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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Midpeninsula donors step up to help disaster victims Midpeninsula donors step up to help disaster victims (September 19, 2001)

Red Cross reports generosity of citizens, companies

A Vietnam veteran walked into the Palo Alto chapter of the Red Cross last week and signed over his $600 tax refund check to help with disaster relief.

This is only one of many local stories of citizens and companies generously giving to the cause after the terrorist attacks against America.

"It was overwhelming," said Pilar Furlong, interim executive director.

Students walked in to volunteer, others asked for directions to the nearest blood bank.

"Our local community wasted no time in trying to make a difference," Furlong said.

Local companies also opened their checkbooks.

Hewlett-Packard Co. announced it would provide a $3 million cash grant to the American Red Cross and will also match up to $2 million in employee donations to the Red Cross and the United Way of America's September 11th Fund.

Also, HP will donate equipment, laptops, printers, scanners, digital cameras, and other electronic devices to relief organizations. The total equipment donation is about $200,000.

Recipients include: the New York City Trauma Center at Chelsea Pier for the center's data and communications center, set up for the families of victims linked to the New York City area hospitals; American Red Cross Operations; State of New York Attorney General's Office (disk drives to support restoration of critical data); New York City; the New York City Police Department.

Agilent Technologies pledged $10,000, Sun Microsystems and Intuit launched employee fund-raising drives with pledges to match the dollar amounts raised.

The Red Cross Palo Alto chapter is also hosting emergency disaster mental health training for local mental health professionals who would like to assist the Red Cross in debriefing and counseling people affected by the attacks.

The American Red Cross has begun taking Family Well-Being Inquiries today from military and civilian families who may be seeking information regarding immediate family members in New York or Washington, D.C. Families wishing to make an inquiry can call (650) 688-0415 or (650) 688-0445. These requests will take some time to process.

The most pressing need is for type "O" blood. Blood from those donors is being taken first.

At Shoreline Amphitheatre, San Jose car dealers associated with Autonation, a national franchise, are hosting a used car sale Friday through Sunday, with a percentage of proceeds going toward Red Cross relief efforts.

Those who wish to contribute to the Red Cross relief efforts are encouraged to make cash donations. Cash is the most effective way for the Red Cross to provide rapid relief and enables the most flexible use of resources. Money contributed should be designated for national disaster relief and 100 percent of the funds will be used to aid victims of the disaster.

Donors can make a credit card donation by visiting or by calling 1-800-HELP NOW. Or, donations can be sent to the American Red Cross, Palo Alto Area chapter, 400 Mitchell Lane, Palo Alto, 94301.


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