In Tallahassee in July 2005, volunteers working the phones at the Florida hurricane relief fund took in $21 million for victims of the deadly 2004 season. Now they’re hoping to get the phones ringing for Wilma’s victims.
Fund administrator Liza McFadden says money raised goes to needs not met by other organizations like FEMA or the Red Cross, things like helping the elderly pay insurance deductibles, or homeless families pay for child care.
Liza says, “Wilma cut a swath from one end of the state to the other and there are a lot of folks who live in mobile homes who are not rich, with tons of boats that are getting washed up on the side, and we really want to reach out and help them. The relief fund is now airing this public service announcement to encourage donations.”
But so many people have called in to donate to other organizations for Hurricane Katrina victims that the Florida folks worry generous givers may be tapped out.
People have pledged more than $1 billion to the Red Cross for Rita and Katrina victims.
McFadden hopes they may still have a little left.
Liza says, “We know that folks have given to Katrina, and that’s why, again, we’re kind of really asking folks to say, even if it’s small, it’s still appreciated. The needs for Wilma’s victims will be huge.”
Fundraisers just hope the generous spirit for Katrina’s victims will start phones ringing for those hit by Wilma. To donate money to Wilma victims, you can call 1-800-825-3786.