As the scope of the devastating tragedy in Asia becomes increasingly clear, The Pew Charitable Trusts today announced an immediate $1 million contribution to the American Red Cross and urged Americans nationwide and in the Trusts' home city of Philadelphia to lead the world in donations to help disaster victims. In making the contribution, Rebecca W. Rimel, President and CEO of The Pew Charitable Trusts, said she hoped that major cities nationwide would each strive to meet or exceed the $1 million contribution level and that the Philadelphia region would raise an additional $500,000.
“The scale of this disaster is historic and we hope America's response will be, too,” said Ms. Rimel. “This holiday season is rooted in generosity and goodwill to all, and if communities pull together once more this year to give, it could help save nearly a million survivors from starvation, disease and homelessness caused by this catastrophe.”
“The American Red Cross has a long history of effective disaster relief and there are also many additional organizations on the ground providing vital aid and support,” Rimel continued. “We encourage Americans to seek them out and donate generously and quickly, leading the world to help stop immediate suffering and start long-term rebuilding.”
“The scope of this historic catastrophe has placed huge demands on the individuals, communities and entire countries impacted by this earthquake and the resulting tsunamis,” said Alan McCurry, Chief Operating Officer of the American Red Cross. “It is only with the generosity and leadership of philanthropic partners like The Pew Charitable Trusts that we, along with our sister societies around the world, can support the emergency response in those countries affected.”
The major earthquake and tsunamis that struck Indonesian and other south Asian coasts on Sunday have claimed at least 44,000 lives across 11 nations, according to the Associated Press. More devastation is expected to follow as the threat of disease rises and international agencies report that “millions” may be displaced and homeless.
The Pew Charitable Trusts is a national charitable organization that serves the public interest by providing information, advancing policy solutions and supporting civic life. Based in Philadelphia with an office in Washington, D.C., the Trusts committed nearly $150 million to charitable works in 2003.