NEW YORK – After collecting $425 million in four months, officials at The September 11th Fund called Wednesday for a halt on additional donations to the charity.
The fund has awarded grants totaling more than $160 million to those impacted by the terrorist attacks, and now wants to concentrate on distributing its remaining money, said Franklin Thomas, chairman of the charity's board.
Fund members said the donations they have received — combined with money from other groups and the government — should meet the needs of victims, their families and others affected by the Sept. 11 attacks.
They are encouraging people to redirect their donations to other charities. Groups that required help before the attacks are still facing the same problems and need help, officials said.
"The hungry and the homeless, schoolchildren, the elderly all need our attention," said Lorie Slutsky, president of The New York Community Trust. "And because of the weakening economy and the ripple effects of Sept. 11, those needs are growing."
The September 11th Fund was created by the Community Trust and the United Way of New York City after the attacks.
Much of The September 11th Fund's money came from a telethon featuring Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Billy Joel and others. A total of $112 million was raised via the nationally televised event.