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Red Cross South Asia Tsunami Appeal sets record

Red Cross South Asia Tsunami Appeal sets record

The New Zealand public have now donated more than $3.2 million to the Red Cross South Asia Tsunami appeal.

“This is the most money ever raised from public donations to a New Zealand Red Cross emergency appeal,” Operations Manager Andrew McKie said today. “It highlights how greatly this tragedy has touched New Zealanders and just how much people everywhere want to help.”

New Zealand Red Cross gave $4.2 million following an appeal for the Rwanda crisis in 1995. The total included $3.2 million in public donations and $1 million from the Government.

“It‘s phenomenal that New Zealanders have donated more than $3.2 million to the New Zealand Red Cross South Asia Tsunami appeal in just 10 days,” Mr McKie said. The Government has also given an initial $500,000 and will match public donations dollar for dollar. The New Zealand Red Cross has also donated another $60,000 from its own emergency relief fund.

“With the Government’s initial $500,000 and its dollar for dollar contribution, our total fund is now shaping up at about $8 million, but donations are still flowing in” Mr McKie said. “Collections are taking place across the country and a lot of that money won’t come in for several more weeks”.

New Zealand Red Cross is continuing to receive a large number of offers of clothes, but Mr McKie said it was not accepting clothing donations for the emergency appeal.

“Clothing is too expensive to package and transport, it can take up valuable air freight space, and an influx of clothing can be very damaging for local manufacturers and fragile economies trying to recover from a disaster such as this.”

The majority of donations to the Red Cross South Asia Tsunami appeal have been made through the 0900 31 100 appeal number, which accepts automatic $20 donations. Donations can also be made at www.redcross.org.nz, or at branches of the ASB, BNZ, Westpac, TSB, ANZ and National Banks and at all Countdown, Woolworths and Foodtown supermarkets. Banks are waiving transaction fees on the Red Cross tsunami appeal accounts.

All money raised will go directly to providing relief, as the Red Cross takes no money from special appeals for administration costs.

New Zealand Red Cross is also continuing to operate an inquiry line for family and friends concerned about New Zealanders believed to have been in the South Asia area on Boxing Day.

As many New Zealanders returned to work today, the 0800 RED CROSS number had a fresh influx of new inquiries and people phoning to say they heard from loved ones who were safe and well.

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