Charity flowing – Sept. 11 fund grows

Corporations, foundations and individuals have pitched with contributions of well over $130 million to support victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., according to news reports and announcements by donors.

In the first three days after the disaster, through midday Sept. 14, an estimated $100 million was given, the San Jose Mercury News reported Sept. 14.

The Guardian in London reported Sept. 17 that the world’s corporations, including some of the biggest media firms, were undertaking multi-million-dollar fundraising and donation drives.

In New York, a $1 million gift kicked off a fund created to help the terrorists’ victims.

Many organizations, such as the Red Cross and the AOL Time Warner Foundation’s philanthropy portal, have added disaster-relief information – and opportunities to make online contributions – to their Web sites.

The Sept. 11 Fund, established by the United Way of New York City and the New York Community Trust, received $1 million from Williams, an energy firm in Tulsa, Okla., and from Williams Gas Pipeline.

By Sept. 17, the fund had raised $70 million.

Local United Way affiliates throughout the U.S., working with the United Way of America and the Council on Foundations – and in many cases teaming up with local community foundations – are setting up funds that let donors contribute to the Sept. 11 fund.

In North Carolina, for example, the Foundation for the Carolinas in Charlotte and the United Way of Central Carolinas, both in Charlotte, teamed up to create a fund to support local relief agencies there.

“It is our hope that this fund will complement other local disaster relief efforts,” says Michael Marsicano, the foundation’s president.

The two groups also are raising money separately for the Sept. 11 Fund.

Faced with the sluggish economy, many United Ways have set conservative goals for their annual fall fundraising drives – and some worry donors may designate that their contributions support the victims of the terrorist attacks rather than local agencies.

Donations can be made by calling the United Way of New York City at 212-251-4035 or by visiting its Web site, or by calling the Foundation for the Carolinas at 704-376-9541 or the United Way of Central Carolinas at 704-372-7170, or visiting the foundation’s Web site.

Gifts and pledges include:

* $30 million from the Lilly Endowment.

* $15 million from Citigroup to a fund to provide scholarships to victims’ children.

* $10 million each from DaimlerChrysler, Pfizer, General Electric, Ford Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York.

* $7 million raised in the first 40 hours by America Online, plus $5 million from AOL Time Warner.

* $5 million from Microsoft, plus $5 million in technology and services to organizations.

* $5 million from IBM.

* $3 million from Hewlett Packard, which also will match up to $2 million in employee donations to the Red Cross and Sept. 11 fund.

* $3 million from Coca-Cola.

For full story, go to the San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The New York Times and a second story in The New York Times.

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