Curry County residents are trying to do their part in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist incidents in New York City, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
According to a press release dated Friday, an account established at Chetco Federal Credit Union to assist the disasters victims and their families is doing well.
To date, over $6,000 has been donated locally to the 911 Disaster Relief Fund. Pledges are still being collected.
Stan Baron, president and chief executive officer of the credit union said he was pleased with the effort so far.
I am proud to be associated with local communities such as ours, he said, where the willingness to assist those in need is so clearly demonstrated.
The credit union will forward all the funds collected to the New York Firefighter 911 Disaster Relief Fund, which will assist families of all fallen firefighters and coordinate efforts to assist fire and emergency medical services personnel on the scene at the World Trade Center site.
Baron said the firefighter fund was chosen because their duties are so hard and that they take their lives into their own hands every time they respond to an emergency call. He added that is especially true in a big city like New York.
Money will initially be sent to the relief fund on Nov. 15, but the credit union will continue to receive donations for the duration of the national effort.
The American Red Cross has also benefitted from the generosity of South Coast residents, according to Jenny Carrick, community relations director for the Lane County chapter in Eugene.
Carrick said approximately $40,000 had been collected by the South Coast Service Center in Coos Bay. The South Coast district includes the Brookings-Harbor area.
An additional $110,000 had been collected in Lane County, according to Carrick.
I think it is incredibly heartwarming, she said on Friday. Its proof Americans will do the work when the work needs to be done.
People are coming together to help those in need.
In response to concerns voiced nationally about the administration and distribution of relief funds, Carrick said the Red Cross was handling its effort properly.
We make sure our donors specify where the money goes, she said. And then we make sure it goes there.
In this case, donations for the Sept. 11 victims is earmarked for the Liberty Disaster Relief Fund, with money going directly to victims families and relief workers.
Carrick said the reason the Red Cross has had success already getting money into the hands of those who need it is because of the organizations experience.
The Red Cross specializes in (dealing with) disasters, she said. When disasters happen, our people begin immediately to set up operations to assist victims.
I dont think any other organization can do that, were just always geared up and ready to go.
And although we will be working with this disaster project for years, we are already debriefing our people to see what we can do better.
The controversy that has arisen at the national level concerns the administration and distribution of the nearly $1 billion that has been pledged across the country.
Reports have been circulating in the national media that many of the families have seen little or no assistance to date, with the exception of the efforts by the Red Cross.
Some 140 organizations, including the Red Cross and United Way, are reported to be collecting donations for the relief effort.
No specific oversight mechanism is in place to insure the funds are properly allocated where needed.
With the concerns that have been voiced recently, both Congress and the New York state attorney generals office have begun to look into the matter to help make sure the funds are distributed to those in need and not abused or misappropriated by the organizations involved in the effort.
Area residents who wish to donate to the local 911 Disaster Relief Fund can do so by dropping their donation off at any of the CFCU branch offices in Harbor, Brookings, Gold Beach, Port Orford, Smith River and Crescent City.
Contributions to the South Coast Service Center branch of the American Red Cross can be made by calling (800) 738-8700 or mailing them to the American Red Cross, 300 Central Ave., Coos Bay, OR 97420.