Where your Red Cross donations are going

Tuesday, September 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

KOTV takes a look at how your Red Cross donations are being used. Through KOTV’s ‘Spirit Fences’ you have helped the American Red Cross raise more than $170,000 for the victims of the terrorist attacks.

News on Six reporter Tami Marler says the response at the Woodland Hills Mall ‘Spirit Fence’ is still phenomenal. Thousands of you have come, bringing gifts of love, faith and money. But where does it all go? "Oh thank you, that is great. Oh my gosh, I can't believe it."From the moment the call went out, Oklahomans of all ages emptied heir pockets for the victims of an unthinkable crime.

Red Cross volunteers are accepting big gifts from scores of little people who can't possibly understand the magnitude of the tragedy. Adults are drawing on their own personal pain to empathize with those who have suffered so much. "We lost our Daddy, back in November, and we know what the people are going through." As do most Oklahomans, we struggled through our own tragedy when 168 people died in the Murrah bombing in Oklahoma City.

American Red Cross official, Roger Dahl: "Of course the scale of this is much much different, but the impact on the community, the impact on the Red Cross is very similar." Roger Dahl says Oklahomans contributed more than four million dollars to the Red Cross after the Murrah bombing. Half of it remains in reserve for victims' future needs. About seventy people are still receiving mental health care. Oklahomans have so far donated about a half million dollars for the East coast relief fund. The tally nationwide is more than 100 million dollars.

Red Cross officials say 92% of it goes directly toward disaster relief, like feeding rescue workers, providing on-site medical and mental health care, and coordinating volunteers.” It’s one of those times when we feel fulfilled in belonging to an organization that's dedicated to the relief of human suffering. We feel like we're part of the solution, and part of the recovery." And an outlet for thousands of Oklahomans to make a difference as well.

Another big service the Red Cross provides, manning the phones for loved ones wanting information about the victims. They've received 13,000 calls nationwide, 300 right here in Tulsa. About fifteen Oklahoma Red Cross workers are in New York City helping with the relief effort.