United Way lending assistance to Sept. 11 victims

United Way lending assistance to Sept. 11 victims by Vermillion United Way September 11 was an unprecedented disaster. Dozens of charities and government agencies pitched in, any way they could, to help the thousands who were affected. This tragedy will have far reaching and long lasting effects on victims, their families, the New York community, and the entire nation. The United Way will provide assistance to all victims for as long as they are needed.

United Way is committed to providing assistance to all victims, families, and communities affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This is a very complicated undertaking. Due to the enormity of the disaster, city officials still do not have a complete and final list of all the people who died. Also, there is no accounting of people who do not meet the criteria for many government and private benefits � elderly parents of victims who may not have been legal dependents by depended on their adult children nonetheless, for example, or the first families of divorced and remarried breadwinners.

Further, over 50,000 people who worked in the Twin Towers have lost their jobs and thousands of small businesses have either closed up or are struggling to survive in a neighborhood no longer teeming with potential customers. Also victimized are the thousands of workers who lost jobs due to the far reaching effects of Sept. 11, the residents who were displaced, and the hundreds of non-profits that provide essential services to the community that were unable to meet fund-raising goals.

Considering that all of these people have been directly affected by the terrorist attacks, the United Way has appropriately defined �victim� on a large scale.

The September 11th Fund has made grants of more than $205 million in the last six months to the victims, families, and communities affected by Sept. 11 � with more grants being made every day. Of that amount, $189 million has been given as direct cash assistance and services to victims and families. Much of the money that has been allocated for cash assistance to victims has included many families who were ineligible for other sources of funds.

Additionally, $16 million was spent on rescue and recovery, and grants and loans to rebuild communities. The fund�s board is developing guidelines to meet longer-term needs and ensure that there is money to fill the many gaps that remain. As we learned in Oklahoma City, many will not even recognize they need help for months; we need to make sure that resources are available to help them when they do � and the needs will be substantial.

How the September 11th Fund is helping:

Victims and Families

? Emergency cash and services to 39,000 people who were injured, lost a loved one or were displaced from their homes or jobs as a result of the attacks.

? Crisis counseling for more than 1,700 emergency personnel; group counseling for 10,000 people; additional mental health care workers for firefighters; and a citywide crisis counseling hotline that has answered 15,000 calls.

? Therapy and counseling to help those disabled in the attack learn to cope with their injuries.

? A nation information hotline for victims and families that received from 250 to 1,000 calls daily.

? Information on new jobs for more than 17,000 unemployed workers and job referrals for 5,000 displaced workers.

? Legal assistance for more than 2,000 victims and families.

Communities

? Food and other supplies to 41 childcare centers in downtown Manhattan, along with counseling for traumatized children and reconstruction of a playground in Battery Park City.

? Assistance to more than 100 non-profit organizations in lower Manhattan to repair damage to their equipment and office and resume operations.

? Initiatives to help small businesses and non-profits in lower Manhattan retain jobs.

Rescue and Recovery

? More than 4.3 million pounds of food and supplies delivered to Ground Zero.

? More than 143,000 hot meals served to rescue workers.

? More than 7,000 boxed dinners delivered to seniors too grail to evacuate their homes.

? Three ambulances for a volunteer corps and repairs to two hospital ambulances.

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