Donors Meet Red Cross Hurricane Relief Costs

By (BI) Paul Temple

WASHINGTON -- The American Red Cross has announced that current financial donations and pledges will cover the $2.116 billion estimated cost for its response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. This announcement comes just over five months after Hurricane Katrina – the largest and most costly disaster relief operation in the nation's history.

As of Dec. 31, the Red Cross has spent more than 80 percent of these donated funds.

As a good steward of donated dollars, the Red Cross has a standard practice of informing the public when sufficient funds have been raised to cover the costs associated with a disaster response. In keeping with that commitment, the Red Cross will no longer initiate fundraising activities for these hurricanes.

The Red Cross asks donors to support the ongoing needs of hurricane survivors by giving to the countless other charities and non-profit organizations that continue to raise funds for hurricane recovery efforts. For a list of these other groups, click here.

The generous financial support from around the world allowed more than 225,000 Red Cross disaster relief workers – 95 percent of them volunteers – to ensure that survivors had a safe place to stay, food, comfort and the means to provide essential items for themselves and their families.

Survivors received counseling, basic healthcare and family connecting services. This was accomplished on an unprecedented scale.

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