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Red Cross Stops Seeking Sept. 11 Fund Donations

October 31, 2001  | 

WASHINGTON -- The American Red Cross has raised enough money to help victims of the terrorist attacks and will stop asking for donations, its interim chief executive says. The Liberty Fund held $547 million in pledges as of Monday. More than $200 million in uncommitted money will be held to meet future needs arising from the attacks and the aftermath. Harold Decker, the charity's temporary leader, said it was known from the start that the fund was for a specific event - the Sept. 11 attacks - and would eventually be closed. Another factor is the effect that raising money exclusively for the Liberty Fund has had on the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, the general account for floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other emergencies. The disaster fund had $26 million as of Sept. 30, chief financial officer Jack Campbell said Tuesday. The fund's target is about $57 million, he said. As a result, contributions arriving at the Red Cross after Wednesday will go to the general disaster fund unless donors specify the money should be used for attack relief, Decker said. Liberty Fund money also will continue to be held separately from other funds, Decker said, and will be devoted to aiding victims' families and other relief efforts arising from the attacks. ``That is the way the fund was set up. That is what donors expect,'' he told reporters. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, which killed more than 4,800 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, the Red Cross has spent more than $140 million on related disaster relief. Of that amount, almost $44 million has been shared by more than 2,200 families to help cover housing, child care, food and other expenses for about three months. About $67 million was used for immediate disaster relief needs, such as onsite food, shelter and other support for rescue workers and victims' families. More than $11.5 million has been spent on blood donor programs, $14.7 million on nationwide community outreach and $2.5 million on indirect support costs, such as fuel for emergency response vehicles and maintaining a toll-free information hot line. The Red Cross expects to spend about $300 million over the next year on these projects. More than $200 million remaining will be used in future years to aid victims of the attacks and its aftermath.

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