Tags: Charities | Collect | $500 | Million | Two | Weeks

Charities Collect $500 Million in Two Weeks

Wednesday, 26 September 2001 12:00 AM

Ralph Dickerson, president of the United Way of New York City, Wednesday said charities will not be overwhelmed by flood of donations and won't "throw dollars and cents at traumatized people" until determining their needs.

"We've got to be there," Dickerson said on ABC's "Good Morning America." We learned that from Oklahoma [City]. We certainly learned that in Columbine, in Miami, in South Carolina and all the other kinds of crises we've had.

"Not only will it [direct financial aid] get to families, it will get victims and to communities both immediately and long-term - absolutely," he said.

The United Way, which gives money to thousands of local charitable organizations, had received pledges of $271 million - including $150 million raised in last Friday's "America: A Tribute to Heroes" telethon.

An estimated 89 million viewers watched at least part of the star-studded two-hour benefit and a proposed CD of musical numbers may raise millions more for relief and recovery efforts.

More than $120 million had already been raised for the United Way through the September 11th Fund established after the destruction of the World Trade Center and attack on the Pentagon.

Dickerson said the tremendous outpouring of money would not affect the United Way's ability to properly distribute it.

"I really believe that there are some immediate needs, there are some long-term needs, and I really don't think there are enough dollars that are coming in," he said.

Dickerson said the United Way had long experience in dealing with crisis and its aftermath and would have no difficulty in determining where the money should go, adding "… the most important thing we have to do is understand what individual families will need."

He said organizations overseeing fund-raising and were very familiar with agencies doing an effective job and knew how to coordinate services to prevent duplication.

"The $270 million that has been raised by the September 11th Fund, which is really a kind of collaboration between the New York Community Trust and all United Ways and community foundations around the country … we know how to coordinate very well.

"We do this 365 days out of the year. We know how to work the government. We know how to work with corporations."

The United Way of New York City gives to 350 different agencies, and Dickerson said there were "3,000 more agencies doing business in neighborhoods and communities in New York City and United Ways across the country know that."

The American Red Cross had pledges for more than $202 million, including $59 million raised online as Tuesday afternoon, and had earmarked $100 million for direct aid to surviving family members. The Red Cross opened a new toll-free phone center with trained crisis counselors available around the clock.

The Salvation Army had raised more than $34 million.

NBA star Michael Jordan signed over his $1 million salary after announcing his pro basketball comeback as a Washington Wizard on Tuesday. Rapper-record producer Dr. Dre donated $1 million to a Los Angeles radio station's fund-raising campaign.

Dre, 36, whose real name is Andre Young, co-founded Death Row Records with producer Suge Knight in 1992 and won the 1993 Grammy for best rap solo performance in 1993.

Jerry Seinfeld, a native New Yorker, plans a one-night comedy benefit Oct. 8 to aid victims of the World Trade Center disaster. Seinfeld has signed up Bill Cosby, Saturday Night Live's Will Ferrell and Colin Quinn and comedian George Wallace for the "Standup for New York Benefit" at Carnegie Hall.

Tickets go on sale Thursday for $100 to $2,500 for front-row seats, with all proceeds going to the Twin Towers Fund and the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children Benefit Fund.

More than 300 New York City firefighters and police officers died trying to rescue more than 6,000 victims at the World Trade Center.

"We were all shaken up, but... you want to fight back, repair the damage and keep going," Seinfeld told reporters.

Dubai's Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, owner Kentucky's Raceland Farm, gave $5 million to a Red Cross relief fund set up by Keeneland racetrack, the largest donation by an individual. Golfer Tiger Woods donated a framed autographed pin flag from last year's U.S. Open to eBay's "Auction for America."

The Chicago Cubs will give away 30,000 baseball caps with an American flag patch to fans that make a minimum $10 donation to the Tribune Disaster Relief Fund at Thursday night's game against the Houston Astros. It will be the Cubs first home game since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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Ralph Dickerson, president of the United Way of New York City, Wednesday said charities will not be overwhelmed by flood of donations and won't throw dollars and cents at traumatized people until determining their needs. We've got to be there, Dickerson said on ABC's ...
Wednesday, 26 September 2001 12:00 AM
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