US Terrorist Attack -Not for Profits Take Action
Monday, 17th September 2001 at 1:09 pm
Australian Not for Profits will remember the mind numbing effect that news of the US Terrorist attack on New York and Washington had last week. Spare a thought for the US charity sector that is now responding to the crisis.
American Red Cross, which offers front line support, activated its Disaster Response Unit almost immediately after the first attack on the World Trade Centre. In the first two hours of the attack it mobilised 80,000 blood donations and began a national campaign calling for Americans to donate more.
Red Cross has combined with many other organisations; the National Organisation for Victim Assistance and Catholic Charities USA and the Salvation Army, to maintain the relief effort that many are more used to seeing in third world countries.
An Internet group called Helping.org is providing a catalogue of how people around the world can do something to help the victims of terrorism in NY and DC. The web site is www.helping.org.
Many Australian organisations have expressed their shock and anger at the terrorism offering their counterparts in America whatever support they can.
The National Chairman of Australian Red Cross, Mr Richard Morgan AM, has sent the following letter to American Red Cross.
On behalf of Australian Red Cross I wish to express our profound sadness and regret for the tragic circumstances that have unfolded overnight Australian time in New York and Washington DC.
Australians have woken this morning to news of this most appalling tragedy which has caused widespread shock and dismay across the country. Our State and Territory offices have already been overwhelmed by very generous Australians wishing to support the response of American Red Cross in some way. We have also informed your ambassador in Canberra that Australian Red Cross will provide personal support and comfort to American citizens in Australia should they require it.
Should you need our assistance, in whatever form, we will be more than prepared to respond.
The Salvation Army began offering emergency food, shelter, and comfort for rescue workers almost immediately. Hundreds of counsellors and social workers were placed on call, and make shift hospitals were set up as part of the Salvation Army effort.
In Australia, The Salvos’ spokesman, John Dalziel says they are well versed in responding to natural disasters such as Thredbo, the Newcastle earthquake and major fires and floods.
He says when a worldwide disaster takes place everyone looks to the US for assistance. Now their own well-prepared disaster action plan is being mobilised.
If your organisation has been called on to offer assistance or knows of any resources that could be supplied, you can share your information with other Pro Bono Australia readers at our Forum on probonoaustralia.com.au.