Nonprofit news roundup for Sept. 18, 2008

Aid charities seen as ill-equipped for major disaster

The country’s large disaster-response charities are not equipped to respond adequately to a “catastrophic disaster” with the food, shelter and other services that would be necessary, says a report from the Government Accountability Office, the New York Times reported Sept. 17 (see disaster story). A major earthquake or a Katrina-like hurricane could create need on a scale that would require government or other assistance in addition to aid from groups like the American Red Cross and Catholic Charities.

Astros donate $1 million for hurricane-relief efforts

The Houston Astros professional baseball team has pledged $1 million for Hurricane Ike relief efforts, the Houston Chronicle reported Sept. 17 (see Astros story). The team’s owner, players, front-office staff and the Astros in Action Foundation together will donate the funds to help rebuild the community.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ tackles HIV awareness

Writers for the ABC hit show “Grey’s Anatomy,” working with the Kaiser Family Foundation to increase viewer awareness, inserted factual information about HIV transmission into a storyline, The Los Angeles Times reported Sept. 17. After watching the May 1 episode, more than six out of 10 viewers correctly answered questions about HIV transmission, as opposed to fewer than two out of 10 before the show aired.

In Brief:

* United Way of Metropolitan Dallas aims to raise $58.3 million during its 2008 campaign, the largest in the agency’s history, the Dallas Morning News reported Sept. 18.

* Despite its popularity and its reputation as a “cushy” job, fundraising requires a great deal of talent, flexibility and determination, says a column by Kate Hilpern in The Independent Sept. 18.

* Nonprofit organizations such as The Citizen’s Foundation are opening schools across Pakistan, where about 6 million children currently do not receive an education, The Christian Science Monitor reported Sept. 17.

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