Overwhelmed by volunteers and donations of food, clothing and supplies from across the country, New York City and Washington, D.C., officials and nonprofit groups are urging people to pace themselves. “We do need blood. We do need volunteers. We just don’t need them at this hour,” says American Red Cross spokesman Darren Irby. “This is going to be a long disaster relief operation.” Cash contributions are most needed for now, but make sure the organization is legitimate by contacting the Better Business Bureau. For online links to many reputable relief organizations, go to http://www.helping.org or http://www.libertyunites.org.
TO GIVE BLOOD: Call to schedule a blood donation to the Red Cross at (800) GIVE LIFE, or contact America’s Blood Centers, (888) BL00D-88, for information.
TO VOLUNTEER: You can enroll in disaster-training courses at your local Red Cross chapter and volunteer in the ongoing relief effort (www.redcross.org).
TO CONTRIBUTE MONEY:
United Way emergency assistance for victims and families: September 11th Fund, United Way, 2 Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016; (800) 710-8002. For online help go to http://www.uwnyc.org.
New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund: For families of deceased firefighters, mail checks to International Association of Firefighters, Attn.: General Secretary Treasurer’s Office, 1750 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20006-5395; (202) 737-8484. Or go to http://www.iaff.org.
American Red Cross: Contribute to the Disaster Relief Fund, American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013; or call (800) HELP NOW. For online help go to http://www.redcross.org.
Salvation Army: Mail checks to Disaster Relief, Salvation Army, P.O. Box C-635, West Nyack, N.Y. 10994-1739; or call (800) SAL-ARMY For online help go to http://www.salvationarmy.org.
New York State Fraternal Order of Police WTC Fund: 911 Police Plaza, Hicksville, N.Y. 11801.
National Organization for victim Assistance for victims’ families in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania: (800) 879-6682. Or go to http://www.try-nova.org.
New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund: P.O. Box 5028, Albany, N.Y. 12205; (800) 801-8092.
TO RETURN YOUR TAX REFUND: Americans wishing to donate their refunds to the government can send a check or money order to: Gifts to the United States, U.S. Department of the Treasury Credit Accounting Branch, Room 6D37, 3700 East-West Highway, Hyattsville, Md. 20782.
TO SEND WELL-WISHES AND THANK-Y0U NOTES: Not all assistance need be monetary. Letters of support for firefighters can be sent to International Association of Firefighters, 1750 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20006-5395. Condolences to victims’ families can be forwarded to: FDNY Families, c/o National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, P.O. Drawer 498, Emmitsburg, Md. 21727, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
TO RELAY INFORMATION: To report tips and information about the attack to investigators, call the FBI at (866) 483-5137 or make a report through http://www.fbi.gov.
KIDS CAN HELP TOO
Everybody can pitch in with rescue-and-relief efforts. Ryan Paeglow, a 7-year-old at Orlando’s Shenandoah Elementary, brought a jar to class (with a note from Mom) explaining that he wanted to collect money to replace fire equipment damaged in the disaster; the next day, the jar was full. Others simply gather loose change and send it to the Red Cross. Children can also express their opinions by writing to President Bush, The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500.