Giving: Too Big a Hand?

Donations are gushing in so quickly that September 11 charities are being overwhelmed. Where exactly should all that money go?

In the history of charitable giving there has never been anything like this. Since September 11 when hijacked passenger jets slammed into the World Trade towers, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania, outraged citizens from around the world have deluged relief organizations with donations that now approach $1 billion. By way of comparison, contributions totaled $45 million in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing. Hurricane Andrew attracted $110 million for the American Red Cross, the major charity. "It's multiples of anything that has been dealt with before," says New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

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