Red Cross: You Can Direct Donations to Specific Areas - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/06/05

Red Cross: You Can Direct Donations to Specific Areas

Have you donated anything to help Asia's tsunami victims? Millions of dollars in donations have been pouring into the American Red Cross. But is it too much money, too soon? We spoke with the Savannah chapter about the supply and the demand.

Red Cross officials say people around the country and right here in the Coastal Empire and Low Country have been very generous. The deadly tsunamis that ravaged southern Asia touched us all and triggered an outpouring of support.

"When we come together to help people in need, it really shows the spirit of this country," said Dick Sanders, vice president of the Savannah chapter of the American Red Cross. "It's absolutely amazing."

Sanders says locally, they've collected more than $20,000 to help with relief efforts. A figure all the more impressive after people around the community opened their wallets to help first with an unprecedented hurricane season and to aid the less fortunate during the holidays.

"Most of them are $25, $50," said Sanders. "Lots and lots of people are taking money and sending it to us to help the folks in need."

Across the country, Americans have donated more than $79 million for tsunami relief to the Red Cross. Is it too much money for the agency to handle? Sanders says no. "There are a dozen countries involved up to 3,000 miles away from the epicenter of the tsunami, which is unprecedented."

The Red Cross says your donation will go exactly where you specify. You can split your donation to go to local relief efforts and tsunami relief. You can even specify exactly what country you'd like your donations to go to.

"If a person wants to make a donation to the relief effort in India or Sri Lanka or wherever, then that designation will go that way," said Sanders.

Providing some much-needed help for those left to pick up the pieces.

The Savannah Chapter of the Red Cross says it will not keep any part of the donations to cover its own expenses. Everything that's designated for tsunami relief will go for tsunami relief.

You can donate online at the American Red Cross website.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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