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Hurricane Katrina

Charities urge donors to keep giving

Associated Press
Published September 10, 2005

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NEW YORK - Even with Congress earmarking billions of federal dollars for Hurricane Katrina relief, private charities are urging donors to keep on giving, saying their field operations remain crucial in meeting emergency needs and ensuring long-term aid to the worst-off victims.

Less than two weeks after the storm hit the Gulf Coast, private gifts have soared to nearly $700-million, a pace exceeding the response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The American Red Cross alone had received $503-million in gifts and pledges as of Friday, nearly equaling the $534-million collected for its Liberty Fund over two months after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Red Cross spokeswoman Sheila Graham said the organization hopes the gifts will keep pouring in; it expects to need more than $1-billion to provide emergency relief over the coming weeks for thousands of evacuees who have scattered among 675 of its shelters in 23 states.

Though Congress has so far allocated $62-billion for relief efforts, private charities say that money won't be deployed quickly enough to meet current needs.

In addition to the Red Cross, major recipients of donations include the Salvation Army, which has received $65-million, and the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund set up by former presidents Bush and Clinton, which has collected more than $80-million.

[Last modified September 10, 2005, 01:23:18]

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