Americans contribute millions for Katrina disaster relief

Wednesday, August 31st 2005, 1:32 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Americans are pouring in millions of dollars in donations for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, rescue organizations said Wednesday.

The Red Cross said it had so far raised $21 million, a figure comparable to the response for tsunami victims following the devastation in Asia earlier this year. Nearly $15 million of that has come from individual donations through its Web site, with the rest representing corporate contributions.

``The outpouring of support has been amazing,'' said Kara Bunte, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, which has set up hundreds of shelters for hurricane victims.

``People are now starting to see the images on TV and want to help,'' she said.

Catholic Charities USA, based in Alexandria, Va., said it has received hundreds of calls in the last few days from volunteers asking how they can help. The group has raised $15,000 through its Web site, but will be stepping up collection efforts at churches in the coming days.

``The response is right up there with the calls we had after 9-11,'' said spokeswoman Shelley Borysiewicz. ``The American public is quite generous and they will rise to the occasion.''