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Hurricane Katrina donation line

2 September 2005

New Zealand Red Cross opens Hurricane Katrina donation line as calls rush in

New Zealand Red Cross has received hundreds of calls from New Zealanders wanting to donate to Hurricane Katrina, prompting it to open a separate donation line.

New Zealanders can now call 0900 31 100 to donate $20 to those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Acting Director General Graham Wrigley says he is overwhelmed at the response of the public to the plight of those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

“We have been receiving hundreds of calls at Red Cross centres all over New Zealand. The New Zealand public has been extremely supportive of those suffering after Hurricane Katrina and have been actively seeking out ways in which to help.”

Over the weekend, the New Zealand Red Cross website www.redcross.org.nz also received more than $4,000 in donations.

All donations received will be passed on to the American Red Cross which is providing lifesaving relief efforts for millions of people including the provision of food, water and shelter.

American Red Cross CEO Marsha J Evans says Red Cross societies all over the world have been providing great support.

"The American Red Cross is extremely grateful for the timely help given by our international partners. Just as with the tsunamis last year, this shows the unique ability of the Red Cross movement to reach across the globe, and collaboratively provide relief wherever there is suffering," she says.

The American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Appeal has now raised NZ$426 million in gifts and pledges from those in America and overseas.

At present the American Red Cross is running 356 shelters which are supporting 107,400 evacuees. Thousands of volunteers and 259 emergency response vehicles have been dispatched to the area. Preparations are underway to serve 500,000 hot meals a day.

The American Red Cross has also set up a Family Links Register to help link family and friends separated by disaster. New Zealanders can register through the American website www.redcross.org.

ENDS

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