Change in national Red Cross policy will direct relief funds to Sept. 11 victims

by Cynthia Martens

A recent development in the American Red Cross ultimately will affect the donations made locally after the Sept. 11 attack.

Any money that was donated locally for the national relief effort is going to be used for that purpose, said Patti Robinson, director of the local Sunflower Chapter of the American Red Cross.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, the Red Cross announced it was speeding up delivery of relief funds for families of the victims and will produce a plan by January of this year to deliver all of the more than $543 million in donations collected in the Liberty Fund.

Robinson wants to remind people of the disaster needs at the local level.

“We had four fires in McPherson County last week,” she said.

Over a period of just two weeks, one fire occurred in Inman on Nov. 9, two happened in McPherson on Nov. 13 and Nov. 14, and one other fire was in Moundridge on Nov. 22, Robinson said.

“We have to think about those people too,” she said.

“I’ve told people, ‘You don’t have to volunteer in New York, you can volunteer locally and help those people. There’s so many things people can do.”

People affected by the Oklahoma City bombing are still being helped with mental health problem and hospital bills, Robinson said.

In light of the recent tragedy in September and the local needs, Robinson said she is grateful for all the donations.

“It’s going to be years before all of this is over,” Robinson said.

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