Red Cross and September 11th Fund Release Reports About September 11 Efforts

The American Red Cross and the September 11th Fund have both released reports detailing the assistance they have provided over the past year to victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The Red Cross, whose Liberty Disaster Relief Fund received more than $1 billion in pledges and contributions, said it will have distributed $643 million by the one-year anniversary of September 11 to about 55,000 people directly affected by the terrorist attacks. The relief agency also said it expects to distribute another $200 million to victims by the end of the year. The report estimates that the average award to the more than 3,000 families of the deceased and seriously injured will be about $115,000. In addition, the agency has provided more than 14 million meals, funded mental health services for 237,000 people, and provided health care for 131,000 people in the year since the attacks.

"I believe the Liberty Fund has made an extraordinary effort to meet the needs of those who suffered losses, honor the intent of the donors, and provide assistance in a manner consistent with the mission and traditions of the Red Cross," said former U.S. senator George Mitchell, who serves as the Liberty Fund's independent overseer.

The September 11th Fund, which was created by the New York Community Trust and United Way of New York City on the afternoon of the attacks, had made 273 grants totaling $336 million as of August 15, with 86 percent of that amount going toward cash assistance and services for those directly affected by the attacks. The Fund has disbursed cash assistance to 100,000 people, including 3,500 families and financial dependents, 300 severely injured victims, 35,000 dislocated workers and their families, and 6,000 individuals and families displaced from their homes. The remaining 14 percent of the $336 million was used to help affected communities and contribute to the rescue efforts.

Both the Red Cross and the September 11th Fund are continuing to reach out to those affected by the attacks. The Red Cross said it would spend its remaining $133 million over the next three to five years to support the long-term needs of victims and their families. The September 11th Fund, which raised a total of $506 million, will use its balance of $170 million for long-term needs such as mental health counseling; employment assistance; health care; legal and financial advice; cash assistance; and help for schoolchildren, small businesses, and nonprofits. "The needs of those we're helping have not changed significantly over the last year, but the way we are meeting them has," said FUND CEO Joshua Gotbaum. "There's now more flexibility and choice and help is easier to get."

The Red Cross report, September 11, 2001: Unprecedented Events, Unprecedented Response — A Review of the American Red Cross' Response in the Past Year (23 pages, PDF), includes a chronology of events; a breakdown of the money that has been distributed; and personal stories from victims, families, volunteers, and donors.

The September 11th Fund: One Year Later (27 pages, PDF) explains how the Fund was created, what its mission is, and how it has helped victims and communities affected by the attacks.

"September 11th Fund Releases One Year Report Detailing How More Than 100,000 Are Being Helped." September 11th Fund Press Release 09/06/2002. "American Red Cross Releases September 11 Report." American Red Cross Press Release 09/05/2002.