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Letters to the Editor 12/16 Part 2

December 27, 2001

Letters to the Editor 12/16 Part 2



Red Cross money directly helping NYC victims



To the editor:

Because of you and the work of thousands of Red Cross volunteers, we are truly making a difference in the lives of those tragically impacted by the barbaric attacks of Sept. 11. Thank you for trusting the American Red Cross with your heartfelt donations.

I wish that I could personally take each of you to see how your dollars are helping. I would take you to Ground Zero in New York City, to the gaping crevice at the Pentagon, to the Pennsylvania field where the hijacked plane crashed, to the commuter communities throughout the Northeast where loved ones never returned home.

You have already helped in so many ways. The Red Cross has provided $137 million in cash assistance and services to more than 25,000 families since Sept. 11. This is an unprecedented rate of charitable giving during an eight-week period. We have served more than 10 million meals, an average of 100,000 per day, to survivors and emergency personnel working at three disaster sites. We have offered mental health and spiritual counseling to more than 144,000 people, including more than 100,000 in New York alone. We have also deployed 46,000 disaster workers, 43,000 of them volunteers, to provide services at the areas of need.

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While extraordinary progress has been made since the Sept. 11 disasters, we realize there is much more to be done. America has spoken loudly and clearly and we are listing to you. The Red Cross is honoring the national call for relief efforts to be directed solely toward the people affected by the Sept. 11 tragedies. Every donation made to the Washington County Chapter for this purpose has been directly sent to the relief effort.

We have changed our policy in three important ways: 1) We are dedicating all of the money collected in the Liberty Fund solely to the immediate and long-term needs of those affected by the attacks; 2) we are giving aid directly to victims in larger cash amounts and more quickly; and 3) we are including our aid recipients in a common database with other relief agencies to streamline the process for everyone.

Sept. 11 forever changed the landscape of our country and the life of every American. We have never faced a disaster of this size, scope or intensity but we're meeting the challenge, thanks to you and your help. Thank you for reaching out in this time of need, and thank you for continuing to trust the American Red Cross as we bring comfort and care to our nation during these troubled times. Your trust is precious to us, and we will do our very best to uphold it.

Through it all, the American Red Cross mission has not changed. Led by million of volunteers across the nation, we help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Our 1,000 plus network of chapters helps victims of over 67,000 disasters a year. Out of these disasters 93 percent are residential fires. As we head into the winter months, we know that the number of residential fires in our community will increase.

Last year Red Cross disaster relief assisted 58 families within Washington County. With your continued support, the Washington County Chapter can continue to provide the same kind of lifesaving help here at home that we bring to many affected by the tragedies in September.

Robert T. Lawn
Chairman, Board of Directors
Washington County Chapter
American Red Cross
Hagerstown




Thanks to those who made JFK 50 a success



To the editor:

The 39th Annual JFK 50 Mile which was hosted by Washington County this past Nov. 17 was, for the seventh consecutive year, the largest and most successful ultramarathon foot race held on the North American continent. Nine hundred sixty nine entrants - as well as hundreds of support personnel, vendors and media - converged from 30 different states and four different nations to Washington County for this internationally renowned event.

The incredible success of the 39th Annual JFK 50 Mile simply would not have been possible without the help of so many local organizations and private citizens that gave so unselfishly of their time and resources as to allow the dreams of 818 hardened official finishers to materialize.

As the JFK's director - and on behalf of all the participants - I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to all those who pitched in to make this year's event possible. To mention each and every individual deserving of recognition in this small space is not feasible, but I would like to recognize some of the organizations that made this incredible undertaking a reality for our visiting competitors.

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