Statement By Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Regarding The Need To Coordinate Charitable Efforts Following The World Trade Center Attack

dd> New Yorkers, and all Americans, opened their hearts and their wallets to an unprecedented degree following the terrorist attacks on September 11. So far, an estimated $500 million has been donated on behalf of the victims and their families. With more than 100 groups currently collecting money, this total will undoubtedly grow.

Today, I convened a meeting of leading charitable organizations to discuss the need to coordinate efforts so that resources are used in the most efficient and effective way possible.

This is the first of what we envision to be many meetings and many conversations with charitable groups. It was clear from this initial meeting that the mechanics of turning generosity into direct help will not be easy. But all of the groups involved have agreed that there should be as much communication and cooperation as possible.

In addition, everyone involved in this effort understands that millions of generous Americans are depending on us to see to it that their donations are used wisely, and that every dollar goes to those most in need.

I have directed the head of my office's Charities Bureau to begin work immediately on the development of a database that will assist charities in making decisions on how to allocate disaster relief funds. The goal of this project is to help avoid duplication and overlapping in the disbursement of funds.

My office will work closely with city, state and federal authorities and the non-profit community to achieve this and other important goals in the days and weeks ahead.

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