(U-WIRE) COLUMBIA, Mo. — Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, many have turned to charitable organizations as a means of helping with relief efforts. Meanwhile, some charities not associated with the Sept. 11 disaster relief are anticipating a drop-off in donations.
As funds flow toward disaster relief, other charities might face a decrease in donations.
“We’re still waiting to see any kind of effect on our donations,” said Kris Jorgeson, spokeswoman for Doctors Without Borders, an international medical aid organization. “There’s obviously a limit to what people can give, and we certainly encourage these funds to go toward disaster relief.”
Most charities not involved in disaster relief, including Greenpeace and the American Cancer Society, said it is far too soon to gauge the effect upon donations. But they also stress the need to continue with their organizational goals.
“I think we all engaged in an appropriate moment of pause, and now our work continues to be very important,” said Johnathon Lamy, spokesman for World or Bread, a hunger relief organization. “The best way for us to pay tribute to the victims is to continue to help the poor and hungry.”
Greenpeace is taking a similar approach and is focusing on its environmental work.
“Our thoughts are certainly with the victims, but we must continue with our work,” Greenpeace spokeswoman Karol Gregory said.
Many groups agree that the uniqueness of this disaster makes for a difficult situation for all involved.
“We’ve had to deal with this just like everyone else,” said Jerry Larsen, director of Territorial Disaster Service for the Central Territory of the Salvation Army. “This is not a tornado, a flood or an earthquake but an attack on U.S. soil.”
Organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, which have dedicated most of their efforts to the Sept. 11 attack relief, have seen great increases in donations since the attacks. The Red Cross in particular has experienced an outpouring of funds. The organization received more than $200 million as of Sept. 27. The total represents the largest outpouring of funds in the organization’s history.
“The support we have received is truly unprecedented,” said Red Cross spokeswoman Stacy Grimsson.
National disaster units remain on alert, and additional security measures were necessary for the disaster. The influx of donations to the organization has also been unprecedented.
“The people of America are always ready to respond, and they have responded with very generous hearts,” Larsen said.