America responds: (From the AP story, “Donations Pour in for Katrina Relief“) Americans are responding to Hurricane Katrina with a massive outpouring of giving, at times overwhelming call centers and computer servers set up by charities to field donations. Total donations passed the $200 million mark by Friday, four days after the storm slammed into the Gulf Coast. The bulk of those funds were collected by The American Red Cross, which said it has raised $196.9 million from individuals and corporations.
Donations to the Red Cross so far fall short of the $550 million the agency raised after last December’s tsunami, or the $1 billion in total donations it took in after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But the volume of calls – about 100,000 a day this week – has vastly outpaced the response after previous disasters, suggesting the donation total could rise substantially.
“It’s greater than any response we’ve had in memory,” Ryland Dodge, a spokesman for the Red Cross said.