loaded them onto a truck bound for New Orleans. The radio stations have links to the Red Cross on their web sites. The generosity has really been inspiring to see.
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Old 09-06-2005, 02:32 PM   #8
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Wonderful, a thread about Katrina without an objective to stir racial and political tension. Positivity much appreciated. A round of applause to those who went out of their way to ease the burden on those who needed it the most.
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Old 09-06-2005, 02:39 PM   #9
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Old 09-06-2005, 02:52 PM   #10
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I was at my vet's office today and they have donation jars set up for both people and the animals. They also are collecting donations of supplies (looked like they were mostly vet/kennel supplies).
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Old 09-06-2005, 02:57 PM   #11
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The day after the hurricane I passed this little homemade farmstand that was selling tomatoes and donating the money, it was run by kids

Sometimes it takes kids to provide the example for adults
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Old 09-06-2005, 03:30 PM   #12
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I don't want to go into all the details, but I am so very, very proud of my company. They've gone leaps and bounds over and above what anyone could expect a company to do to take care of its employees hit by the hurricane.

It's what's getting me through all of this, and what I keep falling back on when all this work we're now doing becomes overwhelming.

I heart my company and its employees, and am so proud to work here.
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Old 09-06-2005, 05:24 PM   #13
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yeah MrsSpringsteen, a few little girls around where I live set up a lemonade stand for the red made 400 dollars!
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Old 09-06-2005, 05:46 PM   #14
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I am personally very proud of Texas. They are housing 250K of survivors and evacuees. Entire cities are mobilzing to provide education, jobs, housing, medical, communication, and every other short to longterm need.

Out of the ashes of every tragedy can come a rebirth. Many people are telling reporters how much of an edifying event this was on both the personal and group levels. We can truly come together in peace and help each other as brothers, sisters, as neighbors. Katrina, for all of her destruction and death, has proven that about us.
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:12 PM   #15
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From sea to shining sea
the hands of America reach out
to one another
to help
in time of need.


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